By Olusegun Folarin

Ogun state has emerged winner of the 5th edition of National under 18 boys football tournament tagged MKO Abiola cup.

The Ogun state team, Beyond Limits Football Academy defeated their counterpart from Kwara State by a lone goal in the final match of the competition organized by the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria, YSFON,

Kparobo Arierhi got the only goal of the match in the first half of the encounter played at the MKO International Stadium, Kuto Abeokuta while Edo state defeated by Kaduna state by two goals to one in the third place match.

Speaking after the game, the YSFON Chairman in Ogun state, Alhaji Waheed Lawal who was full of praises for the successful hosting of the championship, described the competition as a benchmark for age-grade competitions where true raw talented players are discovered for the national teams and  clubs in the Country’s top flight, Nigeria Premier Football League

Alhaji Lawal expressed satisfaction with the quality of participation of 12 teams comprising of two teams from each of the six geo-political zones in the country, assuring that the tournament has come to stay with a promise to package a better edition in  2024 

In their separate contributions, two ex-Internationals, Kadiri Ikhana and Tajudeen Disu expressed dissatisfaction with the low turn out of fans and non-representation of the Ogun State Government in the competition’s final organized to celebrate an icon and pillar of Sports in Africa, late Moshood Kashimawo Abiola who was from the state and contributed immensely to the development of sports in the the state

The duo however commended YSFON in the state for organizing the competition to discover more talented players for the development of Nigerian football.

Also, the YSFON National Organising Secretary, Mr Abdulrazak Usman said the body would continue to organise age grade competitions that would assist in the discovery of talents for the nation.

He advocated training and retraining for grassroot coaches to enable them to meet the international standards.


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