Football is a game that not only enhances good health through exercise, it promotes teamwork and camadrarie, it is universal and is played everywhere. It is not only played within clubs but also in schools which are also an important breeding ground for potential football stars. For these reasons, it can be seen that sport and particularly football, forms a natural part of governmental health and social development programmes. No government can neglect sport and the benefits that it can bring to the population. Football is a vehicle for the promotion of health, education, team spirit and fair play. These concepts are also central to national government objectives and are values upheld by modern societies.
In Lagos State the statutory agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating and administering all football related activities is The Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) it has been in existence since the creation of the state in 1967 but has its current board as the only democratically elected board in recent history. The LSFA is led by Mr. Seyi Akinwunmi, a respectable Legal Practitioner. The LSFA has articulated its vision to restructure football in the State and has therefore created and nurtured a brand known as Eko Football which is the vehicle used to actualize the vision.
The LSFA in articulating its Eko Football vision has laid emphasis on youth development, it has created access to national sports youth development structures and has promoted local youth programmes such as the popular monthly U-13 and U-15 Boys and U-15 Girls Eko Football Future Stars tournament that has attracted thousands of youth footballers. It is in furtherance of this vision that the LSFA has partnered with Channels Television to present the Channels Kids Competition 2014.
The values of the Channels Kids Competition 2014 are similar to values promoted by youth sport development, social development and good governance. These include;
- Allowing children to play football together thereby facilitating communication with one another.
- Using football to promote good health.
- Using football as a tool for education by teaching: observance of the rules of the game, the practice of exercises and codified play, respect for opponents and partners, the desire to be the best, pushing oneself beyond one’s limits, the joy of winning and coping with the distress of losing, etc.
- Promoting football as a part of life associated with fun, pleasure and emotion.
- The need for consultation with all stakeholders in order to ensure that all points of view are taken into account and if possible, represented in the plan.
- Offering the means to practice sport everywhere, at schools, in clubs etc. Football should be accessible to all without reference to gender, race or location.
- To increase the number of children involved in the nationwide U13 football competition and eliminate age cheating.
- Making sure the underdeveloped areas of the sport (football for girls, players with disabilities, football in schools) receive support and appropriate services.
- Offering an alternative to the everyday lives of children from disadvantaged areas.
- The desire to improve and develop the game at all levels starting from the U13 level.
Fair Play Code – The Ten Golden Rules
- Winning is not fun if achieved unfairly. Playing fair makes others respect you.
- Winning is the goal of a game- never play to lose. But if you lose, do so fairly and you will win respect. Congratulate the winners and try to win the next time.
- Sport needs rules in order to be played fairly. The rules of football are simple and easy to learn. They make football fun to play and watch.
- Everyone has the same rights. Opponents, team-mates, referees and spectators must be respected. Fair play is about respect. Respect is part of football.
- Football is the world’s greatest game. Help keep it that way. Talk about the positive and encourage others to do the same. Be a role model for the game.
- Football is great because fair play is respected. When someone is exceptionally fair in football, they deserve recognition. Help promote football’s image by recognising good deeds.
- Football is sometimes exposed to negative outside influences. Do not be tempted by drugs, racism, violence, gambling or other dangers. Football is sport and sport is peace.
- Make sure everyone in football is playing fair. Do not let them be tempted by drugs, racism, violence, gambling or other dangers.
- Say ‘no’ to cheats and report them. It is better to have cheats removed before they can damage the game. Actively protect the beautiful game of football.
- Football’s popularity can help make the world a better place. Use the power of football to promote peace and equality. Make the world better through football.
FIFA is the world soccer governing body, The FIFA rules consist of 17 laws that break the game into segments. The purpose of the laws is to be applicable in the same way at any level from World Cup final to a local game with your friends at a park. These original laws have only changed slightly over the years, in accordance with specific evolution and demands of the sport.
For lower levels (Youth Organizations) of play the International Football Association Board (IFAB) first ratified the official rules of soccer, entitled “Laws of the Game,” when it was founded in 1886. The purpose of this flexibility in the rules arises from the need to acknowledge that different cultures and economic factors surrounding each level can affect the way the game is played. The Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) explains in its Rules of the Game section below, that the laws are designed as a loose framework open to amendment based on the discretion of Organizing committee agreement. “The Laws form the skeleton of a competition’s rules, while the competition regulations provide the flesh.
- GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1 Channels National Kids Football Competition 2014
- The Channels National Kids Football Competition 2014 is designed to offer the means to practise football as a sport at schools to help young players from the ages of 10 to 13 learn the game of football. Football should be accessible to all without reference to gender, race or location.
- It is an invitational tournament
- All Primary schools, public and private duly registered with its state authorities are eligible to participate at this event.
