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Teams Battle For N1, 850,000 In JOF U-13 Cup Finals

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All roads lead to the Sports Centre of the University of Lagos in Akoka, Yaba, Lagos as the final ceremony of the 5th edition of JOF U-13 Cup

All roads lead to the Sports Centre of the University of Lagos in Akoka, Yaba, Lagos as the final ceremony of the 5th edition of JOF U-13 Cup Football Championship holds on Sunday.

The journey of the 5th edition, which started on Sunday 11 February, 2024 with a kicked off at Union Bank playground in Surulere with 64 team, as against 32 in the 2023 edition, will be climaxed on 12 May at UNILAG Sports Centre with the final clash between Zamadek Football Academy and HB Utility Football Academy

In its bid to further incentivising participation and encourage the dedication by the players, as well as rewarding talent, the sponsor of JOF U-13 football competition, JOF Nigeria Limited, has jacked up the prize monies to be given to the winners and the three other runners up teams of the fifth edition.

Last year, a packaged prize money of N1,500,000 was doled out, but this year, the sponsor at a media briefing on Thursday in Lagos announced a total prize of N1, 850,000 which will be given out during the closing ceremony scheduled for University of Lagos Sports Centre in Akoka, Yaba, Lagos on Sunday 12 May 2024.

The winners will go home with the sum of N750,000, first runners get N500,000, second and third runners up will pocket N350,000 and N250, 000 respectively.

Individual prizes of N25,000 each will also be given to the Highest Goalscorer, Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper.

Director of Strategic Support Services, JOF Nigeria Limited, Adeyinka Adetunji said that, though the players are still very young to be spoilt with monetary rewards, the need to encourage and motivate them, and to send a strong message that their God-given talent can bring fortune to them if they are serious with what are doing, prompted the increased monetary packages for the players.

He recalled how the sponsor company took JOF All Stars team of 30 players on playing tour of Lagos, Oyo and Ogun State last year’s November and the enthusiasm that followed after the exercise.

“The JOF U-13 Football Tournament has emerged as a catalyst for social cohesion and community engagement for our youths. Through the power of Sports, we have witnessed first-hand JOF All Stars who played PSI of Ibadan and Remo Stars of Ikenne, Ogun State with the sole and of further exposing the boys to top players from the tournament.

“We put them in a week-long camp where we encouraged them to bond together under one roof and exposed them to leadership training program.

“We will still have another set of All Stars team this year after the final. The plan is to expose these youngsters to life outside football.

“The camping and the tour were good exposure for the players. This is a testimony to the fact that we are taken the annual JOF U-13 Football Tournament beyond football with a focus to development these players,” Olatunji said.

Olatunji commended the support the tournament has been receiving from the sporting media since the first edition in 2020. This, he said, is unprecedented; and like Oliver Twist; he asked for more.

He also appreciated the support from some brands which believe in the vision of the tournament.

“This year as usual, we are expecting some brands presence from Milo, Maltina, Indomie, JOF salt, Custodian Insurance, First Bank and others during the final ceremony,” he said.

Secretary of Lagos State Grassroots Soccer Association, Abubakre Ishola said the organization is out to provide a platform for the kids to develop their talent, build character and instil passion for the game in them.

“We would like to express our profound gratitude to our sponsor, JOF Nigeria Limited for their unwavering support and commitment to youth soccer development in Lagos State for the past four years.

“Without the dedication of Dr Olusegun Olugboyegun to our course, event like this would not have been possible. Sir, we are truly grateful for your magnanimous support,” he said.

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Lagos Sports Commission DG Meets French Consul General At France Embassy

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The Director General of Lagos State Sports Commission, Lekan Fatodu on Wednesday hosted in Lagos by the Consul General of France

The Director General of Lagos State Sports Commission, Lekan Fatodu on Wednesday hosted in Lagos by the Consul General of France and his team at the Consulate in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Discussions held centred around strengthening the existing ties between Lagos State and France, with a particular focus on Sports.

Avenues for mutually beneficial collaboration that would not only deepen the cultural exchange between the two nations but also accelerate the development of sports in Lagos State from capacity building for sports administration and coaching to facilitate sports business opportunities, as well as organising joint sporting events were explored.

The Consular General, the French Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Laurent Favier assured Lagos State Sports Commission of support on sports development particularly in technical aspects of sports aimed at enhancing talent growth.

