Commendation galore as curtains fall on Ratels, Benue state league
…As sponsor calls for revival of Governor’s Cup
BY BEN NWACHUKWU, ABUJA
Ratels Sports Development Foundation (RSDF) has been showered with commendations on the final day of this year’s Ratels/Benue State football League decided inside the prestigious Aper Aku stadium Makurdi.
Faith Hills FC, Makurdi emerged champions of the 22nd edition of the annual league competition which spreads across the 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state after they cruised to a 3-1 win against Abu Edoh FC Obagaji of Agatu LGA.
The third place match between Elite FC Ugba, Logo LGA and Ultimate FC of Makurdi ended 4-3 on penalties in favour of the latter after a one all draw regulation time.
Aside special presentations to outstanding players from various teams, the finalists were given complete sports kits, courtesy of RSDF which provided full sponsorship of the league for the second consecutive year.
Chairperson of Benue State Football Association (BSFA), Hon. Margret Icheen, who spoke at the closing ceremony, hailed the commitment and resilience of RSDF in sports development especially at the grassroots.
The FA boss a former Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly said, “I wish to sincerely appreciate the sponsor of this programme Barrister Paul Edeh for always pulling his resources towards the actualisation of this noble objective of the Benue State Football Association which is aimed at football growth and development, youth empowerment, employment generation, health and social mobilisation.
“We call on corporate organisations and individuals to emulate the sponsor of this programme through partnership with our great association for football development in the state.”
Also speaking, the State Director of Sports, Comrade Philip Ter Nongu, who represented the Commissioner of Youth and Sports Development Barr. Teryima Nguher while reeling out the enormous benefits of the just concluded competition said, “Government can’t develop Sports alone, we need more people like Barr. Edeh in our state.”
Earlier, the President of RSDF, Barr. Paul Edeh, while eulogising the doggedness of BSFA Chairperson and her entire board in developing football, called on the state government to revive the Governor’s Cup competition which was last held in 2017.
Barr. Edeh who is the proprietor of rising women football club, Naija Ratels, said, “In the past, most of our stars were discovered from the grassroots as against today’s concentration on the elite. We can still go back to make amends. The board of the state football association has continued to make remarkable difference in putting Benue on the front burner of football development in Nigeria.
“Indeed, Benue state can be the hub of football development in the country if we continue to pull more effort. I therefore call on Benue sons and daughters not to allow sports to go extinct in the state.
“I want to urge the governor of Benue State His Excellency Mr. Samuel Ortom to host Governors Cup before the end of his tenure. Hosting a competition of this nature apart from serving as a platform to discover young talents, it will be a good parting gift to the people of the state.”