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OLATOYE OLAWALE

It is a week since the Ekiti state football league competition sponsored by foremost betting company, Bet9ja was concluded. Yet, the reverberating buzz and exciting vibes among football fans and concerned stakeholders in the state, have not abated.

Interestingly, the excitement have not been for nothing as statistics provided by the technical committee of the league indicated that the competition was a resounding success.

A special release by the board of Ekiti FA ably led by Bayo Olanlege, gave a comprehensive recap of the competition. According to the release, the football journey started May 30th, 2019, with 60 teams battling in the preliminaries for a place in the second round of 30 teams.

The second round matches which began June 17th, 2019, produced the eventual 18 teams that was pooled into four groups of four teams each. A total of 45 matches was played in two weeks of the 2 round play offs.

As part of its desires to stage a top class competition, the organizers on July 14, 2019, held a strategic meeting with representatives of clubs, including managers, coaches and club captains at AlexGrace Hotel, Adebayo, Ado Ekiti, where bet9ja customized kits were promised to the teams. Each team was to collect 25 pairs of jerseys for players and 5 T shirts each for officials.

The excitement in Ekiti football community moved some notches up as the draws and distribution of Bet9ja customized jersey to 18 teams was held 1st August, 2019, amidst fanfare at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti.

Action resumed on 6th August, 2019, across 8 different venues in state for the league group phase matches. The first stanza of the league proper ended on 27th. August, 2019, while second stanza began on 3rd, September, 2019, and  climaxed 22nd, September, 2019. In all, a total of 96 games was played at the group phase of the league.

On 9th October 2019, a press conference was held as a prelude to the semi- finals featuring the top four clubs namely, Ifaki United FC, Soccer Academy, Igede, Moyero FC and EKSU Galacticos.


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The games in the semi finals played at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium, Ado-Ekiti, on 11th October, 2019, truly lived up to its billings. What with Moyero FC ending the unbeaten runs of Ifaki United FC in a five goals thriller. The second semi final clash saw lesser fancied Soccer Academy, Igede defeating favourites Ekiti Galacticos on penalty shoot- out after a barren draw.

The grande finale played 13th October, at the same venue, saw Soccer Academy, Igede once again torn the pundits book as they claim another illustrious scalp by defeating Moyero fc 4-2 on penalties after playing 2-2 in regulation period to claim the N500, 000 first prize and the ticket to represent the state at the NLO 3 playoffs.

In his remarks after the final games, Hon. Michael Awopetu, Commissioner of Sports and Youth Development in Ekiti state said; 

"The success of this competition has vindicated our trust and believe in the capacities and capabilities of the Bayo Olanlege led Ekiti FA to take football in Ekiti state to greater heights.  And I say congratulations to the organizers."
Dr. Ayodele Isaac, a past Ekiti FA boss, applauded the organizers on a job well done. 

" I am not surprised with the near perfect organization and standard of this competition. It showed that Ekiti football is on the path of greatness, once again," he enthused.
The five months of non- stop football recorded a total of 100 matches played and 104 goals scored.


Written By Our Correspondent: AKEEM BUSARI 


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