The 2019 African Freestyle Football Championship will hold in Nigeria between September 14 and 15 with over 30 countries across the continent expected.
Valentine Ozigbo, the Chairman, Feet ‘n’ Tricks International, organisers of the African Championship revealed that Cameroon was initially pencilled to host the glamorous event.
He, however, explained that a shift was necessitated after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped Cameroon of the hosting right for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, (AFCON).
“We wanted to have this year’s event side-by-side with the AFCON but the change by CAF affected our plans,” he explained.
Mr Ozigbo said registration for this year’s tournament is currently open to both male and female freestylers of African descent. He said the Nigerian contestants will be shortlisted from four regional championships that will be hosted in Lagos, Warri, Owerri and Abuja.
According to the itinerary released, the South-west regional audition will hold first at the Rowe Park, Yaba, Lagos on June 22.
Warri has been selected for the South-south regional event which will hold on June 30 at the Brownhill Event Centre.
It will be the turn of the South-east zone on July 6 at the Cubana Lounge in Owerri, while the Northern zone will hold at Central Park, Abuja on July 13.
All the regional auditions will hold from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and winners from the zones will be the one to represent Nigeria at the African Freestyle Football Championship in Lagos in September.
“For other contestants from other parts of Africa, all they need to do is register directly for the championship in September and they will be advised the rest of the process
“We are excited to have started the drive to pave a new direction for freestyle football in Africa. In this year’s edition, we expect at least 30 African countries to be represented at this championship as many have already registered. We will work on the continuous development of African freestyle talent and continually exploit all available resources to create more awareness for the sport and we are grateful to our sponsors and partners.
“This year, the championship will be covered live by Startimes in 30 countries in Africa where they are present and also on their digital channels. There will also be a host of other media partners at the event,” Mr Ozigbo stated.
An Ivorian, Abdoul Titi Kone, is the current African champion and he is expected to be present to defend his title at the 2019 edition.
Freestyle football is described by the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) as “the art and sport of juggling a football using all parts of the body to entertain audiences and outperform opponents; a fusion of tricks with a ball, dance and music.”