Thunder Football Club (FC) of Agyaragu town,in Jenkwe Development Area of Nasarawa State has defeated Keana Selected FC One-Zero at the final of the 7th Edition of the Mailafia Peace and Unity Football Cup Tournament, played in Daddare, Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The game which was played on boxing day at the Government Secondary School playing Field Daddare , saw Abdullahi Suleiman of Thunder FC scoring the lone goal in the 7th minute which gave victory to the club.
Although, the other team strive hard to score at both the 1st and 2nd half , they were unable to make any meaningful impact as the game came to an end 1-0
at the blast of the final whistle.
In a post match interview with sport journalists, organiser of the yearly tournament, Yakubu Mailafia, stated that the competition’s primary objective was to give young people a stage on which to showcase their talents and promote football at the local level, considering the growing global connection between sports and social and economic transformation.
According to him, he was impressed with the performance of the players at the 7th edition and hope investors in the football industry would be able to discover hidden talents in the players and sign them for greater tasks ahead .
He said : “I am satisfied with the conduct of the 7th edition of this game. I can say that there is great improvement compared to the last edition.
“I want to assure you that the standard procedure is equal to none in the country and at the end of the tournament, I shall look at the areas that are lacking and put them in front burner and make sure that I perfect them in the next edition.
“Definitely, by the grace of God , the next tournament will be better than this one.”
Also speaking in an interview, Chairman, Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB), Muhammed Dan’azimi (Barayan Daddare) commended the sponsor of the tournament, calling on the people of the state to support the initiative.
Dan’azimi said Governor Abdullahi Sule remained committed in the development of sporting activities in the state.
The NSUEB Chairman said that the governor had given approval for commencement of all primary schools football competition which according to him would begin in no distant time.
He, therefore called on stakeholders to support the growth and development of grassroot sports for good of the state.
On his part, President, Nigeria Football Coaches Association, Dr Ladan Bosso said the tournament which has become an annual event was providing opportunities for investors in sports to pick the best talent from the grassroot and called on them to support the founder of the tournament.
Bosso noted that the Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF) was committed to grassroot development through football, saying that coaches will ensure that the best players were selected to play for both national and international football clubs.
“The football players at the grassroot have potentials to do better even at the the intentional level.
“And from what I have seen here,some of the players are potential World cup players,” he added.
Also speaking , Chairman Nasarawa State Football Association, Alhaji Salisu Galadima commended the founder of the tournament for organising such event which is aimed at building peace and unity among the youths of the state.
He said that competition would no doubt harness talents that will stand a chance in national and international football competitions, assuring of his continuous support to enable the sustainability of the game.
The Voice reports that the winner of the tournament, Thunder FC was given the sum of N700,000 while runner up, Keana Selected FC went home with N500,000.
Meanwhile, the 3rd position, Giant Killers FC of Agyaragu FULafia was given the sum of N400,000 while 4th position, went home with N150,000.
The Voice also reports that there other award given to both players and the officiating team of the game, including highest goal scorer Bilyaminu Musa with five goals,best keeper Hayatudeen Elayo of Keana Selected while Mohammed Nagogo wins of Thunder FC wins the best coach, and Referees were not left out in the award.