Foundation to sponsor 3 female footballers on U.S trip

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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 News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 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 goal keeper would benefit the U.S trip.

The beneficiaries are Omolara Odebode, highest goal scorer, Anifowose Ayomiposi, Best Goal keeper and Osundina Kemi, the most valuable player of the competition.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Director-General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Bolowotan, said that the tournament was organised to promote the development of the girl-child.

He expressed the hope that the competition would promote growth of female football.

“The tournament is meant for our girls. Three of the girls will be sent to the United States of America to nurture and also get exposed.

“The winners and some also will be awarded with cash prizes,” he said.

He added that the competition would encourage more girl child 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 start 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 organiser 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 too.

He added that the competition would soon be ungraded to seasonal level to ensure that more talented players are discovered.

“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 the girls to help them showcase their talents to also have some of the girls play for the National team and also 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 tournament.

“We don’t want it to just 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 contribute immensely to her career that would help her forge ahead.

“We are glad we are able to 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 of the girls needed to work in their penalty shoot out.

He added that such competitions would encourage a large number of girl child to shun crime.

NAN reports that Prince Kazeem Eletu of Ikorodu was awarded with N150, OOO, Papa Soccer of Epe was given N100,000 while Makbet Queens and Young Achievers Queens were given N75,000 and N50,000 respectively. (NAN)