Okocha, Ballack, Pires, Others To Play Six-a-side Tournament

By Adebayo Williams

Former Super Eagles skipper Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has been named among ex-internationals to play in a six-a-side tournament to be launched in London next summer. The competition will feature Nigeria, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, France, Portugal, Australia, Netherlands, China and England. Among other participants are Germany’s Michael Ballack, France’s Robert Pires and Portugal’s Deco.

Carles Puyol, Michael Ballack and Deco have also been confirmed for the tournament, which organisers said would be made up entirely of “recently retired fully capped international” players. Games are set to be played over 30 minutes and the tournament will feature a group stage followed by a knockout round.

Future events are planned for arenas in Berlin, Istanbul, Beijing, Sydney, Miami and Seattle.

Jonathan Rogers, the managing director of organisers Pitch International, said the long-term objective of Star Sixes is to become ingrained within the global football calendar as the premier event for retired international footballers, in effect, the ‘World Cup for Legends.’



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