A cameo appearance by the General Manager of Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Kwara), Mr Kayode Aremu, secured the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) a 2-1 victory over Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in a friendly football match yesterday (Saturday).
The match, played at the Main-Bowl of the Kwara State Stadium Complex, Ilorin saw the Doctors drew the first blood in the early part of the proceedings via the spot.
Rotimi Suleiman, who is the Sports Director of NMA sent the SWAN goalkeeper, Tunde Mohammed to the wrong side to put the NMA ahead, a result they maintained till the end of the first stanza.
The sports writers restarted the second half of the match better than the way they finished the first stanza, scoring two goals in quick succession.
Shogo Shodunke even the scores for the sports writers from the penalty spot after Radio Kwara’s Abubakar Gbodofu was fouled inside the penalty area.
State Information’s Dauda Idowu Kamal put SWAN ahead minutes later, when he received a fantastic pass from the midfield, had a fine first touch before lobbing the ball over incoming NMA goalkeeper to score the second goal.
Kayode Aremu, who replaced Ahmed Mohammed almost made it three for SWAN at the tail end of the game, but his effort was punctuated by the defence of NMA as his presence on the field of play eventually motivated the ever determined SWAN team to all important victory.
Speaking after the match, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Iyabo Banire, commended the initiative of Kwara SWAN and Phreestyle Sports, for recognising the state health practitioners with such Novelty match for their untiring efforts at combating the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic, noting that the gesture will further encourage them to give their best.
Barrister Banire, who reiterated the present administration’s resolve to consolidate on the achievements recorded in the last two years added that government will sustain an enabling environment created for sports development in the State.
The NMA Chairman, Doctor Issa Baba and SWAN Chairman, Jimoh Bashir thanked their members for their roles in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, and the public, for appreciating their professional duties.
After the match, an elated Radio Kwara General Manager, Aremu appealed to SWAN to ensure it put a team together that will always engage other professional bodies like the NMA, and promised to provide the team a customised jersey.
The match was put together to celebrate the medical practitioners for ensuring the world was safe enough for everyone to live during the thick period of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Present at the occasion were Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Lawal Mohammed Bagega, Director of Sports, Ibrahim Alarape Atanda, Directors in the Ministry of Sports, Mallam Shehu Shola, Director PFS at the Ministry, Mr Wood, Mallam Mohammed Jimoh Daudu of Kwara Ladies United Football Club, Mrs Chief Abimbola Olaoye, Mr J. K. Ysusf of AbraySports and others.