-IDFA parleys team, managers, referees ahead of June 13 kick-off date
All is set for the 13th edition of the longest football championship in Lagos State, Bolowotan Gold Cup, as the Ikorodu Divisional Football Association (IDFA) parleyed major stakeholders in preparation for this year’s tournament.
According to the organizers, 32 teams will be participating in the tournament that will be played at the popular Police Barracks Playing Ground, Igbogbo road, Ikorodu.
The Director – General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr Toyin Gafaar Bolowotan, the initiator of the tournament, has been the sole sponsor of the tournament which was conceived to engage youths and provide young players the veritable platform to exhibit their football talents.
Current winner of the championship, F.A Victory from Elepe in Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area, and other traditional teams like Real FC, Planet FC, Sharon FC, Ultimate FC, Perfect Touch FC, Greater FC, NTAB FC, Excel FC, Ayomiposi FC and AACC will also participate in this year's edition of the football competition.
Other participating teams are Danny FC. Ogunnuwa Bombers FC, Golden Dollar FC, Sporting Royal FC, Balogun Jaiyesimi FC, Unizee FC, Offin FC, TCCG FC, Eddunz FC, Shola FC, Wizzy FC, Alimi Skills Builders FC, Elebiyo FC, Opopo Onaiwa Momo FC, Magic Future FC, Prosperity FC, Ade Bax FC, Cottage FC, Eazigo FC, Warrior FC and Life Family FC.
Alhaji Lukman Sonibare, the Chairman of the Ikorodu Divisional Football Association (IDFA), while announcing the commencement of the 2021 edition of the tournament, said that the traditional teams and the new ones will be participating in the 13th edition of the Bolowotan Gold Cup.
He said that the IDFA will be strictly enforcing discipline, especially as it concerns the rules of the game and FA rules.
He also charged team managers to ensure that they complete the regularization of their respective team’s record on or before June 10 unfailingly.
“We are here to reflect on the 12th edition of the Bolowotan Gold Cup and discuss our expectations for the forthcoming 13th edition”, he said at the parley.
“The sponsor of the tournament has told me that the 13th edition will be bigger.
“We noticed some lapses in the 12th edition which we are not going to condone in this year’s edition. Many of us were lackadaisical, especially when it comes to some important things like Referee’s match report.
“I want to advise (managers) that when writing the match report, they should ensure that someone with good hand writing writes it. The report is very important to the Referees and the FA. Make sure that you write legibly, preferably in capital letters”, he emphasized.
“In the match report, you are expected to write the names of your team’s first 11 players, reserves and officials. When writing names of the officials, those that will be on the report must be those that are available for the match on that day. If there is only one official present, ensure that that name alone is written on the report because he’s the only one to sit on the bench on that day for the match.
He said that the FA will be allowing five substitutes at this year’s tournament as against three that were allowed in the 12th edition, while also enjoining teams to be at match venue on their match day hours before the kick off time.
“We used three substitutes at the last edition of the competition, but for the 13th edition, we are going to allow five substitutes per match and you can only do the substitutions three times”, he said.
“If a match is to start at 2.00pm, you must (the teams) arrived at the match venue at the appropriate reporting time which is normally 2hours before the kick – off time but for those coming from far distance, they must be on ground at least an hour before the kick – off time.
“Our referees are going to be kicking off their matches at exactly 2.00pm. Let’s do things right. We have people watching us in lkorodu.
“You have enough time to prepare your teams for the kick off of the tournament. We want you to submit your licenses and every other thing before the commencement”, he added.
The FA Chairman also announced that the board will set up a Disciplinary Committee before the commencement of the tournament to handle cases arising from the tournament.
“Ikorodu FA is known for its discipline and we have been doing it and we will not hesitate to do that again”, Alhaji Sonibare said.
He said that the FA will be repairing portions of the Police Barracks Playing Ground that need attention before the commencement of the tournament.
He also announced that there will be a permanent medical team with necessary equipment during every match that will be played at the tournament, adding that any participating team’s medical team could join the one that will be provided by the FA and sponsor.
To further prove FA’s seriousness, Alhaji Shonibare said that the tournament will be registered with the Nigerian Police for prompt action again any act of indiscipline or any act capable of threatening the success of the tournament.
Alhaji Shonibare also informed team representatives at the parley that fixtures and rules for the tournament will be out before official kick-off.
Chief Fatai Orelesi, popularly called ‘Baba Railway’, the Coordinator of IDFA, charged team managers and players to conduct themselves in good manners and also emphasized that referees need to be alive to their responsibilities to prevent negative occurrences.
“I want to appeal to our referees to ensure that they keep records of matches that they are incharge of because we don’t want to experience a situation where IDFA would be blamed for certain decisions when we are, in actual fact, only acting on the records supplied by the referees”, he pleaded.
“It is also important that coaches and team managers should behave themselves and also instill discipline in their players.
Prince Morufu Oluwa (FIFA Rtd.), in his own remarks, said that the players in Ikorodu are very engaging due to the number of tournaments that are being staged annually.
“You should consider yourself lucky because apart from Abuja, Ikorodu is one of the busiest in terms of football calendar.
“Also, football is getting massive media coverage in Ikorodu.
The retired referee also charged managers and players to showcase their passion within the rules of the game.
Another retired FIFA rated referee and the Head, IDFA Referee Unit, Alhaji Saheed Ayeni, FIFA, charged players and their managers to respect the rules of the game and obey officials.
“It is important for team managers and players to respect the rules of the game and referees on the field of play”, he said.
“You can only be player or manager but you cannot be either of these two and at same time be the referee. Referees are human beings and as such, if there is any mistake, you should channel your complaints to appropriate authority. The Match Commissioner will always be there to listen to your complaints”, the veteran referee advised.
He also charged the Referee Society to ensure that they look deeply when picking referees to officiate any match while also stating that the tournament is meant to raise talents which he said are in abundance in Ikorodu.