It has been goals galore at the maiden edition of The Redeemed Christian Church Of God (RCCG) Province 32 Area 31, Place Of Mercy Street Soccer tournament,which kicked off on May 2nd.
The event which had sixteen teams from the nooks and crannies of Isolo, Ejigbo, Surulere, Ikotun, Ajao Estate etc. slugging it out for the mouth-watering prizes at stake, enters the quarter-final stages this weekend.
The soccer extravaganza which is an evangelism tool for the church to reach out to new souls, as well as act as an avenue to discover hidden football stars, who abound in Lagos State, was flagged off with a kick-off by the host, and Pastor-in-charge of Area 31, Place Of Mercy Parish, Pastor Olubunmi Ajayi.
Pastor Ajayi, had earlier at the opening ceremony, while addressing team officials and players, reiterated the resolve of the Church to touch the lives of the participants in a special way.
This, he said, will be made possible by the provision of extra incentives that will ensure that they made a living through football. He also promised to do everything possible to make sure that the competition will be an annual event.
“I cannot be able to tell you how delighted I am to be part of thischampionship. I feel on top of the world,” stated an excited Pastor Ajayi.
“Undoubtedly, among you are the future Lionel Messis, Cristiano Ronaldos, Wayne Rooneys etc. of this world. Some of you will even surpass some of these players I mentioned, and I want to be part of that history.
“By God’s grace, the church will do everything within our means to support you to any level. We will work with the coordinator of this event to ensure that all that will be required to make this an enviable annual championship will be made available. Most importantly, players who excel during this tourney will be given the necessary assistance to take them to the pinnacle of their chosen career.”
The opening ceremony which had the trappings of a carnival, saw a contingent from RCCG, Province 32, Area 2, Ijesha, led by Kingsley Ajabogwu and Akin Davies in attendance to add glamour and vibrancy to proceedings. While filling the yawning gap left by Pastor Solomon Cole, assistant Pastor Province 32, and originator of RCCG street soccer initiative, they brought their vast experience to bear on the event.
So far, eight (street)teams namely: Olusolape Ige, Owolabi, Odofin, Ashamu (RCCG Peace Sanctuary), Oviawe, Moshalasido, Kudaki and Kolawale Sebili have been eliminated in the preliminaries that witnessed an explosion of skill, talent and goals. Eight remaining teams to do battle for the semi final places are:
Merciful Angels (Place of Mercy team), Omoboriowo, Kayode Adebanji, Prosperity,Kogberegbe, Sinayabande, Association and Council streets.