Organisers of Bet9ja Elephant Cup say crowd control at Ashade Palace pitch, Ogba, Agege, Lagos venue is a major challenge facing the five-a-side grassroots soccer tournament.
Richard Akin-Oshungboye, an official of Elephant Cup Football Organising Committee, said that over 3000 soccer fans crowded to watch three league matches played on Sunday at the mini pitch meant for 1000 spectators.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gettinge FC draw 2-2 with Scope FC, while Sango Agege FC defeated Iyalode FC 2-1 and Keke United FC also defeated Ghetto FC with 4-3 on Sunday.
“The league have been in existence for more than 20 years and the venue keep witnessing more crowd on weekly basis,” said Akin-Oshungboye, also an aide to Speaker of Lagos Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa.
He advised the players to always demonstrate spirit of sportsmanship during the games to avoid casualties during and after the matches.
He urged both the government and corporate bodies to support the grassroots league for better performance of the teams and make the pitch more conducive for the games.
In his remarks, Kola Anigbajumo, the Leader, Agege Local Government Legislative Council, gave kudos to the organisers of the competition for puting in place the grassroots soccer among communities in the area.
“This competition has given youths in Agege an opportunity to come together in unity for the betterment of the community.
“We socialise, relate with one another at the same time discuss on how the community can move forward.
“It is a very good opportunity and I want to advise other communities to emulate this type of sport development by bringing the youths together in unity,” he said.
Anigbajumo also advised the youths to shun violence during the matches.
Adetobi Osadipe, a representative of Nigerbev, one of the sponsors of the competition, in his remarks, hailed youths in the community for participating grassroots football.
“In fact this league is fantastic, it is well organised and all the various supporters are friendly, no violence, everything is going smoothly despite the crowded environment.