.LOC to unveil mascot, hold draws today

The stage is set for a showdown in Benin City, the Edo State capital, as Lagos-based Robo FC, Edo Queens, Rivers Angels and 10 other prominent teams from the Nigerian Women’s Football League (NWFL) begin battle for the N60 million prize money at the third Betsy Obaseki Football Tournament (BOWFT).

The tournament in Benin City will hold from October 23 to November 1, 2023, at the magnificent Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, University of Benin Sports Complex, Western Boys Mini-Stadium and the Edo State College of Nursing and Health Sciences Mini-Stadium.

According to the local organising committee (LOC), the N60 million total prize money will be shared among the overall winners, first runners-up, second runners-up, and other participating teams as consolation prizes.

Chairman, Communication Sub-committee for the tournament, Crusoe Osagie, yesterday, said the 2023 competition, which is a pre-season tournament to sharpen and prepare teams for the Nigeria women’s league, is targeted at raising awareness and generating public interest on the need to eradicate gender-based violence in all its forms and spotlight the efforts by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led state government over the past seven years to combat gender-based violence.

Osagie listed other participating teams to include Bayelsa Queens, Delta Queens, Naija Ratels, Nasarawa Amazons, and Osun Babes.

Also in the competition are Confluence Queens, Fortress Ladies, Ekiti Babes, Remo Stars Ladies FC, and Heartland FC.

Noting that all is set for the hosting of the yearly event recognised by the world football governing body, FIFA, as one of the platforms promoting women’s football across the globe, Osagie said that the unveiling of the mascot and the draws for the tournament will herald Monday’s kick off of the competition.

Listing the activities set for the tournament, he said, “the 13 teams who have confirmed their attendance and participation will be arriving in Benin City on Sunday, October 22, 2023. All the required facilities have been put in place as the participating teams will be received on arrival on the same day at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

“There will be a press conference, unveiling of the mascot and draws for the tournament tomorrow, Friday, October 20th, 2023. The draws will hold in the full glare of the media to ensure credibility and transparency.”

He said that the first matches will hold on Monday, by 5 p.m. after the opening event at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

“The third place and finals of the tournament will be played on November 1, 2023 after which trophies and consolation prizes will be handed over to participating clubs as part of the closing ceremony,” he said.

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