Home Sports Bet9ja Sponsors Grassroots Football Competition in Nasarawa State

Bet9ja Sponsors Grassroots Football Competition in Nasarawa State


By Olukayode Babalola

Lafia – Bet9ja, a betting company in Nigeria says it will sponsor Nasarawa State Football Association (FA) 2019/2020 “Premier League Competition”, an initiative for local football teams across the state.

The state FA which confirmed the sponsorship at the draws for the competition held in Lafia on Monday, explained that the name Premier league was used for the tournament because there was a second division competition.

Salaye Abiodun, a Bet9ja Representative, said the gesture was aimed at giving back to youths who in turn contributed immensely to the growth of the company through their constant patronage and support across the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2nd edition of the competition is organised by Nasarawa State FA in partnership with Bet9ja with 30 footballs teams in the state accredited to participate in the tournament billed to kick off on Sept. 26.

“Bet9ja is the official sponsor of this competition. So, you can see that Bet9ja is more than a betting company. So, when we approached the FA chairman that this is what we want to do where the youth will embrace football because they believe that football brings people together, they agreed.

“We told them that we want to partner with them and get to the grassroots where the youth are. We have done this in Karu Local Government Area for the past two to three years and it has been hugely successful with many youths using the sport as a means of livelihood.

“We will try as much as possible to keep supporting the competition so that Nasarawa State football will continue to grow from strength to strength”, Abiodun said.

He said the gesture aside empowering youths in the state would help to discover talents that would in turn make the state and nation proud in terms of performance on the pitch, club football and international fixtures.

“Aside Nasarawa state, we have sponsored numerous projects in Adamawa and Benue states among others. So, Bet9ja is committed to sponsoring this initiative for as long as possible,” Abiodun added.

Mohammed Alkali, Chairman, Nasarawa State FA, expressed joy over the partnership and pledged to be organising the competition annually to give opportunities to young footballers at grassroots across the state to showcase their skills.

He said sustaining the competition to get youths engaged was one of his promises after his re-election as chairman of the state FA, noting  that he was glad that the pledge had been realised.

“In one of our promises, we said we want to take football to the next level in Nasarawa and today, I think we have achieved that goal. If you look around the country, only two states and Nasarawa is one the states that have been able to secure partnership for its local football competition,” he said.

He then appealed to other corporate organisations to emulate the gesture of Bet9ja by supporting initiatives that would positively bring out the best in youths in the state.

“In the first edition, we had 14 teams but in this edition, we have 30 teams participating. This shows that the competition is growing and the youths look forward to it. We need to appreciate what Bet9ja has done,” Alkali said.

The Chairman of the Competition Committee, Halidu Akwashiki, said the fixtures in the league would be played based on “Home and Away” basis as it is done in the international scene.

Akwashiki added that the teams would compete in four groups namely Group A, Group B, Group C and Group D.

“The teams who top their respective groups are now qualified to play in the league’s Super 4 to determine the league’s champion. So, we call on the teams to exhibit fair play and desist from match fixing,” he said.

NAN reports that after the draws, Group A has Black Stars FC Agbashi, FC Dunoma, Eggon Warriors, Shooting Stars FC of Lafia, 11 Brothers FC, FC Ninety of Doma and Agyaragu Stars.

Teams in Group B are Water Corporation FC, Winda Force FC, Golden Boys of Lafia, Sharks FC of Lafia, Bright Stars FC, AYD Feeders FC and Dubagari FC.

While Group C consists of Jakada FC, Traffic Challengers FC, Gudi Selected, Akwanga Selected, Pioneers FC of Wamba, Young Unity FC, Makama Dogo FC, Kokona Selected FC and Jihasu FC of Masaka.

Group D has Shabu United, Trackers FC, Ogene FC, Greater Tomorrow FC, Keana Selected FC, Stallions FC and Awe FC.

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