A national grassroots soccer competition tagged: ‘Rafiu Ladipo Pillar of Sports Soccer Tourney’ has been instituted in honour of the President-General of Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo by an Ibadan sports outfit, Professional Sports International (PSI).
While explaining the rationale behind the initiative during a symbolic trophy presentation done on Wednesday in Ibadan, the CEO of PSI, Lukman Akande Arisekola described the supporter boss as an enigma and a rallying point for all lovers of football in Nigeria.
Arisekola noted that the grassroots soccer tournament that has been tentatively scheduled for school’s first term vacation in December would be played among pupils under the ages of 16 years among grassroots team that will be drawn from all states of the federation.
“Dr. Ladipo had done great thing to positively affect the lives of many Nigerian youths especially with the beautiful round leather game, and that is why we thought it wise to institute an annual soccer tournament that will be played among Nigerian youths, which we believe would definitely outlive him and subsequently continue in his memory”, PSI boss noted.
Dr. Ladipo who also doubles as the Chairman of Nigeria Boxing Board of Control (NBBofC) in his acceptance remark thanked the organization for deeming it fit to establish a competition in his name; he, however, advised the organizers to structure the tournament in a way that will add value to the national U-17 team.
“I’m quite delighted and grateful to you guys from PSI for this lofty initiative, I will urge you to use the tournament to tackle the age-cheat scourge by allowing all participants to reflect the real stipulated age and I’m sure sooner the tourney will serve as a good ground to scout for players into national U-17 team”, Ladipo noted.