- Title: Ivorian Abdul Kone retains African freestyle football title
- Date: 18th September 2019
- Summary: ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** CROWD WATCHING
- Embargoed: 2nd October 2019 13:37
- Keywords: Freestyle footballers Abdul Kone African Freestyle football Nigeria
- Location: LAGOS, NIGERIA
- City: LAGOS, NIGERIA
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA008AX6R0AN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Over 40 contestants from 15 different African countries including Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, and Cameroon gathered in Nigeria's commercial city, Lagos over the weekend, for the second edition of the African Freestyle Football Championship.
Freestyle soccer is a sport of skill and expression where the player performs various stunts and tricks with a football with an aim to beat the competition.
The event was organized by Feet 'n' Tricks International Limited, who say they bought the franchise to help the large number of ball juggling youths in Africa get noticed and earn an income from their skills.
Ivory Coast's Abdul Kone dominated the competition to retain the trophy after his win last year.
"I thank the president, I dedicate this trophy to my mum, I dedicate to my father and to everybody. It has been a wonderful performance for me this year again," said Kone.
"This is really a platform performing together with the World Freestyle Football Association and they are fully represented here to give our youths...the younger ones, the platform to showcase their skills and get this sport known and entrenched in Africa. This is the fastest growing type of football in the world and we thought that it is important that Africans don't miss this out," said Valentine Ozigbo, the chairman, of Feet 'n' Tricks.
The winner also bagged a cash prize of 3,000 US dollars, and an all-expense paid trip to compete in the Red Bull World Competition in Miami, in November this year.
The winner in the female category took home 2,000 dollars prize money and a vanity set.
Over 4,000 guests attended the two-day event.
"Football is fun, it is something that unites everyone you know no matter your colour, no matter your race and I mean to be able to play with the ball with your arms, hands and any part of your body and just free your style, that in itself is amazing, so this is my second time as I rightly said and it's been getting better and better and I know that next year, I can't wait to be a part of it again," said Chinweugo Nwafor a guest at the event.
"These are things that will actually foster the unity, as well as the global brotherhood that we are known for in Africa. So I think it is very very important and I think if this is given attention from the government to even the private institutions, over time we are going to be in the top stage and the foremost stage as well," said Adetokunbo Adebirigbe, another fan.
The two-day event ended on Sunday (September 15).
(Production: Seun Sanni, Nneka Chile, Angela Ukomadu)
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