The Delta State U-17 Female Soccer Team has clinched the first edition of Madam Muslimat Abegbe Sanusi Memorial (MASM) competition.
The female soccer tournament, which was held in honour of Madam Abegbe Sanusi 10 year’s remembrance was organized by the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) in collaboration with Ilaji Stadium and Resort Center held between 1st and 7th of July, 2018 at Ilaji Stadium and Resort Center, Akanran, Ibadan.
While presenting his speech shortly after the presentation of trophy to the winner, the Governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Yomi Oke, applauded the organizer for his effort in resuscitating the dying female soccer in the state and country as a whole. He acknowledged that competition like this will go a long way in giving a new lease of life in order to retrieve the lost glory of female soccer in Nigeria.
His words, “This encouraging gesture is a testimony to the importance the organizers accord this unique aspect of the social life and the premium placed on the values inherent in the resuscitation of female soccer that is dying in the state and Nigeria.
It is an important occasion where female soccer is being given a new lease of life in order to retrieve its past glory in Oyo State and Nigeria among other sports.”
Governor Abiola Ajimobi, while calling on corporate organizations, philanthropists and other sports lovers to come on board and join hands with the state government to accelerate the development of sports, restated the commitment of his administration to recognize private individuals and organizations who are complementing government efforts in the area of sports development.
The Chairman, Ilaji Stadium and Resort Centre, Engineer Dotun Sanusi, appealed to the relevant authorities who are saddled with responsibility of sports management in the country to ensure that this year’s Sports Festival slated for November does not experience postponement, noting that the festival is one of the competitions where the nation raw talents in sports are discovered.
Engineer Sanusi disclosed that the MASM competition has proved that with enabling environment the country is capable of producing talents that can favourably compete with their counterpart in abroad. He implored sports managers in the country to use competitions like Sports Festival and MASM Cup as incubators of sporting talents to produce genuine global competitors.
He commended the official of YSFON for sharing the belief of Ilaji Stadium and Resort Center and all the participating teams for their conduct throughout the competition. Engr. Dotun said that with high level of performance demonstrated by all the participating teams the future of female soccer in the world as a whole is bright.
The YSFON National President, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, who was represented by the association National Secretary, Mr. Patrick Okpavuerhe, praised the Chairman of Ilaji Stadium and Oyo State government for providing enabling environment for the competition to thrive.
He called on all Nigerians, sports philanthropists and corporate organizations to assist by providing sponsorship for all YSFON tournaments in order to discover more talents for the country.
The YSFON scribe used the occasion to conferred awards of Life Patron and Matron to Engr. Dotun Sanusi and his wife, Joyce for their contributions to the development of sports generally.
Meanwhile, it was a stalemate at the keenly contested final match between Akwa Ibom State and Delta State as the match ended two goals apiece the duration time. The final match was decided by penalty shoot-out which went in favour of Delta State by four goals to one.
In the third place match, Edo State became the second runner up after defeating Oyo State counterpart also by penalty after both teams tied by two goals at the end of 90 minutes duration time. It was Edo State that carried the day by 4 goals to two.
Part of the highlight of the event were the presentation of awards to outstanding players and coach of the tournament, Blessing Akan and Glory Archibong of Akwa Ibom State team received the highest goal scorer award and Most Valuable Player award, Best Goalkeeper award went to Osaretin Joy from Edo State team, while Kwara State team received Fair Play award and Best Coach award went to the only Lam Emmanuel of Kaduna State team, the only female coach of the tournament.