The second Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament concluded on Friday with FC Robo Queens of Lagos crowned champions after defeating hosts Edo Queens 1-0 in an exciting final.
The 10-day event concluded with thrilling cultural displays, singing, dancing, and drumming, as well as exciting displays by various groups.
Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, the wife of Edo State Governor, created the tournament, which is Nigeria’s only pre-season women’s football championship.
The tournament, themed ‘Say No to Drugs,’ aims to raise awareness about the negative effects of drug abuse among youths.
The tournament also included a seminar with over 10,000 youths, eminent personalities, guests, and representatives from Nigeria’s 36 states to advance the campaign against drug abuse, its various manifestations, impact on the sports industry and the larger society, and collective action to combat the menace for the betterment of society.
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; his deputy, Philip Shaibu; Sports Minister, Sunday Dare; ex-Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung; and governors’ wives from Sokoto, Enugu, Delta, Abia, Ogun, Oyo, Taraba, and Bayelsa states, among others, were present at the closing ceremony.
The first ladies were led by the Chairperson of the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum and First Lady of Ekiti State, Erelu Olabis
Other notable attendees included Marcus Onobun, Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly; Yusuf Ali, Chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission; and Maryann Shaibu, wife of the Edo State Deputy Governor.
Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, the tournament convener and Edo State First Lady, welcomed guests to the very colorful closing ceremony at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, saying, “I welcome you all to Edo State to witness the closing ceremony and final match of the second edition of the BOWFT at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Edo State.”
“Remember that this year’s tournament theme is ‘Say No to Drugs.’
Dare praised the governor, his deputy, and the Edo First Lady for a well-organized pre-season tournament.
“We’ve returned to watch the second edition of Edo State’s biggest pre-season tournament.” What we saw here today is stunning; a world-class tournament comparable to those seen in other developed nations around the world. What we saw today was history, and it demonstrated the power of women in sports.
“I thank all of the First Ladies who have come to support our First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki’s vision.” I encourage them to return home and replicate this in their respective states. It could happen in football or any other sport.
“At the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, women won 95% of our medals, and women are making us proud.”
“I am here with a powerful delegation of governors’ wives from Sokoto, Enugu, Delta, Abia, Ogun, Oyo, Taraba, and Bayelsa states,” Erelu Olabisi Fayemi added.
“We’ve come to show our support for our sister.” Sports are important for developing self-esteem and discipline in our female athletes. This year’s theme is “say no to drugs.” As First Ladies, we are concerned about a variety of issues, including sexual violence and drug abuse, among others. We are here to support this effort and to say no to drugs, which have the potential to destroy an entire generation.”
The thrilling match between Robo FC and Edo Queens ended 1-0 in favor of the Lagos-based side, with Rukayat Oladeti scoring the game-winning goal in the 24th minute.
The winners received N5 million, while the runners-up, Edo Queens, received N2.5 million.
Delta Queens defeated Nasarawa Amazons 4-2 on penalties in the third-place match after 120 minutes of exciting football ended goalless.
Tosan Blackson, Delta Queens Head Coach, said of their victory, “At least, we played for pride and kept the standards.” We should not have lost to FC Robo in the semi-finals after losing a game in the group stage. We knew we had to get it right for the third-place match. We knew it was a must-win game for us.”
Delta Queens received N1.5 million in cash, while Nasarawa Amazons received N750,000.