The Organising Committee of the maiden President’s Cup on Tuesday rescheduled the zonal eliminations of the tournament to January 2015.
The Chairman of the committee Alhassan Yakmut reporters in Abuja that the event would begin from January 9 to January 13 and not December 15 to December 23.
He said the change in date was necessitated by unforeseen circumstances in spite of the encouraging responses from the states.
“ The response from the states is very encouraging (but), we were compelled to review the zonal elimination upward in terms of the timelines.
“So, we have moved from December 15 to December 23, 2014 for the zonal eliminations to January 9 to January 13.
“And the round of 16 will commence on January  19 with arrival at January 17 and draws on January 18.
“Thereafter, we will conclude the tournament proper on January 29 vis-a-vis the fact that the third place match will be played on the eve of the first place match.
Reports state that the President’s Cup is a private sector initiative geared towards the growth and development of football in the country.
The tournament is for players within the ages of 16 and 19 and will be played from the local government levels to the grand finale.
On adherence to age grade at the tournament, the chairman said they would work with the School Sports Federation and the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) to tackle the problem of cheating.
“From 2007 till date, we have the data of those who have passed through school sports and we are relying on that data to ensure that people who are above 19 do not have access to this tournament.
“This is because the purpose of this tournament is to have a bottom line of 16 years so that if you are 16 and you are good enough then you can go to the under-17 camp.
“And if you are 18, you can be in under-20 camp and if you are 19, you have under-23 competitions to participate in.
“So, we don’t see any reason why anyone in particular will dissipate energy on cheating when there is an open window for 16 and 19.
“We are happy that the NFA is directly involved in the technical segment of the tournament.
“And they (officials) will reconcile their document in the various leagues to be sure that we do not rediscover people whom have been discovered,’’ Yakmut said.
Yakmut, who is also the Director of Grassroots Sports, National Sports Commission (NSC), said, the tournament will be an annual event.
He said the committee was planning to ensure a long term sponsorship.
“ Because it is a brand new event, it has the challenges of sponsorship, but we are all determined to go either through the challenges or maneuvre the challenges to achieve our objectives.
“It is an annual event; this particular 2014 edition is terminating on the 29th of Jan. 2015 and then we are going to start work assiduously towards the 2015 edition.
“Because there is no one that will be 16 years twice, so there will be no room to miss any year in the annals of the event.
“So, what we intend to do is we go into long term sponsorship. If sponsors do not come in good numbers in the first edition, we will be able to sign a four-year term to sustain sponsorship.’’