By Adekunle Williams
The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, says the just concluded Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Unity Cup 2021 has discovered new soccer talents in the state.
Obasa made this known at the final match of the BAT Unity Cup 2021 played at the Agege Stadium in Lagos on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the maiden edition of the tournament started on March 13 to commemorate the 69th birthday of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The speaker said that the state government organised the grassroots football competition to ensure unity among youths in the state.
He said the state had been able to engage youths meaningfully through the grassroots football tournament.
Obasa was represented by the Director-General, BAT Foundation, Mr Ipoola Omisore.
He said that organisers of the competition would increase the participating teams to all the 57 Local Council Development Areas and Local Government Areas of the state.
The speaker congratulated the Ikorodu North for winning the maiden edition of the competition, saying that the participating teams had showcased their talents.
“This is a tournament that has brought our youths together, and they have been able to showcase their talents, rather than engaging in negative activities that can destroy their lives and future.
“This competition has been able to discover some young boys between the ages of 16 and 22 and the idle hands of these youths will be reduced.
“I advise these teams to stay together for the next next edition that will be played by all the 57 LCDAs and LGAs in the state,” he said.
Obasa also advised the council chairmen to invest in the future of their teams so that they could replace the older players in the country.
He said the 2022 edition would involve corporate bodies that would sponsor the tournament, instead of putting the expenses in the hands of government .
Also, Mrs Opeyemi Akindele, Special Adviser to the Speaker on Party Affairs, said the organisers tagged the tournament: “Unity” because Tinubu believed in uniting the people.
Akindele said the tournament had also made youths to come together.
According to her, the organisers only selected eight LCDAs and LGAs from the three senatorial districts, but the 2022 edition will involve all the local government areas in the state.
Akindele said that winner of the competition went home with N250,000, the second runner-up got N150,000, while the third collected N100,000.
NAN reports that the BAT Unity Cup 2021 was won by Ikorodu North LCDA, beating Alimosho LCDA by alone goal.
The third place match was played between Ifako Ijaiye and Agege LGAs, which ended 3-0 in favour of Ifako Ijaiye.
A novelty match was played between the Obasa Special Advisers and the Organisers which ended 0-2 in favour of the organisers. (NAN)