- Selection of schools will be the sole responsibility of the Organizing committee.
- The Tournament will run for Six match days with the Finals played on Children’s Day May 27th, 2014.
- Group games: ……………………. Semi-finals: ………………. and Final: ……………………. At the national level and knock outs at the state level.
- LSFA shall be responsible for all technical and Disciplinary matters.
Article 2 Participating Schools
- The schools participating in the Competition agree to comply with these regulations, the Laws of the Game, Statutes and Regulations as long as with any other Organizing committee regulations, guidelines, directives and/or decisions.
- In addition, each participating school shall be responsible for:
a) The conduct of its Delegates Members and of any other persons carrying out duties on its behalf throughout the entire Tournament
b) Attending all meetings and other official collective activities in respect of the competition
c) Paying for incidental costs and expenses incurred by its Delegate Members or any other persons carrying out duties on its behalf
- All participating schools shall confirm their participation by submitting the originals of their entry forms and any other required documentation to the organizing committee as communicated by the organizing committee by the set deadline.
- On entering the Tournament, the participating clubs automatically undertake to
a) Observe these regulations and ensure that their Delegation Members, and not only its players, also observe these regulations and the principles of fair play
b) Accept and obey all decisions taken by the bodies and officials of the organizing committee under the terms of these conditions
c) Participate in ALL matches in which their school is scheduled to take part till elimination
d) Accept ALL arrangements relating to the competition made by organizing committee.
Article 3 Withdrawal, penalty for failing to play and replacement
- All Participating schools undertake to play all their matches until eliminated.
- Any school that withdraws from the event no later than 14 days before the first match of the competition shall not be considered for invitation by the organizing committee for subsequent tournaments.
- Any participating school that withdraws during the course of the competition or fails to honour any of its matches at the any stage of the competition will be fined.
- Any participating school that withdraws before the start of the competition may be replaced by another school to be determined by the organizing committee
- If, through the fault of any Participating school, a match in the tournament cannot take place or be played in its entirety, the Organizing Committee shall declare that the match be forfeited (awarding victory or points to the opposing school) and/or exclude the school concerned from the competition.
- The school responsible for the situation in paragraph 5 above shall face sanctions to be determined by the organizing committee.
- The organizing committee shall take whatever action is deemed necessary in the case of force majeure.
Article 4 Disciplinary Matters
- Disciplinary incidents are dealt with in compliance with the organizing committee Disciplinary Code in force as well as with all relevant circulars and directives, with which the Partaking school undertake to comply.
- Organizing committee may introduce new disciplinary rules for the duration of the competition. Such rules shall be communicated to the Participating schools one week before the first match of the Tournament.
- The Participating schools agree to comply with the Laws of the Game as provided by organizing committee, the statutes and regulations for the case of Channels National Kids Football Competition. Schools agree to comply with all further organizing committee guidelines, circulars and decisions that have any significance regarding the competition.
- In addition, the school and all other persons acting on behalf of the school agree notably to:
a) Respect the spirit of fair play and non-violence
b) Behave accordingly
c) Refrain from taking performance enhancing substances
- Schools and the Member of the school’s Delegation concerned will be held responsible for the behavior of the player and any member of the school’s Delegation.
- Schools will be held responsible for the behavior of any other persons acting on behalf of the school concerned.
Article 5 Disputes
- All disputes in connection with the event will be promptly settled by arbitration.
- In compliance with the Organizing committee Statutes, the participating school, their officials and players may not take disputes to any court of law but to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Organizing committee.
- The LSFA Disciplinary Committee is the highest body in determining any form of dispute.
Article 6 Protests
- For the purpose of these regulations, protests are objections of any kind related to events and matters that have a direct effect on matches, including but not limited to the state of and the markings on the pitch, accessory match equipment, eligibility of players, stadium installations and soccer balls.
- Unless otherwise stipulated in this article, protests shall be submitted in writing to the Organizing committee match commissioner within two hours of the conclusion of the match in question and followed up immediately with a full written report, including a copy of the original protest.
- Protests against any incidents that occur during the course of a match shall be made verbally to the referee immediately after the disputed incident and before play has resumed.
- No protests may be made about the referee’s decisions regarding facts connected with play, such decisions being final.
- If unfounded or irresponsible protest is lodged, the Organizing committee Disciplinary Committee may impose a fine.
Article 7 Equipment
- The balls used in the competition shall be selected, exclusively supplied and approved by the LSFA
- The goal-posts and field markings shall be of the FIFA-approved dimensions except where stated as a variation by the Organizing committee.
Article 8 Venue, stadium, dates and kick-off time for matches
- The venue, dates and kick-off times for matches will be fixed and approved by the Organizing committee.
