Some members of the Emir of Ilorin’s Cup organising committee
The finals of the 2023 Emir of Ilorin’s Cup played over the weekend ended in fracas after players of the victorious team, Police Machine, went on rampage as they attacked journalists and competition organisers over prize money.
The Chairman of Ilorin West Football Association and chairman of the competition’s organizing committee, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Owolabi Agbaji Wopa, also was caught up in the melee.
The Police team had defeated Musty FC 1-0 to lift the trophy while the third place match between Okaa Sports FC and Adezzy FC ended 1-0 in favour of the former.
However, trouble started shortly after the presentation of trophies and medals.
An eye witness said “While he was granting a press interview, the police team players accosted Wopa outside the main bowl of the Ilorin Township Stadium requesting for their money.
“But he (Wopa) told them that such money requires processing and some of their handlers were yet to reconcile accounts to enable them make payments.”
It is said the angry Policemen refused to be pacified as they insisted on getting their prize money at that moment.
“They assaulted him physically while others sustained injuries. They smashed phones, sunglasses and other belongings,” another eye-witness added.
Wopa lamented over the unfortunate incident and said “the players did not show self-control and discipline Nigerian Police is known for.”
In his reaction, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Victor Olaiya, said he was very upset with the action of the policemen.
He said a full investigation into the ugly incident will be carried out very soon.
Olaiya stated that efforts are ongoing towards a meeting and possible resolution of the matter with the competition’s organising committee and the physically assaulted sports journalists
He also pleaded that the incident should not put the existing cordial relationship between the command and the press in the state in jeopardy”.
Daily Trust gathered reliably that the organisers had planned to give out N1m, N750,000 and N500,000 cash prize for the first, second and third place teams respectively.