….Pledges Support for sport Queens to Excel
Wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, made history on Tuesday as she had the honour of performing the ceremonial kick off of the 2023/2024 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL).
Dr. Oyebanji who was joined on the pitch of the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau and the NWFL Board Chairperson, Ms. Nkechi Obi, performed the kick off at exactly 4.02pm.
The setting was the Season Opener of the NWFL between Ekiti Queens Football Club of Ado Ekiti and Delta Queens Football Club of Asaba which was watched by a capacity crowd which included some members of the Ekiti State Executive Council and NWFL Board Members.
The interesting and entertaining match ended in a goalless (0-0) draw.
The Ekiti First Lady said she was excited to perform the official kick off of the NWFL for Season 2023/2024 assuring the people of the state that the Oyebanji Administration would support Ekiti Queens to get to the pinnacle of women football in Nigeria.
Speaking at the end of the game, Dr. Oyebanji praised Ekiti Queens, who were playing in the elite female league for the first time, for performing well and upping their game against their opponents who are experienced campaigners in the NWFL.
She said: “I am so excited seeing Ekiti Queens doing so well on the pitch. Don’t forget, their opponents have been playing in this league for so many years but my girls, this is their first time. Our girls have done valiantly. A big shout-out to Ekiti Queens.”
During an interview conducted at half time, the Ekiti First Lady explained that her husband, Governor Biodun Oyebanji is committed to transforming sports from mere recreation to a veritable tool of job creation and economic empowerment of the youths.
This, according to her, explained the reason why Governor Oyebanji established the Ekiti State Sports Commission after the House of Assembly passed the executive Bill he forwarded to the state legislature to that effect noting that this would change the face of sports in the state.
Speaking on the promotion achieved by Ekiti Queens into the elite female league last season, Dr. Oyebanji explained that the club was able to achieve the enviable feat because of the support given by the state government.
The First Lady said: “We are happy supporting them (Ekiti Queens) and we will continue to support them. The state has been supporting this team and the support has brought them thus far.
“I want to assure the people of the state the Ekiti State Government will not relent in supporting Ekiti Queens for the team to reach the peak of female football in Nigeria.”
The NFF President, Alhaji Gusau said he was excited to be in Ekiti State to witness the official commencement of the NWFL for the 2023/2024 season.
Alhaji Gusau said the current NFF Board which he leads would not relent in supporting female football in Nigeria most especially the league to continue to produce players for the national female teams.
The NWFL Board Chairperson, Ms. Obi, expressed delight with the organization of the season opener by stakeholders including Ekiti State Government and local football authorities adding that the physical presence of the NFF added glamour to the occasion.
The Ekiti Performing Troupe Company entertained the crowd at half time.