The Director General appreciated Favier and his team, stating that the kind expression of support by the French Embassy will be a remarkable pivot in the extraordinary investment and assistance Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is providing towards sporting excellence

“France has a rich sporting heritage, and their expertise in various disciplines can undoubtedly elevate the standards of sports in our state. Likewise, the vibrant and passionate sporting culture and ecosystem in Lagos holds immense potential for fruitful partnerships”, Fatodu stated

He expressed his gratitude to Mr Favier and the entire team at the French Consulate for their warm hospitality and their commitment to furthering closer ties between the two nations and looked forward to the countless opportunities that lie ahead for the development of sports in Lagos State and the enrichment of cultural ties with France.

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Ijebu United Raises Alarm Over Ownership Of Golden Eaglets Player

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Ogun State based Nigeria National League side Ijebu United have raised the alarm over the ownership of youngster AbdulGaniyu Damilare

Ogun State based Nigeria National League side Ijebu United have raised the alarm over the ownership of youngster AbdulGaniyu Damilare Ibrahim, who is currently playing for the Golden Eaglets in the ongoing WAFU B championship in Ghana.

In a letter of concern and protest signed by its General Manager, Fatai Olayinka, which was sent to the Nigerian football authorities and also made available to the media, it categorically stated that the said player is a legally acquired player of Ijebu United.The letter reads, “Attention of Ijebu United Football Club has been drawn to the final list of players of the Nigeria National U-17 squad presently in Ghana for the WAFU tournament and particularly, in reference to the above player – ABDUL GANIYU DAMILARE IBRAHIM, purported to belong to Hero Power Academy. We hereby wish to state as follows:

1.That ABDUL GANIYU DAMILARE IBRAHIM is a bonafide player of Ijebu United Football Club.

2. That Ijebu United FC discovered and declared interest on the said player after a scouting tournament held at Ilorin, kwara State, in Year 2021.

3. That Ijebu United FC, immediately relocated the said player to Ijebu Ode, enrolled him in school and took complete charge of his welfare on a daily basis since same year 2021. (documents of the player in school uniform and photos besides official vehicle of Ijebu United FC herewith attached).

4. That in view of the fact that the said player, was a minor and in order to register him for the league, Ijebu United FC requested and got the parental consent from the biological parents of the said player and properly documented same at the High Court of Justice in kwara State precisely, on January 16th, 2023. (copy of the parental consent referred to is herewith attached).

5. That the player has since been enjoying remuneration from Ijebu United FC and was actually registered and participated during the 2023/2024 Nigeria National League football season and equally registered duly for the current 2024 edition of the Federation Cup Competition for Ijebu United FC (player’s licences herewith attached).

6. That Ijebu United FC was aware all along in respect to the involvement of the said player during activities and programmes of the Nigeria National Team and with our full blessings.

7. That it therefore, comes to us as a shock and disbelief that the said player is being credited to another football outfit and not Ijebu United FC. (copy of publication herewith attached).

8. That we are categorical in our claims that ABDUL GANIYU DAMILARE IBRAHIM, is a player belonging to Ijebu United FC, and plead with the authority concerned to use appropriate offices to reflect accordingly in the spirit of justice, fair play and protections of our investment on the said player over the years.”

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Lawmaker Hon Shittu pledges support for Kwara SWAN

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Chairperson, House Committee on Sports in the Kwara State House of Assembly, Honourable Rukayat Shittu, has pledged support towards robust media coverage of sports activities in the state.

Speaking to executive members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, (SWAN), Kwara State chapter, in Ilorin on Tuesday, the lawmaker said that with the massive investments by Governor Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq at the Kwara State Stadium, it is imperative that media support must be enhanced.

“With the renovation of sports facilities in the stadium, more sports activities will definitely come to Kwara. The media and press are the complementary arm of sports.

“These are media and brand related events that our state will benefit from immensely. Tinkering with our media sports oversight function to support sports reporting in the state,” Hon Shittu.

She also hailed the present administration of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the total overhauling of sports facilities since inception.

The lawmaker explained that the state legislative arm will continue to initiate policies through effective legislation to all year round development.

“Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has been doing alot in sports since his assumption of office, the reactivation of state sports festival, state’s participation in the National and International l championship and prompt release of funds for Kwara United were some of his milestones in the last five years in office” she said.

Shittu is one the youngest lawmakers to win an election in Africa and was once a journalist herself.

While speaking to the representatives of the guild of sports journalists in the state, Hon Shittu pledged to partner SWAN ahead of the 2024 Kwara SWAN Media Games.

Expressing thanks, Chairman of Kwara SWAN, Ayodeji Ismail hailed Hon Shittu for her vibrancy and versatility as the youngest lawmaker whose positive impact and contributions at the floor of the house has become a reference point.

Ayodeji, who asked for the assistance of Hon Shittu in the appropriation of media budget for sports writers for coverage of championship, noted SWAN will continue to objectively report the activities of the government tailored to the growth of sports.

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