The Ekiti State Football Association (EKSFA) on Thursday restated its commitment to a bigger and better support for the state-organised Bet9ja Football League.
Mr Olabayo Badmos, Chairman, Bet9ja Ekiti Football League, said that the postponement of the earlier kick-off date for the competition was for logistics reasons and to allow a bigger and better-managed tournament.
“The earlier date for the competition was moved forward to the new date in a bid to make it better, having taken cognisance of logistics necessary to make it meet with the global best practices.
“The eagerly anticipated football competition, which was earlier scheduled to begin July 27, 2019, with 16 teams, was moved to Aug. 6, with the participating teams increased to 18.
“We are trying to be meticulous in the preparations and organisation of the competition. Among other things that we want to have in place are the quality standard of the pitches.
“We also did the inspection of match venues and facilities provided by teams across the state. We have duly approved the ones that met with our demands to hold the matches”, he said.
Badmos noted that the organising committee had lined up series of events to herald the competition proper which include a seminar, draws and distribution of customised jerseys for all teams.
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“The seminar draws and distribution of customised jerseys for all teams is slated for Aug.1, while the final play for the N1 million grand prize is billed for Oct.10 –Oct. 12.
“The competition is sponsored by foremost Nigeria betting company, Bet9ja and will have 60 teams taking part in the playoffs.
“We are expecting to have an interesting statistics that has been generating lots of enthusiasm from stakeholders and football lovers in the state, “ he said.
Badmos said that the number of goals scored in the previous edition of the league had attested to the quality of play by the participating teams.
According to him, a total of 79 goals were scored in 40 encounters of 11 matchdays while 52 goals were scored in the first round of matches.
He said that 27 goals were also scored in the second round, thus averaging 2 goals per match.
According to him, the statistics also included a total of 15 penalty kicks taken during regulation time: 11 in round one and four in round two.
“The participating teams include; Phoenix ASC, Ikole United FC, Ifishin Development FC, Ekiti East United FC, Ajibade FC, Patemmal FA, United FC, Ileona, Flying Angels FC and Ifaki United FC.
“Others are, EKSU Galacticos, Kola Babes, Soccer Academy, Ojorube FC, Gbosa FC, Ikere United FC, Moyero FC, Ijero United FC and Bridgewaters FC, ‘’ he said (NAN)