… as Edo Sports commission boss inaugurates co’ttees

The organisers of Betsy Obaseki Football Tournament have announced October 19, 2023 as the kickoff date for the 3rd edition of the women preseason soccer fiesta in Benin City, Edo State capital.

The Chairman, Edo state Sports Commission, Olympian Yussuf Alli, who is incidentally Chairman of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the women football tournament made the announcement on Wednesday in Benin during the inauguration of subcommittees for the women soccer event.

Inaugurating the various committees for the Betsy Obaseki Football tournament, Olympian Alli said that the event will now hold between Oct 19 and 29 to serve as a pre-season tournament for the Nigerian women football league.

According to the Edo State Sports Commission boss, “The event would have started this month, but the NWFL (Nigerian Women Football League) moved their event to November. We now felt that there is need for us to move the Betsy Obaseki Football Tournament close to the women league kick off to suit it’s purpose since it is a pre-season tournament. That is why we cleverly moved it. It will run from Oct 19 to 29.

“Also, we have the Youth Games that would have started and that also was moved to September 20 hence we moved it, so it will not clash with any other major events because we want to give it wide media coverage. We do not want to have an event in isolation,” he emphasized.

“We want the event properly covered. If you know the first lady, she does not do things by chance,” he said.

The Edo Sports Commission boss added that the organisers aimed to organize a more successful tournament.

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“FIFA has recognised the event and this is good for Edo State and it is even adjudged the best pre-season tournaments in this country. I think it is a good thing for us to keep it going outside of the government because if you rely on the government, when you leave office, the dream might just die.

“The event is not government sponsored and we want to keep the momentum because the passion our First Lady has for women’s football is fantastic. Her passion is also what is driving us to make sure we make it a better tournament.

“What we want to achieve is to have the best pre-season tournament that is ever hosted in the state,” the MOC chairman noted

Resounding on behalf of the subcommittees, Peter Okonkwo, Head of Secretariat and member of the media subcommittee appreciated the chairman, Edo Sports Commission for the opportunity given them to serve, promising a more successful organisation.

“We will look at the way the tournament has been conducted over time; and it has been adjudged one of the best by FIFA to become a benchmark for the organisation of other similar events in this country.

“We have done it the first and second time and this is the third. When the wine gets older, it gets better. So we are not learning on the job, we have done it before and we can assure that we will do better this time,” Okonkwo assured.

Some of the committees inaugurated include Accommodation/Ceremonial/Protocol headed by Dr. Kweku Tandoh; Marketing and Sponsorship headed by Hon Frank Ilaboya; Media and Communications Committee headed by Mr. Crusoe Osagie; Medical is headed by Dr. Bridget Okoeavhguele while the committees on Technical, Security and Secretariat are headed by Dr. Emmanuel Igbinosa, CSP Williams Waba and Peter Okonkwo.