16th December, 2010
The third quarter of the outgoing year witnessed some grassroots competitions, butÂ many club owners and other stakeholders in the industry decried the delay of theÂ Lagos State Obaâ€™s Cup.
The competition was last played about two years ago at the Teslim Balogun Stadium,Â Surulere, Lagos.
The tourney was organised by Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Sports, headed byÂ Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele in conjunction with the Stateâ€™s Football Association.
After a successful final, won by Larry FC, many football fans, who came to watch theÂ colourful event were looking forward to the next edition with the belief that theÂ Obaâ€™s Cup has come to stay, but they were dissapinted by the organisers.
Earlier in the year, many grassroots club owners rushed to their various footballÂ divisions to register for the competition with the hope that it would kick offÂ before the last 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.
The first shocker was when the organisers announced that the competition would notÂ hold until after the FIFA World Cup. Some club owners, who had spent a lot of moneyÂ preparing their clubs for the event were disappointed. they blamed the Lagos StateÂ Sports Ministry for intervening in football matters. Some of them even concludedÂ that the competition might never hold again.
The club owners, who still believed that the competition would hold after FIFA WorldÂ Cup got another shocker when the organisers failed to fix a definite date for theÂ competition.
Another disappointing aspect of the delay was that over 100 clubs registered withÂ their hard earned money, but the Obaâ€™s Cup was not given the nod by the SportsÂ Ministry.
Despite the long delay of the Obaâ€™s Cup, Staruf Academy, owned by former SuperÂ Eagles goalkeeper, Peter Rufai, still organised a get together for their playersÂ after the club clocked a year.
The party, which was held at the Kernel Park Sports Centre, Surulere, was colourfulÂ as parents, guardians, coaches and other stakeholders came to rejoice with theÂ players who showed commitment to the club in the last one year.
Addressing the gathering, Rufai said the academy was established to groom aspiringÂ youths and urged the players to remain focused in their chosen careers.