The much anticipated maiden edition of the Aiteo Cup final held on Sunday, 15th of October at the Agege Stadium, Lagos between Akwa United and Niger Tornadoes. I must confess, it had everything an event of such magnitude is expected to have. From the razz matazz to the not too good moments and even the very memorable ones. Hence, the reason I coined the title: “The Good, The Bad and The Beautiful.”
Truth be told, there were a lot of positives about the final which I intend to share. First, is the fact that the 4000 capacity stadium was packed full with some fans still outside the stadium. The presence of the CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad at the Agege Stadium was as far as I’m concerned, another plus for the Aiteo Cup final. He was also joined by Governor of Lagos state, His excellency Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode; and Gov. of Akwa Ibom state, His excellency Gov. Udom Emmanuel.
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Well, the climax of a football tournament any where in the world is usually during the trophy presentation. However, back here in Nigeria its usually the time we show the world how unorganised we can be. A trophy and medal presentation like what we witnessed yesterday, suddenly turns rowdy for inexplicable reasons. We need to do better.
Another not too good sight was that of celebratory banners and t-shirts by the Akwa United players carrying pictures of Gov. Udom Emmanuel. This signifies that our clubs are far from being financially independent and this is sad for our football.
The one that tops the list for me has to be the fireworks at the Agege stadium after Akwa United were presented with their trophy. It was amazing!!! Everyone was caught unawares and some of the ball boys had to flee from the pitch side initially. It was indeed a sight to behold. You can view the videos on our twitter timeline – @acl_sports
That said, how can I forget the heart warming gesture by Akwa United’s Ojo Olorunleke to receive his winners’ medal with his baby? Awww… Yes, you guessed right. That was the sound from the stands as he approached the pitch with his kid. In the end, it was an evening well spent as the security operatives were also on top of their game and the crowd control was top notch.