The Onigbongbo Football Club representing the Ward A of Onigbongbo LCDA has defeated the GRA FC of ward B 6-5 on penalties to win the Onigbongbo Chairman’s Cup, dubbed ‘1st Olakanle Cup’ on Friday at the Oregun High School Football pitch.
The week long tournament sponsored by the LCDA under the leadership of the Executive Chairman. Hon Oladotun Olakanle with the aim of promoting positive youths’ engagement through grassroots sports development.
The keenly contested final had the physical playing GRA boys making more attacking moves against their more enterprising opponent and the goalkeeper of the Onigbongbo team, John Obuka made brilliant saves to keep his team in contest for the Onigbongbo LCDA Chairman’s Cup.
After a pulsating goalless draw at fulltime the winner was decided through the resultant penalty shootout.
As expected the Onigbongbo goalkeeper showed class by stopping 2 penalties to bring his team back into the game after losing their first kick from the spot and eventually winning the first Oladotun Olakanle’s cup.
Midfielder and captain for the Onigbongbo FC Gbolahon Afolabi was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the tournament for his creative display throughout the tournament, propelling the team to victory.
The Executive Chairman Onigbongbo LCDA, Hon Oladotun Olakanle told Lagos Panorama at the Oregun high School that this is a followup to his administration earlier in the month had engagement in a breakfast meeting with business organizations within the LCDA to see how they can collaborate with the local government in creating opportunities for youths within the council.
Olakanle said “this tournament was part of the ideas we conceived shortly after the #EndSARS uprising. So as to bring our teeming youths together under a peaceful and friendly atmosphere for grassroots sports development”.
“This platform is expected to help identify budding football talents by some of our local coaches engaged to select talents so as to groom and help boost their footballing career”.
“You know government cannot do it alone so we are also engaging private organization to partner with us in our youth development programme. Hence we are working with private sectors to help develop sporting facilities for the benefits of our youths” concluded the amiable Council Chairman
The Vice Chairperson of the council, Barr Olufunke Rakiya Hassan also expressed her satisfaction for the successful tournament. She said “emotions are high, people are excited, the boys are doing well and I know they are going to do much better”.
“The tournament is a big success and I hope it will improve with subsequent editions. We are creating a platform for our youths to exhibits their talents. They should have trust in us and we will take them to the expected future” she averred.
The supervisory councilor for Youths and Sports Hon Rahaman Olanipade noted that “as you can see we have a youth as our chairman, so he easily identifies with the youth”.
He also said “during the EndSARS uprising, you could see the chairman’s youthfulness and ability to easily mix and identify with youths and this tournament was conceptualized then.
“Football is a unifying factor that bring everybody together, so our chairman deem it fit to organize the tournament to bring everyone together under a friendly atmosphere.
The winner of the tournament went home with the Chairman’s Cup, One-Hundred Thousand naira (#100,000), gold medals and branded jerseys.
Second placed team had #50,000, silver medals and branded jersey while the third placed team went home with #25,000 and bronze medals.
The Management of the Ikeja Allstars FC, champions of the Betways National 5 Aside have expressed interest in drafting at least four players from the tournament which include the captain of Onogbongbo FC, Gbolahon Afolabi and goalkeeper John Obuka to join the team in the next year Neymar 5s world championship, an international tournament sponsored by the Brazilian International football star to identify budding talents across the globe.