Pele to visit Nigeria on Wednesday

Football legend Pele will arrive Lagos on Wednesday on a three-day visit to the country for the YEDA Legend Edition 2016 organised by Winihin Jemide Services and the Youth Experience Day Africa.

The visit was earlier scheduled for August but was called off after Pele took ill. According to the organisers, the Brazilian’s visit will be focused on the development of football and the Nigerian youth, and will bring together football-loving kids, parents and key figures in Lagos State.

“This event will include a football clinic handled by ex-internationals, an exclusive dinner with Pele and other African legends on September 24. There will also be chances to own Pele memorabilia at an auction during the dinner. The proceeds will be donated to the Kanu Heart Foundation and the City of David football academy,” Chee Okebalama, Project Coordinator, YEDA Legend Edition, said at a media briefing on Friday.

The football clinic, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, will conclude with a celebrity exhibition match featuring the country’s ex-stars Nwankwo Kanu, Victor Ikpeba, Peter Rufai, as well as Timi Dakolo and Gideon Okeke at the Campos mini stadium, Onikan.

Children from the clinic, who would be split into U-15 and U-17 categories, would take part in the Legend Cup tournament and also have photo sessions with Pele, while the dinner with the three-time World Cup winner is scheduled for Saturday. Sixteen teams will take part in the event.

“Some of us are honoured to have met the legend before. He had some kind words for me and my teammates 27 years ago at the U-17 World Cup and I think he is also going to be an inspiration for the young kids. The trip is a great initiative by the organisers,” 1997 African Player of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, stated.

Ex-Eagles captain Rufai said, “Pele is the greatest; we have to celebrate him. The event is not only for kids because even parents who used to watch him on TV, will be happy to see him live in Nigeria.”

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