By Paul Akhagbemhe
Emotions ran high yesterday, Saturday February 19, immediately after the referee’s final whistle that signalled the end of the 2022 Ramat Cup U-16 final match in Kano State.
The final of the competition organized by the Youth Sports Federation Of Nigeria (YSFON) was between the host Kano State and their FCT counterparts.
The atmosphere was electric and Kano fans thronged into the Sani Abacha Stadium with unequalled enthusiasm. Although FCT had pockets of supporters, little did they know that the trophy will be heading to Abuja.
The Kano youth team who were full of expectations, truly gave a good account of themselves, given the convincing results they earned in the preliminary stages.
The display by the host team took away the confidence of the Abuja boys as Kano dictated the game but could not score the much needed goal.
Half time ended goalless and the FCT got back their guts and became stronger in the second half.
Despite the antics and frustrating approach by the home team, FCT broke the deadlock and that ended the story. The match ended 1-0 in favour of FCT.
The third place match had it’s own peculiarities. Giant killing Ogun team again experienced the bitter taste of defeat when their highly technical match ended 2-0 in favour of Gombe.
The outcome of the encounter gave a soothing consolation to the northern team who narrowly lost the semi finals 4-3 to Kano on penalties after 2-2 draw.
While declaring the competition close, YSFON’s National President Dr. Nasiru Gawuna appreciated the players and officials who took time out to be part of the competition.
He said plans are underway to involve the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to expose the talented players discovered to different competitions and provide a leeway for them to realise their dreams.
In the athletics event, Kaduna state dominated the races, winning the 100 metres and the 4×100 metres relay while Kano also made the needed difference.
In all, the week long competition endeared Nigerian youths to themselves and promoted a deep sense of friendship while creating a veritable opportunity for the improvement of the nation’s profile through sports.