Chairman, Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi, Chief Eni-Uduma Chima says grassroots sports development is critical for discovering and harnessing potential sporting talents.
Chima spoke, yesterday at Ekoli-Edda, after handing over a trophy to the Amaeke Football Club, winner of the 2018 edition of the Ekoli-Umunna Football Association (EUFA)’s organised tournament.
Chima commended the organisers of the tournament and the teams that participated in the soccer fiesta, describing sports as an instrument for peace building and unity.
He called on governments at all levels, sports lovers as well as wealthy individuals to invest in grassroots sports development to uncover hidden sporting talents.
“The essence of this annual football tournament is to promote peace, unity among the communities that participate in the soccer fiesta and provide recreation to citizens who came home for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
“Our people value this competition more than the English Premier League or the European Champions League.
“The competition gives us opportunity to look at the people playing in the tournament and pick potential football talents from there.
“The grassroots soccer competition which started 29 years ago has led to the discovery of football stars of international repute, including the likes of late Chief Kalu Idikaku – Pele – a former captain of the Nigerian Green Eagles,’’ Chima said.
The council chairman, who paid tribute to the founding fathers of the football competition, promised to ensure the continuity of the annual soccer event.
He promised to plant grasses at the pitch of Egbegbu mini stadium, Ekoli-Edda to enhance general infrastructure at the mini-stadium.
Chima also addressed the crowd of spectators who thronged to watch the final match, urging them to participate actively in the 2019 general elections.
He urged members of the community who were yet to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to ensure that they collect them to enable them exercise their civic responsibility.
He said that the council would assist members of the community resident in different parts of the country to come home and vote by providing them with free transportation during the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
The council chairman informed the indigenes of the various developmental projects undertaken by Gov. Dave Umahi and called for their continued support for the governor’s re-election.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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