8th February, 2021
By Taiwo Okanlawon
Oyo State Government has announced that it will support Nigeria’s first 5 A-Side football league for amateurs in the country.
The first-ever 5-a-side football has been planned to kick off in Oyo State in a competitive nine weeks of football, fully supported by Oyo State Government.
Babates Empire is the brain behind the amateur league which will kick off in April 2021.
Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports in Oyo State, Seun Fakorede said the government is ready to support the feasible programme proposed by Babates Empire.
The statement reads; “The Oyo State Government is willing to collaborate with Babates Empire in making the first-ever club 5-aside football competition in the federation come to reality and as such, we implore you to co-operate with them when they come calling for your hand of fellowship knowing that the Oyo State Government is fully committed to this cause.”
Mr Teslim Usman, a professional footballer and founder of Babates Empire made this known in a statement on Wednesday stating that the competition is aimed at boosting community relations, grassroots football, and fitness in Nigeria.
Usman who captained AK Marvelous team that flew the Nigerian flag at Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five in Brazil in 2019, explained that Babate 5 A-Side football Competition is organised primarily to further encourage the growing culture of 5-a-side football in Nigeria by creating a competitive annual league.”
Speaking on the approval from the government, Usman said; “Basically it means that as far as the state is concerned and everything that has to do with the tournament, The Babates Empire has the government’s backing. And hopefully, we will start by March 31st all things being equal.”
“When you travel all around the world, 5aside football is well embraced, but here we only focus on the conventional 11-aside.
“We thought we should start up something to engage the youths and try and build a good foundation for 5aside football in the federation and to help us discover talents that can be nurtured and pushed to the next level of 5-aside football in the nearest future,” he added.
Speaking about the sponsorship, Usman said, “we are looking into bringing big brands on board as it’s going to be a big event and some private individuals to make the tournament the first of its kind.”