Barely 12 weeks after the opening of the BAFEM Cup 2021, Ikere United FC and Ekiti Queens FC have emerged as winners in the 2021 edition.

Ikere United FC outperformed Are FC, winning 2-1 in the final of the men's category to claim a gold trophy and the five hundred thousand naira prize money. 

In the women's category, Ekiti Queens FC saw off multiple threats from promising Ekiti Queen Bees, pipping them 1-0, to emerge as women's champion in the grassroots-based football tournament. 

For third place honours, EKSU Galacticos FC walked over Ekiti United FC in the men's category while their female counterparts, EKSU Lionesses FC whipped FUOYE Dazzlers FC 4-0 to claim bronze in the women's category. 

For a spot in the finals of the tournament played at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state capital at the weekend, 20 teams each competed across different stages in the men's and women's categories.  

Highlighting youth engagement as one gain of the 12-week-long tourney, sponsor Rt Hon. Olufemi Bamisile announced readiness to make BAFEM CUP an annual ritual.

" The youth population should matter to politicians out there. They give us their votes and support at every election. For me, I had no other choice but to look at a particular way to bring youth together - BAFEM CUP with the support of the Ekiti State Football Association. The tournament is taking the restiveness away. I am going to make it an annual event with what I have seen."

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Bamisile, member representing Ekiti South constituency II at the Federal House of Representatives, added: "The youth are unfortunately without a job today, because of the state of the economy. They are looking at the government for one thing or the other; they're looking for well-wishers to help them as well. It's just as important to engage and unite the youth."

Announcing post-BAFEM CUP plans, Bayo Olanlege, Chairman of the Ekiti State Football Association, said: "I am satisfied with how the tourney has turned out. We'll keep developing youth using the game of football, not the other way round.   

" The job is not done! We want to see players from here represent teams in the National leagues. Luckily, we have a wonderful team in place to make this happen. The technical team is putting together the best 11 - the BAFEM team - from this tournament for a month-long training. They will go on to play grade A friendly matches with clubs like; MFM FC, Sunshine Stars FC and Kwara United FC" 

The finals of BAFEM Cup 2021 brought together dignitaries including a former Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Surveyor Abiodun Aluko, a king , HRM Oba Sunday Adewunmi ably represented by his wife, Olori Olufunmilola Adewunmi, Chairman of Ijero local government, Hon. Ropo Ige and others such as, Hon. Mrs. Olusola Osetoba - Chairman, Ekiti State Sports Council, Chief Mrs. Oyepeju Bamisile - Yeye Oge of Kota Ekiti, and among others.

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