Three female soccer players from the maiden edition of the Afusat Olabimpe Abiodun Female Gold Cup in Ikorodu, Lagos, have won an all-expenses-paid trip to the United States of America to further their football career.
The competition was held from Jan. 23 to Feb. 13 at Strong Towers School Sports Field, Ikorodu, Lagos State.
NAN reports that the highest goal scorer, most valuable player, and best Goalkeeper would benefit the U.S trip.
The beneficiaries are Omolara Odebode, the highest goal scorer, Anifowose Ayomiposi, the best Goalkeeper, and Osundina Kemi, the most valuable player.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Bolowotan, said that the tournament was organized to promote girl-child development.
He expressed the hope that the competition would promote the growth of female football.
“The tournament is meant for our girls. Three of the girls will be traveling to the United States of America to nurture and get exposed.
“The winners and some also will be awarded cash prizes,” he said.
He added that the competition would encourage more girls to venture into sports.
“It is a good one happening here in Ikorodu; this is what we have been longing for; we will encourage more people to come to the assistance of the girl-child.
“I think it is high time we start doing things like this to encourage our girl child to begin participating in sporting events like this.
“Other activities that can engage them and give them hope both physically, mentally, and Healthwise should also be introduced into our society.
“I commend the organizer and sponsor to do more, and we need more of such events in our society so that we can have a better society in which all of us will be proud of,” he said.
Adeoye Abiodun, the Sponsor and Vice Chairman of Ikorodu Division of the Lagos State Football Association, expressed the optimism that the competition had exposed talented female players.
He added that the competition would soon be upgraded to a seasonal level to discover more talented players.
“This is the first Afusat Abiodun Competition in memory of our late mother, who died 39 years ago. We will be doing this yearly.
“The competition is an opportunity for girls to help showcase their talents to have more girls play for the National team and the U-17 team.
“Hopefully, some of them can also play in Europe, and also we hope we can get more of Osuolale Azzisat among them.
“This is the first edition, and we want to make it a yearly tournament; we started three weeks ago, and this is the final. We hope to make it a seasonal contest.
“We don’t want it to be team tournament alone; we want to have more than that, maybe a seasonal league also,” he said.
Adefioye Funmilayo, Captain, Papa Soccer Academy, Epe, said the competition had contributed immensely to her career that would help her forge ahead.
“We are glad we can showcase our talents, and we hope to do better next time.
“We appreciate the organizer for exposing us to the world, and this competition has raised the bar of our career because a lot of people are seeing us and what we are capable of doing,” she said.
Also speaking, Coach Adeboye Soneye said that some girls needed to work on their penalty shoot-out.
He added that such competitions would encourage many girls to shun crime.
NAN reports that Prince Kazeem Eletu of Ikorodu was gifted N150, OOO, Papa Soccer of Epe was gifted N100,000, while Makbet Queens and Young Achievers Queens were given N75,000 and N50,000, respectively.