Nigeria’ll Win World Cup One Day, If… -Owolabi

Nigeria'll Win World Cup One Day, If... -Owolabi
PHOTO CAPTION: Medfat Model Secondary School Team, winners of the maiden edition of the Under-17 Football Tournament for secondary schools in Osun State, organised and sponsored by Dr Lanre Jimoh, founder of Ajara Humanitarian Foundation.

Dr Felix Owolabi MON, a former left winger of the Nigerian senior national football team, the Super Eagles, has said Nigeria will, one day, win the World Cup, if emphasis is placed on youth sports development.

He said this while speaking at the finals of the U-17 Football Tournament, held during the week at the Osogbo City Stadium, Osogbo, Osun State.

The football tournament was organised and sponsored by Dr Lanre Jimoh, a budding philanthropist and son of a former Group Managing Director (GMD) of O’dua Investment Company, Alhaji Bayo Jimoh.

Witnessed by a sizeable crowd of football lovers, the tournament was competed for among secondary schools in Osun State.


Medfat Model Secondary School emerged victorious in the final match of the tournament by defeating Top Trend School by four goals to two.

Both sides justified their respective qualifications to the finals with their display of football artistry from the blast of the whistle to the end of the very lively match officiated by Mr Olatunde Saheed and his colleagues on the sidelines.

Medfat first hit the back of the net of their opponents in the first 10 minutes of the game while Top Trend equalised to bring the game back to the same scoreline.

Medfat increased it’s goal tally to two,via penalty kick, while Top Trend equalised again to make the scoreline 2:2 in the first half of the game.

However, Medfat became more offensive on the resumption of the second half saw. The renewed energy paid off when they scored two unreplied goals which sealed their claim to the giant trophy.

In the course of the second half, the petit but very hardworking goal tender of Top Trend, Adebayo AbduBasit, was injured when he collided with an onrushing striker of Medfat.

He was out of the game as he ended up on a stretcher and he taken to a medical facility outside the stadium.

Dr Felix Owolabi presented the gold-plated trophy to captain of the victorious Medfat team. He applauded the two sides for what he called their brilliant exhibition of raw talents during the match.

The former national team left winger also commended the sponsor of the tournament. He encouraged him to make it an annual championship to yield desired results of discovering more talents hidden in secondary schools.

The former player of the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) also said, should youths football development be emphasised, “Nigeria would win the World Cup, one day.

“Whenever I am invited to a tournament as this, whether as a guest or as a spectator, I consider it an opportunity to see how I started to the top of my football career.

“I could see few players in the two sides, making some brilliant moves, meaning they could be better players if they were exposed to better opportunities like this tournament.”

The younger Jimoh, a US-based indigene of Osogbo, is a football enthusiast who share same passion and affinity with his father in terms of youth empowerments.

An emerging philanthropist, he is concerned about giving improved life to youths in the state in capacity-building through provision of computers and other work tools to them.

A good number of beneficiaries of the Ajara Humanitarian Foundation were at stadium to witness the final match.

Dr Jimoh, in his remarks during the half time, appreciated all participating teams and their teachers including the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for their efforts towards the success of the tournament.

He promised to do his best to sustain the tempo witnessed in the first edition of the tournament, adding: “The Ajara Humanitarian Foundation is not about football alone.

“It is also about total empowerment of youths to be more useful to themselves and to the society. I thank my father and my mother for their support, which resulted in today’s event.”

Dr Lanre Jimoh’s father made presentation to the winning team. He congratulated and assured them of receiving their respective cash awards within 24 hours.

“I am imploring management of the schools to spend the money towards further development of the players to perform better in subsequent tournaments.

“There is no doubt that we enjoyed and relaxed watching the football skills by these future great footballers,” the former GMD of O’dua Investment Company noted.

Chairman, LOC, Coach Bayo Adesina, expressed his appreciation to the Jimoh family for their contributions to sports development.

He urged other equally blessed families to take a cue from the Jimohs in order to rescue “our restive youths from social vices which are abound in the country now.”

Individual awards, like the Well Behaved Team and the Most Valuable Player (MVP), were given to the deserved players shortlisted by the LOC.

Dignitaries that attended the match included former Deputy Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Adegboye Akintunde; a former lawmaker in the state, Mr Adeoye Adelakun; Commander, Osun State Amotekun; Comrade Amitolu Shittu.

Also in attendance were the General Manager, Osun State Sports Council, Mr Rotimi Dunmoye; Professor Adeleke; Dr Gboyega Oduola; Alhaji Kunle Kudaisi; Alhaja Serifat Adegbite and Mr Muftau Owolabi, among others.