Kano State U-16 Boys Team has won the 36th edition of Ramat Cup annual championship organised by Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) after beating their Lagos counterparts 2-1 in the final match played on Monday’s evening at the Sani Abacha stadium, kano. Hamza Rabiu put the Kano team ahead in the 3rd minute of play while Usman Auwalu increased the tally in the 25th minute of the encounter, Lagos pulled one back in the 43rd minute of the game through Kumasi Moses.
In third palce match, Kwara State won the bronze medal on a free note as they had no opponent to play against in the third place match following the disqualification of Kebbi from the competition, which gave Lagos a place in the final. Speaking at the occasion, Kano State Governor, Dr Abddullahi Umar Ganduje said the State will continue its support for YSFON in its efforts to immotalise late Nigeria Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed who was assassinated on February 13, 1976 in Lagos.
Ganduje said the late former leader who sacrificed to see how he would have turned the fortunes of the country for good will remain in the memory of Nigerians and anything done to remember the hero is not out of place. He commended YSFON for its efforts at discovering and nurturing local talents for the sporting glory of Nigeria, saying the State will continue its support for its activities. The governor also commended the participants for their show of sportsmanship during the competition while admonishing them to pursue both sporting and academic excellence as future leaders.
The governor also used the occasion to condole the family of late Kano Pillars defender, Chinedu Udoji and the football family for the loss. He described the late footballer as a dedicated and committed player who gave his best to the team, adding that despite his not too long stay in the ancient city became the fans’ favourite and a pillar in the team.
Ganduje said the State will not forget Chinedu Udoji, as the family will be adequately supported at this trying time. “He was our hero, we are not compensating the family because you cannot pay for life, we will give the family all the necessary support, Udoji played with his heart for Pillars, his death is a big loss to the State and the nation at large,” Ganduje said.
Also speaking, the representative of the minister of Youth and Sports Development, Dr Ademola Are, who is the Director in charge of grassroots development, said that he was happy with the renewed synergy between YSFON and the ministry as this will help in realizing the common goal of sports development at the grassroots. Are said the three sprint and relay athletes and some footballers who were discovered during the competition will be introduced to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria and the football authorities to harness their talents.
He revealed that YSFON will play a pivotal role during the next National Youth Games as they have put in place a proper machinery to check age cheat in sports.
“From what I have seen from the display of some of the athletes and the young footballers today, I am confident that if we work with YSFON, we will get the desired result and I believe this is good for our country,” Are said. YSFON President, Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna thanked the government and people of the State for their continued support for its programmes over the years as it strives to raise committed sportsmen and women for the nation.
He called on corporate bodies and good spirited Nigerians to partner YSFON in realizing its pursuit of grassroots sports development. Outstanding athletes were presented with various plaques and cash rewards as a way of encouraging their performances. The 37th edition of the Ramat Cup will hold in 2019 in Kano.
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