- Matches will be played at venues with people sitting and/or standing.
- Matches may be played in daylight or under floodlight provided the floodlights are deemed bright enough by the Organizing committee.
- The school teams will be entitled to warm up on the pitch before each match.
- Smoking is not allowed in the technical area.
- The stadium and training grounds shall not be used for any other matches or events from at least four days prior to the start of the Tournament until completion, except the Organizing committee gives special permission.
- The venues will be available and free of any and all commercial activities and identifications (e.g. boards and other signage) other than those of organizing committee commercial affiliates at least four days prior to the first match of the competition.
Article 9 Match Officials
- Referees and other match officials will be appointed for each match by the LSFA – Referees Committee.
- A Match Commissioner will be appointed for each match.
- After each match, the referee shall complete and sign the official Referees’ Report Form. The referee shall hand it over to the general coordinator at the venue immediately after the match. On the report the referee shall note all occurrences of significance, such as misconduct of players leading to caution or expulsion, unsporting behavior by supporters and/or officials or any other person acting on behalf of a school at the match and any other incident happening before, during and after the match in as much detail as possible.
- All decisions made by the LSFA – Referees Committee are final and not subject to appeal.
Article 10 Laws of the Game
All matches shall be played in accordance with the Laws of the Game in force at the time of the tournament.
Article 11 Commercial Rights
- The Organizing committee owns and controls all commercial rights in relation to the Tournament.
- The Organizing committee issues Marketing Guidelines specifying these commercial rights. All schools shall fully comply with these Marketing Guidelines and ensure that their members, officials, players, delegates and other affiliates also comply.
Article 12 Transportation
All schools are expected to bear the cost of their transportation to and from match venues.
- II. TECHNICAL RULES
Article 13 Number of Teams
- There will be 24 schools vying for honours at the Lagos State preliminaries.
- 4 teams will emerge from Lagos Preliminaries by 12 invited schools across the country to play at the national finals.
- Duration, matches will be played for 50minutes (25minutes for each halves with a 10 minutes break)
Article 14 Eligibility of Players
- All players shall be students currently in primary and not above the age of 13years as at the date of commencement of the competition.
a) Players can be of a nationality other than Nigerian (but resident in Nigeria) as long as paragraph 1 above holds
b) No player shall feature for more than one school.
- All players shall be registered with only one of the Participating schools throughout the duration of the competition.
- No particular player shall feature for two different schools during the same Tournament.
- Direct players interview will be adapted at random from beginning to the end of the competition.
- Any school that is found guilty of fielding an ineligible player shall forfeit the match in question. Victory and the resultant points shall be awarded to the opposing school.
- Any school found guilty of the above shall be withdrawn from the competition sent back home and never invited for any subsequent editions.
- Any such school shall be reported to their state appropriate authority.
Article 15 Player Lists and Official Delegation Lists
- Participating schools are allowed to register a maximum of Eighteen Players, two (2) of whom shall be goalkeepers and Two Officials.
- Each Participating schools shall submit a filled registration package that will include;
a) School Team form
b) Identification Cards for each Player and Official of the school Team
All Registration Documents should be submitted to the Organizing committee at least 21 days prior to the first match of the Competition
- In the case of a serious injury, a player may be substituted 24 hours before the kick-off of his school team’s first match at the competition.
- The following information is required to accompany the school team-list for each player
The Golden Shoe will be awarded to the Player that scores the most number of goals in the Competition. If two or more players score the same number of goals, the number of assists will be decisive.
The Golden Ball will be awarded to the best player in the Tournament on the basis of a vote taken amongst selected observers of the final phase of the competition.
To be determined by the Organizing committee.
The Organizing Committee shall issue any instructions necessitated by special circumstances that may arise during the course of the event. These instructions shall form an integral part of these regulations.
Any matters not provided for in these regulations and any cases of force majeure shall be decided by the Organizing Committee. All decisions shall be final and binding and not subject to appeal.
The copyright of the fixture lists drawn up in accordance with the provisions of these regulations is the property of the Organizing committee.
Any waiver by Organizing committee of any breach of these regulations (including of any document referred to in these regulations) will not operate as, or be construed to be, a waiver of any breach of such provision or of any breach of any other provision or a waiver of any right arising out of these regulations or any other document. Any such waiver shall only be valid if given in writing. Failure by the LSFA to insist upon strict adherence to any provision of these regulations, or any document referred to in these regulations, on one or more occasions will not be considered to be a waiver of, or deprive the LSFA of the right to subsequently insist upon adherence to that provision or any other provision of these regulations, or any document referred to in these regulations.
These regulations have been approved by the Organizing committee and come into force immediately.