The tournament organisers announced on Monday that the new date for LIFT will be from September 5 to 8. The four-team competition was earlier billed to hold between July 25 and 28.
Initiator of the pre-season programme and former Super Eagles midfield player, Mutiu Adepoju said the change in date was forced by the month of Ramadan which takes place between July and August.
“It has become very necessary to postpone the tournament which was earlier scheduled for July 25 to 28 to September 5th through 8th to allow our Muslim brothers in the participating teams observe the month of Ramadan which starts on July 7 and ends on August 6.
"We are very sensitive to issue like this, so we have no choice than to respect the rights of our Muslim brothers who are training hard ahead of the tournament,” said Adepoju.
Lagos State Football Association chairman, Seyi Akinwunmi, also explained that the schedule of the Federation Cup (formerly the FA Cup) also forced a change in the tournament's date.
The Federation Cup final stages are expected to hold in July at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos and Akinwunmi said the Lagos FA wants to avoid a jammed calendar next month.
“Apart from the fact that the Ramadan is coming up in the month of July, the Federation Cup is also coming at the same period, with Lagos State as the host of the two tournaments. We definitely have to re-schedule one of the events. So after a meeting of all stakeholders, it was unanimously agreed that the best period after July is to target the Fifa Free Week, which runs from September 6th to 10th,” said Akinwunmi.
LIFT has also received the guarantee of the Lagos State government.
“If the postponement will translate to good organisation and overall success of the tourney, the Lagos State government is in full support. Let me tell you, from day one, His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State has pledged his support for the tournament, not only for this year, but for the subsequent editions. We must all work together to make the first edition a success, with this, the next edition will be a piece of cake,” the Lagos State Commissioner for Sports & Youth Development, Hon Waidi Enitan Oshodi said.
The tournament will hold annually, according to Adepoju.
The maiden edition of LIFT will start with the four clubs drawn in a knockout format.