The University of Benin’s inaugural 5 a-side football tournament was a huge success as the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences won the coveted prize for the male category beating the Faculty of Engineering in what was a difficult contest as the winner was decided in a penalty shootout, while the Faculty of Engineering won the prize for the female category, in another penalty shoot out with the Faculty of Education team.

 The event had its shares of bumps on the road as the games were suspended due to a dispute amongst players and spectators as a result of poor officiating by the referee, but this was resolved by the efforts of  the Vice- Chancellor and Emmanuel Onakpa, Director of Sport, Student Union Government, University of Benin.

On the reason for the organizing of the competition, Emmanuel said, it was to revive the sporting culture in the University after a long spell without any sporting activity. 

“Sport is native to us as students in the University of Benin, and in the bid to revive the spirit of sportsmanship, my team and I were eager to renew that nativity through the University of Benin 5-Aside competition. We were able to achieve and renew it.” He said.

After a tough series of matches, Ochuko from the faculty of Engineering emerged the highest goal scorer for the female category with seven goals in the tournament while Enabulele from the Faculty of Education won the highest goal scorer for the male category with eight goals. 

The Golden Glove award (Female Category) was won by Sonia from the Faculty of Engineering while Nosa from the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences won the same award for the male category. 

Coach Theresa, the only female coach managing a male team in the tournament and also the coach of the winning male team of the tournament emerged the best coach of the tournament (Male category), while Coach Victor Udi emerged the best coach of the tournament (Female category)

Here are the nominees for the player of the tournament award in the male and female categories.

Nominees (Best player male category)

  • Marvelous (Engineering)  WINNER
  • Parpae (Social Sciences)
  • Success (Engineering)
  • Joshua (Social Sciences)
  • John Paul (Basic Medical Sciences)
  • Alex (Life Sciences)
Marvelous (Faculty of Engineering) Best Male Player

Nominees (Best player female category)

  • Deborah (Education) WINNER
  • Alex (Education)
  • Ochuko (Engineering)
  • Florence (Engineering)
  • Blessing (Social Sciences)
  • Faith (Education)
Deborah (Faculty of Education) Best Female Player

The voting process was fair and transparent, and the votes collated were from the fans, coaches and captains. 

The University of Benin 5 a-side tournament was a wave of fresh air after the COVID-19 situation affected university sport participation worldwide. This is not the end of university sport activity in the University of Benin as Emmanuel Onakpa promises to do more as the months roll by.