Hy Imam Moromoke
All is now set for the grand finale of the maiden edition of The Eletu Under-20 Unity Cup, between Kwara Football Academy and Smile Football Club in Ilorin the Kwara State capital, come Saturday, 6th of November 2021. The competition which kicked off on the 24th of October, saw 16 exciting groups of young and talented footballers slug it out in four groups, comprising 4 teams each.
In one of the semi-finals, Kwara Football Academy defeated Gaa Akanbi FC, 2-1; while Smile FC humbled Real Betis FC, 5-1. While the two losers- Real Betis and Gaa Akanbi FC will trade tackles for the 3rd position; and the ultimate prize will be contested, by the coach Sam Elijah boys (Kwara Football Academy, and Smile FC.
During the unveiling ceremony on the 22nd of October, at the Kwara Hotel, the sponsor of the competition, Mr. Saka Yusuf Eletu in an interaction with newsmen promised generous prizes for the winners.
Mr. Eletu, a Real Estate consultant, based in Abuja, said he was inspired to organise the competition, by the belief that, sports, especially football is built upon a number of “shared values” -team work, commitment, co-operation and the need to foster unity among the youths across the country, especially now that Nigeria is going through a lot, in terms insecurity, which many experts attribute to idleness (unemployment) of the youths. He therefore, decided to start in this modest way, while hoping to consolidate whatever is built now, in the next edition of the completion, which he intends to make, an annual event.
According to him, the energies of the youths would be better channeled towards positive, charitable and more productive ventures; hence, a total number of 16 teams registered for the completion, including teams from elite football academies in the State; some of which are Kwara Football Academy, Musty Football Academy among others.
The main organising committee of the competition, headed by Coach Song Olayemi, emphasized the partnership of the organisers, with different football stakeholders in the State, prominent among which are, the Kwara State Football Association, Nigerian Football Coaches Association and Nigerian Referee Association- Kwara State chapter.
The sponsor also told newsmen that, he is looking at bringing in some foreign scouts, with a view to identifying and exposing local talents that would be discovered during the competition, to professional football clubs both in Nigeria, and abroad where they would all go and actualise their individual dreams of becoming a professional football player. He describes the gesture towards talented local footballers, as a way of giving back to the society that has been very kind to him.
The jerseys (of different sets and colours) for the 16 participating-teams were unveiled at the press briefing.
The final matches of the competition will hold this Saturday, at the main bowl of the Kwara State Stadium.