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21 Dec 2017
Ikpeba encourages beach soccer growth in Nigeria
The former Super Eagles forward discussed our sport at the recent Copa Lagos.
Former Nigeria football international Victor Ikpeba says young people in the country should be encouraged to play beach soccer as part of their sporting development.
Ikpeba was among a host of former Super Eagles stars who turned out in the celebrity match at the Copa Lagos earlier this month, with the 44-year-old a regular on the sand over recent years.
The former Monaco and Borussia Dortmund forward also stuck around to watch a number of matches at the tournament, including those of the Gidi Sharks - a newly raised team comprised of local youngsters, many of whom had little to no experience of the sport prior to the event.
And, with such newly discovered talent having had a taste of the action at Copa Lagos, Ikpeba is confident the future looks bright for the Super Sand Eagles - traditionally one of the continent's strongest teams.
“For the guys here to go around Lagos, form a team and play here to a good level is fantastic,” he said. “It’s not just showcasing the players either, it’s the city too. It’s beautiful, it’s colourful.
“The young boys should definitely try beach soccer, I know many want to play football but beach soccer is very popular and can help with a lot of aspects of your game. You go to South America and parts of Europe and they all play it on the beaches, so we need to try and encourage our younger stars to combine beach soccer with football.
“I’m sure that will continue to happen here and I’m sure the younger generation will continue to represent Nigeria in beach soccer.”
Ikpeba also praised the continued impact that Copa Lagos has in the region, adding: “It’s fantastic, I love the sport and what the Copa Lagos does for the city is amazing.
“It was brilliant to see all the people out here with their families and their kids having a great time. I’ve been playing this event for the last six years or so with my team-mates and it’s great to see the former Nigeria players coming out and having fun with this amazing sport. It’s fun, it’s great.”
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