A street-to-street soccer tournament tagged”, Kokoriko Street Soccer Cup” would kick off in August this year, courtesy of football administrator, Chief Godspower Okokoriko.
Also underway are Under-20 and 21 Cup tournaments that would cut across seven centres in Rivers State and one in Bayelsa State.
Making plans for the tournaments public in an interview with Tidesports, organiser and initiator of the events, Chief Okokoriko said logistics towards holding the competition are in advanced stage.
He disclosed that the body has introduced new trophies in the name of Obi Wali for Obio/Akpor, Ken Saro-Wiwa in Gokana area, King Jaja in Opobo/Nkoro axis and Adam Fiberesima in Okrika.
Others he listed include Claude Ake Cup in Ogba/Egbema, Agbanni Daerego in Akuku-Toru and Adaka Boro Cup in Bayelsa State.
Emphasising why the tournaments were instituted, Okokoriko said”, we believe that sports bring people together. In short, sports is evangelism for peace.”
The president of the United Youths Sports Federation of Nigeria (UYSFON) also described sports as a weapon to tackle youth restiveness and other social vices.
Lamenting the gradual ebb of grassroots sports, Chief Okokoriko said such tournaments can be a platform of discovering new and budding talents.
He reiterated the need for the government to exploit sports as a means of empowering the youths, noting that Kanus, Taribos and Finidis of today were discovered in similar tournaments.
Chief Okokoriko also stressed the need for the authorities to institute peace cup tournaments among warring youths and communities in the stamp, as a way of stamping out acrimony within the society.
He lamented that so many sports tournaments have failed in the country because of lack of sponsors and therefore tasked corporate bodies not to shy away from their social responsibilities.
AFCON 2021: S’Eagles Neutralise Salah, Sink Pharoahs
The Super Eagles of Nigeria last night in Garoua, Cameroon began their quest for a fourth African Cup of Nations title on a good note with an impressive lone goal victory over seven-time champions and one of the favourites for the title, Egypt, at the nascent 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations.
The Nigerian team under the guidance of interim coach, Augustine Eguavoen, who was appointed less than two months ago, did not only answer doubters, who gave them little chance over the Mohamed Salah led Egypt, they made a strong statement of intent as far as the current championship in Cameroon is concerned.
From the blast of the referee’s whistle, the Eagles asserted themselves and kept the Pharoahs on the back foot in the opening match of Group D. All fears of potential massacre and annihilation from the boot of Salah and company vanished barely 10 minutes into the game as Nigeria controlled Egypt with spirited and purposeful performance.
Salah and his mates were effectively caged and neutralised by the Eagles’ defence marshaled by Kenneth Omeruo, Troost Ekong, Zaidu Sanusi and Ola Aina. Wilfred Ndidi and David Aribo were magnificent in the midfield, while Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi were impressive in attack. Just as Moses troubled Pharaoh on behalf of Israel in the Bible, Moses Simon was a thorn in the flesh of the Egyptians from the right flank with powerful penetrating runs time after time.
Iheanacho put Nigeria ahead after half an hour, controlling and finding the top corner of Egypt’s goal off a header and cross by Aribo and Simon, respectively. The Eagles were unfortunate not to get more goals their efforts deserved, especially, Iheanacho, Awoniyi and Chidera Ejuke, who all missed some good chances.
Egypt were lacklustre for much of the proceedings, managing just one shot in the opening 70 minutes.
Liverpool star, Mohamed Salah, who has reaffirmed his desire to stay at Anfield, repeatedly found himself isolated up front as Nigeria dictated the match’s tempo.
The forward was played through by substitute Ahmed Sayed with 20 minutes remaining but his mishit shot was saved by the legs of Nigeria keeper, Maduka Okoye.
As Egypt searched for an equalizer with an improved performance in the second half, the Eagles battled hard to restrict them to long range efforts and half chances. In the end, Salah was restricted to only one clear chance that was saved by the keeper.
Indeed, Eguavoen and his wards with their performance against Egypt have shown that they mean business in Cameroon and must build on it to try to go all the way in the competition.
Nigeria still has Sudan and Guinea Bissau as opponents to surmount en route dominating Group D.
By: Gabriel Nwanetanya
Erema Jackson Unity Cup: Omunwei FC Beats Igwuruta-Ali FC 6-1
Final of the median edition of Ereme Jackson unity football cup competition among eight teams in lgwuruta community in lkwerre Local Government Area of Rivers state, was played last Sunday.
The encounter which was witnessed by huge crowd at lgwuruta community secondary school field saw Omunwei FC beat her Igwuruta-Ali FC counterpart 6-1 via penalty shootout after a barren draw regulation time.
However, both teams were in their best element, except that poor marksmanship in front of the goal was their greatest undoings till the centre referee signalled the end of the match.
Speaking at the side line of the game, the cup donor/sponsor of the competition,
Ereme Jackson Nwagwu, disclosed that the hall mark of sponsoring the football cup competition was basically to foster unity in Igwuruta community and also to use the platform to discover some budding talents who could be assisted to go for trials outside Nigeria.
“Already,my company has started partnering with a football club in Ukraine known as AFRIK Athletico FC and they have accepted to absorb any qualified good player from the grassroots level into their club,” he frankly stated.
Nwagwu, while urging the youths to put in their best in active participation in the game of football, assured to make the competition an annual event.
It would be pertinent to note that apart from the presentation of the gold trophy to the eventual winner, there were also some consolation prizes given to the highest goal scorer, most valuable player and the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Go Round FC Resumes As Eleven Player Go AWOL
Players and coaches of Go Round FC resume at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium in Omoku as eleven players still failed to show up.
Coach of the side, Ngozi Elechi, said on Saturday morning that the players returned to camp last Friday, but eleven of them who went Absent With Out Leave before the Christmas break have still failed to turn up.
He gave the names of the players as Chinoye Chinda, John Chizoba Uwandu and Anibor Emmanuel.
Others are Victor Wohuruche, Victor Echendu, Anderson Pere, Golden Douye Anaalabiri, Orji Madukwe, Ekene Daniel Chukuladi, Abdulahi Sodiq and Esiada Omonigho.
Elechi said he was yet to hear from the players on their whereabouts but had information that they may be in talks with other clubs while still on contract with Go Round FC.
Meanwhile, General Manager of the club, Soni Uboh, has charged returning players to be of good conduct as preparations continue for the new season.
Uboh said the players must understand what it takes to play for Go Round FC, the pride, the unity and the fact that it is a club run and financed by a passionate football lover, who gives his all to see that they achieve great heights.
“The financier of the team, Felix Obuah, has always given his all to this team in over twenty years and it will not stop now. The players know how he rewards them passionately for success. They must go for it as promotion is the goal,”Uboh said.
The Nigeria National League kick starts on the 11th of February, 2022 as Go Round FC has a game in Lagos against Ottasolo FC.
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