The Chairman of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, was a Special Guest on Monday morning at the ongoing 2023 Sheroes Cup tournament in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Hon. Elegbeleye who is the 2nd Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) was on ground early on Matchday 3 of the 6th edition of the tournament at Area 3 Play Ground.
At the end of Monday’s hostilities, Honey Badgers played out a 2-2 draw against new Nigeria Women Football Football League (NWFL) Premiership side Sunshine Queens, while Edo Queens, former Sheroes Cup Champions walloped new NWFL entrants Dannaz Ladies 5-0.
Another NWFL Premier League club Naija Ratels whip debutants Ekiti Queens 3-0 in the pre-season tournament expected to end on Friday October 13, 2023.
The results so far have shown that Edo Queens and Naija Ratels have won two out of two matches in the competition, formerly known as Flying Officer’s Cup.
This is as the Ratel Sports Development Foundation (RSDF), organisers of the pre-season competition, announced and gave out 10 free top quality branded footballs to each of the participating women clubs.
Presenting the balls, Hon. Elegbeleye thrilled by the top organisation of the tournament vis-a-vis high-grade display by young talented players, singled out RSDF President, Barr. Paul Edeh, for peculiar commendation.
The seasoned Football Administrator and former Director-General of the National Sports Commission particularly acknowledged Barr. Edeh for continuously spending personal resources in uplifting mostly women football in Nigeria.
He said, “I came here as a mark of solidarity to a friend I know that is investing so much in Women football in this country. He is also Chairman of Benue State Football Association who is doing so great among his peers.
“I’m very sure that the sponsor of this competition is not making any money, but he is spending so much from his personal earnings to keep this afloat. This is the kind of character the Nigerian football needs to grow… this is very lovely and I’m sure other spirited Nigerians will emulate what you are doing to help women football.”
While also expressing further delight that the tournament has remained a reference point in any of the country’s private-driven football initiative, Hon. Elegbeleye reasoned that “the World is in dire need of those who will help promote women football and assist in making our women not be prey to unscrupulous characters in the society.
“I’m so impressed with the way the competition is organised with top level officiating by referees who take part in the officiating at the Premier League. To me, it’s another pre-season tune up for even the referees, apart from the various participating teams. This is the best way to prepare for the November 15 kick-off of the upcoming NWFL Premier League.
“I’m so happy especially with the quality of young talented players who are taking part in the tournament. These are players who can fit into any of our national teams, be it U17, U20 and even the Super Falcons.”
Earlier, Barr Edeh who congratulated the participating clubs for putting up outstanding performances so far, said aside the donated footballs, jerseys will be given to all teams before the end of the competition.
“As it’s the tradition, we usually deem it fit that the clubs participating should be given apparels, balls and other souvenirs that will help them as they prepare for the opening of the League season.
“Consistently, we have been providing jerseys, balls and other training equipment for the participating clubs in the past editions. Today also, we are making available a minimum of 10 balls to each club and we are hoping that these balls will help the clubs prepare ahead of November 15 league kick-off.”
From the kick-off of this year’s edition of Sheroes Cup, there have been influx of top dignitaries in the country’s football circle who came and watched matches unfold.
Among them is the NWFL Chairperson, Ms. Nkechi Obi, Chairman of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Referees Committee, Mrs Faith Irabor and Super Falcons captain Onome Ebi.