Any of you (players) that return to that pitch, it shall not be well with the person, those were the words of Lakeside FC of Lagos coach Ganiyu towards his players at the second quarter final game of the Chief Onigbinde U-17 Football Championship today.
Lakeside FC of Lagos has shown gross indiscipline and gave reasons why football at grassroots level might not grow in Nigeria.
The evil character from the Lagos based club was evident as they abandoned their quarter final match against Oyo Selected at the ongoing Chief Onigbinde U-17 Football Tourney.
Lakeside qualified for the quarter final by not kicking a ball since the competition started due to walkovers over their opponents and made the second quarter final inconclusive with a wayward character coming from their head coach called Ganiyu.
Quarter final games began today at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium with Young Stars eliminating Phoenix FC of Lagos by two unreplied goals. A surprise result to see Phoenix who has has scored 10 goals in the tournament; crashing out without a fight but accepted defeat without any form of violence.
The tournament that has been without violence since its inception witnessed an unexpected scene at the second quarter final game of the day between Oyo Selected and Lakeside FC.
After a non eventful first half that ended goalless, the second half began with Oyo Selected showing intent of scoring their first goal of the tourney [Oyo Selected qualified for the quarters by penalty shoot having played barren draw in both their round of 32 and 16 encounters] by pressurizing Lakeside early in the second duration.
The pressure paid off when the center referee pointed to the spot. Lakeside defender, Hammed Quadri pushed his opponent (Oyo Selected player) while on air, leaving the player requiring medical attention after falling from that push.
A correct call by the center referee as Hammed was also cautioned for that offence. Akorede Bashir converted the penalty kick giving Oyo Selected a one goal lead.
Lakeside players gathered to restart the game but hell was let lose when Lakeside coach, Ganiyu ordered his players to leave the field of play. Few of the players were reluctant to leave telling their coach to let them continue the game. The coach instead altered the evil statement, “any of you (players) that return to that pitch, it shall not be well with the person.”
If that wasn’t enough, he harassed, cursed and used abusive words against the match officials and organizers of the competition. He also instigated his players and supporters to do the same.
After waiting for the stipulated time to see if Lakeside players will return to the pitch, the center referee ended the game and declared the match abandoned and inconclusive.
This inept attitude means Lakeside has been eliminated from the competition, Ganiyu has also denied one his player who has been selected by Maxi Sports International during the game for trials on November 6, 2021; to forfeit a golden chance.
At an underage tournament that should be a platform for youngsters to develop, instead it became a show of shame as the gaffer himself needs to be disciplined.
Often, we cry about maladministration of the game, we cry about syphoning of funds, we rant about the non development of the game, no platform for youngsters to rise, lack of sponsors for grassroots competitions and how all these factors has lead to huge dearth of talents in the country. How will the game grow with this form of a rebellious attitude on display at the grassroots?
It is evident that coaches at grassroots level are also problems to the growth of game.
When a coach of a young cadet team is so indiscipline, what are the fate of the players he is managing?