Football is known for uniting People, it has this power to bring people together, to build national pride, and to create an atmosphere of hope and belonging. These attributes though lacking at other times are important for a country with so many divides (e.g. cultural, ethnic, and religious).
It’s virtually the same in Egba land when Abeokuta Youth Football Championship (AYFC) kicked off in 2019 with over 20 grassroots football clubs in Ogun Central.
The competition kicked off on 10th June 2019 at the Muda Lawal Stadium, Asero, Abeokuta, where Young Football players who are aspiring to become professional stars were in their hundreds to burn out the energy, the love, and passion for the round leather game.
The Grassroot football competition was aimed to develop and promote unity among youths in the region.
According to the Championship Coordinator Coach Ademola Okuwa, ” the reason for this competition is to bring youths together to become family and friends so that it will reduce all these criminal problems. With this competition we would have a close friendship that will last after the competition” he told NAIRASPORTS
The Maiden Edition Produced two players who were invited to the camp of the Ogun State football team for the National Sports Festival.
After the success of the maiden edition, the name of the championship was changed from Abeokuta Youth Football Championship to Egba Youth Football Championship (EYFC)
The President of EYFC Team, Olalekan Shoyinka (Ayinla Egba) explained to NAIRASPORTS why the competition name was changed.
According to him, “After the success of the first edition, which was organized mainly for the communities in Abeokuta metropolis, many communities and stakeholders urged us to make it an open competition for all interested teams.
“After critically looking at the pros and cons, we decided that we should start small but bigger than where we start from. We then extended invitations to community teams in Egbaland for the second edition. Abeokuta being the capital of Ogun State is also the headquarters of Egbaland, which comprises the Ogun Central Senatorial District. We are happy that we have teams from 4 of the 6 LGAs that made up Egbaland registered for the second edition. For that reason, we changed the name from the Abeokuta to the EGBA YOUTH FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP to reflect our new identity.” he said
The Second edition has commenced before being suspended after the directive from the Nigeria Football Federation and Ogun State football Association that all football activities should be suspended in the state as part of ways to prevent the noble Corona Virus.