The kick-off match today to mark the formal flag-off of the ESLF Football Tournament 2022 between Avail FC and Lucky Stars FC of Otukpo ended 1-0 in favor of Avail FC.
The lone goal of the match which came 5 minutes into the first half, was netted by Nelson Sule Olatunji donning jersey number 11 drawing the very first cheers of the soccer mundial at the St. Mary Primary School Field, Otukpo venue of the kick-off. He was named Man of the Match.
Speaking just before the soccer contest, Founder of ESLF and First Lady of Benue State, Dr. Eunice Ortom who delivered the very first shot to officially flag off the tournament, said it was aimed at discovering raw talents which abound in our young ones at the grassroots.
Dr. Ortom urged them to maximize the opportunity that the tournament presents and make names for themselves, their communities and country.
She said ESLF remains committed to youth development and would continue to support their aspirations through the Foundation’s various thematic areas of Economic Empowerment, Health, Governance, Education and Research.
In their separate remarks former Super Eagles and Ajax winger, Tijani Babangida, ex-Eagles goalkeeper and 1996 soccer Olympics gold medalist, Emmanuel Babayaro as well as the Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Area, Hon. George Alli, urged young footballers to strive to showcase the best of their soccer talents as the tournament was a scouting ground for them to handpick players with sterling soccer skills for further trials beyond the Benue borders.
A second soccer contest also took place today in Gboko between Nanen Seed FA and City Stars FC which ended 1-3 in favour of City Stars FC.A third match, also played in Gboko between Cambridge FC and Charity FA ended 1-1 at regular time and then 3-1 in favour of Cambridge FA.
Nearly 100 youth teams across the 23 local government areas of Benue State would participate in The ESLF Football Tournament 2022 to mark the Foundation’s 6th year anniversary and games would be played in all local government council headquarters across the State.
Successful teams would qualify from the local government areas to the zonal level and subsequently to the State level where most successful teams will slug it out at a final match in Makurdi the State capital.