Aje United has defeated Citadel FC to win the 2019 edition of the Ramadan Cup.
The final played at the proposed Palace Playing Ground on Wednesday, June 5 saw the champions hitting the back of the net twice to go home with the top prize.
Fans and dignitaries turned out in record numbers to catch a glimpse of future football stars do battle.
The Onigando of Igando, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi, who was among the dignitaries, lauded the organisers for putting up a “well-organised” tournament.
“The tournament has been well organised and I believe that such a tournament as this will improve the play of every player within the community,” the Oba Gbadamosi said.
The traditional ruler also used the opportunity to call on new Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to help improve grassroots sports within the community and Lagos as a whole.
He equally expressed appreciation to a sponsor of the tournament, Chief Iyk Madu, who is the Mayedero of Igando and Managing Director of Evergreen Group Limited, for his consistency.
Chief Madu, who equally spoke with Our Community, thanked the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Prince Sulaimon Adebola Gbadamosi for a “job well done”.
He urged the participating youths to strive to become better players while believing that every goal they set will be achieved.
“We have to encourage them so that they can be better and every goal they set to achieve in their footballing career will be achievable,” he said.
Speaking of his expectations from the new governor, Chief Madu said, “What I expect from him is to improve football in the grassroots by creating some avenues, sponsoring, encouraging individuals and also inculcating it in the school system.
“Thereby, there will be time to reach out to all communities within the country.
“Lagos state has been a very fertile ground for footballers and it will remain in the future”.
He added that the standard of the tournament has been improving year in, year out.
However, he said, “There is still need for improvement. May be next time I will talk to Prince to know how we can better this place (referring to venue)”.
According to him, “The competition is a platform for players to showcase their talents and I don’t have any interest in any (particular) player.
“It is for them to grow; it is not a question of sponsoring or whatever. The issue is that we get the talent and give them a sense of belonging so that they can be exposed. For me I don’t have any interest like I said.”
He stressed that the competition is being organised every year and the youths in particular would live to attend the highest height of their footballing careers.
The LOC Chairman, Prince Adebola Sulaimon Gbadamosi, lauded the effort of the sponsor and the participating teams.
Gbadamosi, who is popularly called Prince GAS, said, “I would want to commend every team that participated in this year’s Ramadan Cup and congrats to Aje Utd for emerging as winners.
He added that although there had been some issues during the game of play, they would be resolved in subsequent competitions.
According to him, “The Programme is a yearly event which commemorates the month of Ramadan for the Muslim faithful and the entire community. By so doing we hope the youths can benefit from such programme as this.
“We also believe that as long as they have this platform, they can achieve anything they set their mind to doing.”
Chief Badru Musa, who is a renowned elder in the community, commended the LOC chairman for entertaining the community members with football tournaments every year.
“The tournament keeps us going within our area here; we would love if such tournament is televised.
“I will also want to appreciate the sponsor for a job well done. If others can emulate him we would have the best tournament thus far”
A scout, Mr. Obakeye Regis, noted that the tournament has produced young talents that will hopefully play football at the highest level.
Life Patron of Prrince GAS Global Sport Concept, Elder David Akere, commend the LOC Chairman for the successful outing, saying he was impressed with the level of participation in the tournament.
While Best Coach of the tournament was awarded to Samuel Nwanorom of Citadel FC, Most Valuable Player award went to Dimaku David of Aje UTD;
The Highest Goal Scorer award went to Hammed Liasu of EFCC and Most Well Behaved Captain was handed to Emeka Uba of Ever Increasing FC.
The Best Dressed Team award went to Aje UTD and Youngest Player award was received by Sheu Afolabi of GLORY FC.
Similarly, Best Goal Keeper award was claimed by Isreal Olorunfemi Aje UTD, Best Defender award by Chima Uzor of Citadel FC and Fastest Goal award by Olanrewaju Olatilewa of KING BEST.
Other dignitaries at the final event were Mr. Tayo Adeyemo, Stowe Omoniyi, member of Lagos Grassroots Football Organisers, members of Alimosho Coaches Council, Hon. Galubi Rahmon, and Mr. Ganiu Olasunkanmi Rolag.
The LOC chairman gave special thanks to Mr Fruts for its unrelenting support throughout the course of the tournament.