By Ibrahim Sheriff (Gold)
The maiden edition of the “Eletu Unity Cup” came to a glamorous conclusion on Saturday, 6th November, 2021, at the main bowl of the Kwara State Stadium, Ilorin.
The final match was a contest between Kwara Football Academy (KFA) , and Smile FC. The match ended 1-0 in favour of KFA, with the deciding goal coming in the first half of the match. It is ironic that, the entertaining encounter did not produce more than one goal, but the the KFA boys wasted a lot of gilt-edged goalscoring chances, to the consternation of everyone in attendance, including their Technical Director, Sam Elijah.
It would be recalled that the 3rd place match was decided on Friday, between Gaa Akanbi FC and Real Betis, with the latter losing out 5-2 on penalties, after the two teams remained tied at 1-1, after regulation time.
Some of the personalities in attendance were; the executive Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, represented by the executive Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Coach Bola Magaji; the Chairman, Kwara State Football Association, Mallam Idriz Abdullahi Musa Thuraya; the Chairman, Kwara United Football Club, Kumbi Titiloye; the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari (CFR) represented by Imam Male, Alhaji Abdullahi Abdulhameed, among other clerics and dignitaries.
The administrator, Kwara Football Academy, Alhaji Ibrahim Bako, and the academy’s Technical Director, Coach Sam Elijah (MON) were also in attendance, alongside the State chairman of the Nigerian Football Coaches Association, coach Tunde Sani, and scouts from Sia One football academy, Abuja.
Merit awards were given to some individuals in recognition of their contribution to the development of Sports at the grassroot in Kwara State.
The winner of the competition, KFA, smiled to the bank, with a cheque of half a million Naira, while the runner-up, Smile FC, went home with a cheque of ₦300,000,and the third-placed team, Gaa Akanbi FC got ₦150,000. Prices were also given to the most valuable player, the highest goal scorer as well as winners of other categories.
The sponsor of the competition, Mr. Saka Yusuf Eletu promised to make it more elaborate next year, as he intends to widen the scope to cover the entire 16 local government areas of the State.