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Green Beret FC wins 1 Div. football for peace tournaments

Posted : 11 June 2024

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The Green Beret Nigerian Army Football Team has emerged as the winners of the 1st Division Nigerian Army Football for Peace Tournament 2024 after a penalty shootout.

The football tournament began on Friday with four football clubs: Simoiben Football Club, Kachia United Football Club, Green Beret Football Club, and Birnin Gwari United Football Club.

The football tournament was a collaboration between the 1st Division Nigerian Army and the Simoiben Football Academy Kaduna, with the aim of uniting youths and communities through sports.

The Green Beret Nigerian Army FC beat Simoiben FC in a penalty shootout, 12 to 11, to win the tournament. Kachia United secured third position by defeating Birnin Gwari United FC, also in a penalty shootout, 4 to 3, respectively.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 1st Division Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Mayirenso Saraso, said the decision to organize the football tournament for peace and security arose from his visit to some communities in Kachai and Kajuru LGA of the state, where there were security challenges.

He said he visited the communities with the hope of providing some relief, working together with the community leaders and members on how to address the issues.

Saraso lamented that even among the communities, there was disharmony.

“Precisely, when I went to Cibiya, I discovered the communities were not living harmoniously.

“They were divided into Cibiya one and two in Kajuru LGA. These communities do not have any relationship at all.

“Community members of Cibiya one cannot pass through Cibiya two to access the main road linking Kaduna and Kachai because of accusations that they were partnering with bandits or criminals in the past,” he said.

He, therefore, emphasized that in order to bring peace and security, the army needed to work harmoniously with the communities to face the same adversaries.

According to Saraso, the army also plans to organize more sporting events in collaboration with the leadership of both communities.

He said that the youths, who are the main targets and always the victims, needed to play more active roles, hence the need to bring them together through sporting activities.

Saraso mentioned that some of the players were from Kajuru, Kachia, and Giwa LGA, who joined some of their counterparts from the Birnin Gwari axis where there was also a similar security challenge.

He hoped that after the three-day engagement and interactions, the bond and unity would go a long way to bolster peace.

Aside from such engagements being part of the Nigerian Army’s civil-military relations, the GOC said they organized free medical outreaches, donated food items, or carried out infrastructural development in communities that were largely impacted by insecurity.

He stated that football, being a unifying sport in Nigeria, would be exploited for the essence of peace.

He further disclosed that they would continue with the football tournaments, intending to take it to the LGAs next time instead of bringing it to Kaduna.

The GOC urged the participants to take home the spirit of sportsmanship they exhibited in the tournament, explaining that they didn’t need to focus on their differences but interact with each other.


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