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Teams arrive Sunday for Betsy Obaseki women football tourney

By Michael Egbejule (Benin) and Ernest Nzor (Abuja)
24 September 2021   |   1:32 am
Teams participating in the maiden Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament are expected to arrive in Benin on Sunday, the organisers have disclosed.

Betsy Obaseki

Teams participating in the maiden Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament are expected to arrive in Benin on Sunday, the organisers have disclosed.

The competition, with the theme, Promoting the Girl Child, is aimed at harnessing sporting talents in the state and tackling the scourge of irregular migration among teenage girls.
Edo First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, while addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, said the tournament would hold from Sunday, September 26 to October 3.  

She listed participating teams to include Edo Queens, Rivers Angels, Bayelsa Queens, Sunshine Queens, Robo FC, Heartland Queens and Royal Queens. Others are Confluence Queens, Kaduna Queens, Naija Ratels, Fortress Ladies and Rolly FC.  

According to her, “Four venues have been scheduled to host this tournament. These are the University of Benin Sports Complex, Western Boys High School, School of Health Technology Football Complex and the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

“Twelve prestigious women football clubs in the country have confirmed their attendance and participation. The teams will be arriving in Benin City on Sunday, September 26, 2021.”

Our medical team has been put on standby to carry out the rapid test on all the players and officials on arrival, in line with COVID-19 protocols.”  

She added: “The draws for the tournament will be held that same day under the full glare of the media and will be streamed live online to ensure credibility and transparency.  

“The first matches will be played in the morning at the three earlier mentioned venues on Monday, September 27, while the opening event will hold at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium at 4.00 p.m. featuring the last match of the day.  

“The final of the tournament will be played on Sunday, October 3, 2021, after which trophies and consolation prizes will be handed over to participating clubs.”  

On the choice of theme for the competition, the Edo First Lady said: “Prior to the inception of my husband’s administration, human trafficking was rife in Edo State with Edo occupying the ignoble position of being the foremost state in the illicit trade.  

“Five years down the line, Edo has moved to number five in the nation, owing to the commitment of this administration to create jobs, infrastructural development, human capital development and the sheer will to tackle this menace headlong through innovative solutions.”

“From the onset, I have delighted in my role, in the supportive capacity, to tackle this menace and other forms of gender-based violence through various initiatives targeted at the girl child. Among them are the Edo Women for Agriculture and Enterprise, Betsy Angels Shelter, Edo Youth Academy, among others.”  

Mrs. Obaseki added: “Our efforts in tackling gender-based violence have also been yielding results, culminating in the inauguration of the Edo State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee, which I chair.  
“Sports is not only a career, means of self-expression, empowerment opportunity but is also therapeutic. The Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament will be another veritable avenue in achieving this goal as it affords our girls opportunity to showcase their skills and also provide mentors for those aspiring for future careers in the featured line of sports, promoting the sporting industry among grassroots women and girls.”