2nd Edition of Afusat Olabimpe Abiodun Female Gold Cup climaxed at the Strong Tower School Stadium along Oke Ota-Ona road in Ikorodu on the 12th of February 2023.
Aimed at offering opportunities to striving fresh female soccer players, 16 teams registered across Lagos and Ogun State, commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Late Afusat Olabimpe Abiodun, spouse of Prince Yisau Akin Abiodun.
Launched at the Police Barrack Field in Igbogbo road on 15th January, the tournament was in collaboration with Ikorodu Divisional Football Association.
The female soccer tournament was sponsored by Azeez Abiodun, Afeez (Adeoye) Abiodun, Akeem Abiodun and Azeem Abiodun, all children of Prince Yisau Akin Abiodun.
Prior to the finale, Papa Soccer Queens defeated Makbeth Queens by a lone goal in a gruelling match, bestowing Papa Soccer Queens the 3rd position in the competition.
The team received a cheque of (One hundred and fifty thousand) 150,000 naira, presented to the team by HRM, Oba Kazeem Olanipekun Gbadamosi, the Ologijo of Ogijo, Otunba Adewale Anifowoshe, the Asiwaju of Ikorodu and Mr Adeoye Abiodun, vice-chairman of Ikorodu Divisional Football Association, applauding their outstanding feat as 2nd runner up.
Before the final game, Eminent personalities in the waterbed region; Former Lagos Commissioner for Information, Otunba Ayodele Elesho, Former Head Of Service Chairman, Alhaji Babatunde Tajudeen Rotinwa, BetNaija Officials, Alhaji Olawale Amusa, President of Ikorodu Crystal Club, Alhaji Sonibare Lukman, chairman, Ikorodu Divisional Football Association, Mr Fajebe Onasanya Babatunde and Ayangburen-in-council graced the soccer spectacle.
In the final game proper, Prince Kazeem Eletu Queens knocked Best Wale English Queens by 2 goals to nothing to clinch the competition’s trophy and cash price of 250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand naira).
Both goals were scored by Eletu Queens (on the lemon green jersey) in the first and second half, respectively overwhelming the strength of the losing (Best Wale English Queens) side in blue Jersey.
Not letting the 1st runner-up go unappreciated, Best Wale English Queens got a cheque of (two hundred thousand) 200,000 naira for their exceptional performance in the game.
Additionally, Anifowoshe Ayomiposi from Makbeth Queens won the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament with (Ten thousand) 10,000 naira cash price, Peace Ikeduba from Prince Kazeem Eletu Queens with 6 goals got rewarded as the highest goal scorer, taking home (Ten thousand) 10,000 naira cash price, while Omolara Odebode was the most valuable player in the tournament, bagging a 20,000 (twenty thousand) naira cash price and a four-year Scholarship.
Side-by-side game analysis was brilliantly anchored live by IKD 106.1 Sport Palava Radio presenters; Milobaby Sport Deen and Sulaiman Adelakun.
Speaking to Ikorodu News Network (INN), Afeez Adeoye Abiodun, event coordinator and one of the sponsors of the tournament stated that the games have been a month of excitement.
According to Mr Afeez Adeoye, the 1st edition in 2022 enlisted 10 teams across the Lagos regional divisions, but this year (2023) opened up to 16 teams, indicating tremendous growth in the planning process and expansion tendencies of the contest.
He continued, “Female teams from Kosofe, Anthony, Epe, Ikorodu, plus Ijebu-Ode, Shagamu and Abeokuta, putting on the rise to it an interstate competition as teams from Lagos and Ogun State participated”.
“It is basically for female football, so the age range is between 16 to 30 years of age, we’re simply allowing them to shine their light, even to females that are not in professional clubs” Mr Adeoye explained.
Furthermore, Adeoye expressed that the competition is a grassroot tournament to tap into the hidden potential of the girl child, developing them to be easily accessed by Nigerian clubs and international leagues.
“We’re using this platform to expose capable female footballers for shortlisting into both our Under-17 and Under-20 national teams”.
“It will surprise you to know that two participants in our first edition were also enlisted to play for Nigeria at the Under-17 world cup in India” Afeez Adeoye asserted.
Alhaji Yisau Abiodun, a prince in Ikorodu, father to the sponsors of the event, whose late wife is celebrated with the tournament, told Ikorodu News Network (INN) that his departed wife, Afusat Olabimpe was a woman of substance, who gave him four capable boys during her short life.
Adding that he always adored the memory of his wife and the brief period they spent together, Alhaji Abiodun let out that his continuous remembrance gave birth to the female sports competition.
Alhaji explains further, “The competition is an annual tournament to get our girls off the street and keep them busy pursuing football careers”.
“Some have undergone training but have no fora to a tournament like this for their talents to be seen, that’s what this concept is all about,” Alhaji Abiodun said.
Alhaji Abiodun later congratulated all the participants in the competition, stating that with such a promising display of talents the games provided, the future is bright for Nigerian female football.
HRM, Oba Taiwo Gbambose, Olumushin of Mushin-Reno Land, Alhaji Shamusi Arulogun, Imam Rafiu Abiodun, Otunba Longe, Otunba Isiaka Fatuga, and Lookman Gbamgbose were also in attendance.
Prince Kazeem Eletu Queens also won the maiden edition of the competition in 2022.
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