Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The first edition of Beach Soccer league in Kebbi state has kicked off with the 12 teams from various local government areas of the state.
The competition which commenced yesterday is being monitored by the national coach of Nigeria National Beach Soccer team, Coach Abdullahi Issah, African Beach Soccer Union led by it President of the Union, Mahmud Hadejia who is also the Chairman of Kebbi State Beach Soccer.
While speaking at the opening ceremony held at bye pass beach soccer field, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Atiku promised to support the competition to make the youths in the state discovered their talents.
Bagudu who was represented at the occasion by the Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Hassan Sallah said that “now that this competition is now local government by local government, we will make sure that all the Council Chairmen supported their teams by creating a team and fully support them.
“So that they can compete with other teams within and outside the state. That will be an avenue for our youths to showcase their talents and make use of it for themselves.
“The benefits from the competition are enormous, that is the reason the Governor is giving it a priority to the game so that our youths could be proud of whenever they are playing at the state and national levels”.
Earlier, the President of African Beach Soccer Union, Mahmud Hadejia explained that the purpose behind organizing the competition was to find a replacement for the state and national soccer teams.
“ We have been doing this soccer competition for some time now. We have been playing at the national championship league often and we thought it wise that there is need to have local championship competition to give other talented youths across the state from different local government areas to showcase their talents.”
He added that Kebbi state beach soccer team was ranked number one in Africa and 49th in the world, stressed that there is need for such competition to be in place to discover new talented players.
A member of Women Development African Beach Soccer, Yusuf Hafsat Toyin appealed to parents and guardians in the country to encourage their girls to participate in the female beach soccer competitions.
According to her, ‘women should come out to participate in beach soccer. They should not leave the game as men’s affairs. Our parents should allow them to come out to participate fully so that by next season, we can have women soccer teams participating in the league.”