No fewer than 16 teams have converged in Abuja following the kick-off of the third edition of the 2021 Merrybet 5stars Premier League season on Saturday.
This season had the introduction of teams outside Abuja such as teams like River Park, Trade Fada FC and Allied FC from Niger, Oyo and Kaduna states respectively battling for honours at the Astroturf, venue of the tournament.
According to the managing director of 5stars premier league, Olumide Aturu, he said the major driving force has been passion for the growth of the game at the grassroot and the opportunity for the players to represent themselves and their families and hopefully Nigeria’.
‘“Over the years, integrity has been our watchword and we have delivered on all the promises that we made despite that we are not relenting, this season we have been able to take it up a notch with Merrybet coming onboard as the official sponsor of the league which has given credence to what we are doing.
He went further by revealing that over N1.5m will be won by participants this season “this season will see a rise in prize money from N400,000 to N1 Million while the league maintains a 16-team structure, spread into two territory groups in a round-robin format.
Head of field allocation for Merrybet Gold Limited, Engr Daramola Simide, said the need to support grassroot through football is one of their cardinal objectives especially football being the king of sports.
“We decided this is the best avenue to come in and develop grassroot football in Nigeria. We are giving the grassroots players more opportunity to enjoy their football,” he said.