Many grassroots football competitions were held in the third and fourth quarters of this year, but the Babatunde Raji Fashola Cup and Abesan Cup were high profile competitions that brought out the best from grassroots clubs in Lagos during the period.
To start with, the Babatunde Raji Fashola Football competition was organised in Ikorodu during the third quarter of the outgoing year. Former Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperative, Chief Olusanya Kaoli sponsored the tournament in the name of Governor Fashola, as his own contribution to the development of Ibesheland.
“It is during Governor Fashola’s administration that Ibeshe road was constructed, so we are happy. I believe if I sponsor a competition in his name, it will be a way of appreciating what the governor has done for us in Ibesheland,” he said.
16 grassroots clubs across Ikorodu featured in the championship, which lasted for a month. Oshoru United FC of Abule Ikorodu defeated Insurance FC of Owode Ikorodu 3-2 via penalty shootouts after one goal apiece at the regulation time. The pulsating encounter was held at Ibeshe secondary School, Ikorodu.
Chief Coach of Oshoru United, Amos told GSG that his team won the game because the players were committed and played to instructions throughout the competition. He said the game was tough for his team but noted that the better side won the game at the end of the day.
“It was a game I cannot forget in my life. Our opponents stretched us to the limit and we thanked God that we came out victorious. I also want to thank our fans for their support throughout the tournament,” he said.
Insurance Coach, Rasak Salami also commended his team for their performance despite the team’s defeat and promised that they will win the title next time.
Abesan Cup also added some colours to the third quarter under review. The tournament was organised by Tayo Adeyemo who is a member of the Abesan Football Association.
The annual tournament which involved 32 teams was played at Abesan Estate Playground, Alimosho, La gos.
All the participating teams lived up to expectations as Future Heroes emerged champions after defeating United Academy 7-6 through penalty shootouts after a barren draw in the regulation time.
Coach of United Academy, Biodun Babatola blamed his team’s defeat on bad officiating which allegedly gave their opponents an undeserved victory.
“I was not comfortable with the officiating. We deserved to win the game at the regulation time but the centre referee was biased against us,” he alleged.
In his own reaction, coach of Future Heroes, Saliu Yusuf said the officiating was quite impressive and advised their opponents to take the result in good faith.
The fourth quarter of the outgoing year was also busy for grassroots clubs, as more football competitions were held at various venues. Among the competitions organised in the fourth quarter was the Lagos HOS Cup football tournament, organised by the Lagos Head of Service and it involved all the state ministries, parastatals and government agencies.
Basic Education Board, SUBEB defeated defending champions, Judiciary 5-3 after one goal apiece in regulation time at Agege Stadium to emerge this year’s champions of HOS Cup.
Lagos State Ministry of Environment walloped the Office of Sports 4-0 to win the female category of the tourney.
The Extra Joss football championship was also held, as Messiah FC emerged champions. They defeated Apapa Golden Stars 5-4 via penalty shootouts after the final match ended 1-1in regulation time of the final encounter.