The Elegushi Beach in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos, on Saturday was agog when World Football governing body (FIFA) Council, CAF Executive Committee Member and President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Melvin Pinnick officially kicked off the new Nigeria Beach Soccer League.
The League, which is the baby project of the Amaju Pinnick-led Board is also supported by Beach Soccer Worldwide, and Africa Beach Soccer Union.
Speaking on the sidelines after the inauguration, Mr Pinnick, who was in company of NFF 1st Vice President, Barr Seyi Akinwunmi, Nigeria Beach Soccer League Coordinator, Mahmoud Hadejia and other officials, said he was excited to be part of the historical moment, and that he was at the event despite his busy schedule, to reiterate the NFF’s endorsement, whilst also pledging his total support for the newly formed Nigeria Beach Soccer Association.
“I’m not going talk much today because I’m very excited that we are finally kicking off the Beach Soccer League in Nigeria. I’m here to officially endorse this project and to also show the Federation’s full backing.
“I want to appreciate everyone that made this happen because it has been a collective effort despite the many hurdles. It has been long overdue and by God’s grace we will take beach soccer to greater heights of international relevance,” said Pinnick.
In a thrilling first round Group A opener, Kebbi Beach Soccer Club beat Badagry United 4-2 to get their title contention underway.
Adams Taiwo set the ball rolling for them on the 8th minute when his low drive beat goalkeeper Zomoto Idowu of Badagry to give Kebbi the lead.
Badagry came close to grabbing their equalizer in the closing stages of the first period through Achior Valentine but shot his effort wide to end the first period 1-0 in favour of Kebbi BSC.
The Bashar Aliyu-tutored boys began the second period like they did the first, as a free-kick just on the 5th minute by Badmus Faud gave them a comfortable two-goal lead.
Down but not out, Badagry kept asking all the questions and were duly rewarded on the 8th minute through Akewusola Jamal but Kebbi responded almost immediately when S. Ilimi Abubakar restored their two-goal cushion just on the stroke of the second period for 3-1.
Badagry started the 3rd period on the front foot and came close to getting their reward again through Atemo Samuel but his shot was blocked by goalkeeper Arome Isah who was having a very good day between the sticks.
The ever-vibrant Isah could however do nothing to stop Achior Valentine’s free-kick on the 10th minute as Badagry pulled one back for 3-2.
Kebbi then made sure that any hope of a comeback was off the table for Badagry as they responded almost immediately via Adams Taiwo, who bagged his brace on opening day to lead the race for golden boot.
In other matches played in Group B on Sunday, Igbogbo BSC of Lagos pummeled Edo HCF 6-3, Anambra BSC were 5-3 better than Kwara BSC in Group A, and Kada BSC squeezed past Smart City of Lagos, 5-2.
Kebbi BSC 4-2 Badagry United
Kwara BSC 3-5 Anambra BSC
Igbogbo BSC 6-3 Edo BSC
Kada BSC 6-4 Smart City
Sunday 4 April Fixtures
Badagry United vs Kwara BSC
Edo HCF vs Kada B
Anambra vs Kebbi BSC
Smart City vs Igbogbo BSC