FOOTBALL is not only about the round leather played by 22 players of two opposing teams, it is also about the players themselves, fans, administrators and the sponsors as well.
In Nigeria, it is not all the time that you witness people who die in line of duty being honoured, but beverage giants Coca Cola did just that at the weekend during celebrations marking the end of this year’s FA Cup Final in Kaduna.
Igeniwari George, the late younger brother of former Super Eagles forward, Finidi George was in the mould of the senior a fine footballer. He had been called to the under 20 side and his profile seem on the upswing, then the madness of the game took him off this plane.
And like late Sam Okwaraji, he seem to have been forgotten in the cold, but at this year’s FA Cup awards night, spokesman of the beverage company said they were instituting an award to honour the late teen midfielder.
"For the first time, Coca Cola company is instituting the annual Igeniwari George Memorial Trophy for Non-violence in Football." The winner of this maiden edition was the Kaduna State FA who although called in as late substitute to initial hosts Kano State, did a marvelous job. The stands were filled, and there was not a single incident of violence between supporters of the four teams playing on the final day.
This is hoping the memorial of this young man will keep the fans from tearing themselves apart at soccer venues. Welcome non-violence in football.