By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
Hosts, Oyo State have emerged winners of the South West Zonal Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) U-16 Boys Football Tournament.
In an entertaining final decided at Prospect High School, Abanla Idi-Ayunre Oluyole Local Government Area, Ibadan, Oyo State and watched by an appreciative crowd, the state defeated hard fighting Ekiti by 4-3 via penalties after their game ended 0-0 at regulation time.
In his remarks after the final, Vice President South West of Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria, Alabi Rafiu Abayomi aka Oluaye, commended all the five states that took part in the competition and was full of praises for the players for displaying spirit of sportsmanship throughout the duration of the competition and the officials for being fair to all the teams, saying; that the successful organisation of the competition is an indication that the zone achieved it’s objective which is developing football at the grassroots.
” I’ m very excited with the successful hosting of this tournament coupled with the football artistry displayed by the players and the good officiating which helped in having a hitch free tournament.
” Kudos must also go to the five states that took part in the competition namely; Oyo, Lagos, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti and I believe that by the time the next edition is held, all the six states in the zone will be part of the championship because it will go a long way in developing grassroots football in the zone.”
Alabi was full of praises for the national body of YSFON for coming up with the noble idea of having zonal championships aimed at developing football in all the six geopolitical zones of the country even as he expressed hope that future tournaments will be a huge improvement on this year’s edition.
Also speaking, South West Zonal Secretary of the body, Senior Olufemi Ilori commended the turnout of fans and their maturity and orderliness throughout the tournament which he hope fans of other zones will emulate.
” It’s very unusual for one to witness large turnout of fans in a grassroots competition but what we saw in Ibadan is an indication that this tournament did not only elicit interest from the fans but have their support.
” I must also commend the fans for their maturity and support which is needed for our football to grow and I hope fans of other zones in the country will emulate them”, he said.
He said that with the successful completion of the tournament, the zone is ready to maintain its leadership position in grassroots football development in the country.