Smart city football club of Surulere has won the maiden edition of the Honourable Adedamola Richard Kasumu (ARK) football competition of Lagos state.
Smart City took an early lead in the first half with a goal scored in the second minute by striker Kenneth Zozo drawing out their opponent Basic FC of Agege to attack. With consistent pressure on the defence line by the opposing Basic FC, a dying minute goal snatched away Smart city’s win taking the match beyond full time and into penalties which ended 7 – 6 in favour of Smart city to the delight of their fans in the fully packed RTVC Isheri Stadium in Ojodu Berger Lagos State.
According to coordinator of the competition, Atlanta 1996 gold medalist, ex Nigerian international Joseph Dosu (MON), the competition will help throw up more talent from the grassroots for the national teams.
Some of the teams that took part in the competition were BAT FC, Future Stars, Akuru FC, 360, Sportom, Smart City, Dream Team, Goro Academy, SC Songhai, Ante, Kadesh, Adonai, Exponent, Sporting, Star Base, Emerald, Samjash and Arepo.
The ARK tournament is named after Honourable Adedamola Richard Kasumu (ARK), the lawmaker representing Ikeja Constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
“I want to call on corporate organisations and well to do individuals in Nigeria to kindly develop more interest in promoting and sponsoring our local football teams instead of investing in the English Premiership and La Liga teams. This will not only raise the standard of the game in our local leagues, it will go a long way in boosting our local economy and empowering our youth” an elated Kasumu said.
“Today, the final of the competition is a very special day because it is my birthday as well as the birthday of Lagos great politician and generalissimo of our time, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.
“The ARK Cup, which is an acronym from my names, is going to be an annual event. It is my hope that through this competition, some future players in the mould of Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, J.J. Okocha, NwankwoKanu, Dosu Joseph, and many more would be discovered from Lagos State,” he added.
The ARK tournament is structured to showcase players within the age range of 21 and below and is targeted at discovering, inspiring, promoting and empowering untapped soccer talents across the state.
Some outstanding players were chosen to undergo trials with FIFA affiliated Lucid Sport Scouting agency with a chance at plying their trade in Europe and other parts of the world.
Smart City FC, Surulere – Gold
Basic FC, Agege – Silver
Atiko FC, Ojodu Berger – Bronze