[From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia]
Enyimba Football Club (EFC) has merged champions of the six-day 2020 Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu pre-season football tournament.
Enyimba beat home rivals, Abia Warrior Football Club, 1-0 in the finals at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba, through a penalty last Saturday.
The spot kick was converted in the first half of the match to crown Enyimba the overall winners of the novel tournament in Abia.
Presenting the trophy to Enyimba, the Abia State Governor congratulated all the teams that participated, especially Enyimba and Abia Warriors, for making the state proud during the tournament.
Ikpeazu, represented by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Chief Ikwuagwu Emeka, advised the players to see the tournament as an opportunity to sharpen their skills for improved performances in the main league which would kick-off soon.
He explained that getting the players back to form after a long break due to COVID-19 pandemic and preparing them for the main league was the reason for hosting the tournament which, he added, also affords clubs opportunities to take stock of players, assess their performances and make necessary adjustments in time before the start of the main league scheduled for the end of this month.
The Commissioner, in his remarks, thanked the Governor for his wonderful support and encouraging presence in the opening match of the tournament and his love for youths and sports.
Ikwuagwu said that Ikpeazu, due to his love and support for sports and its grassroots development, has motivated his Ministry to launch numerous sporting programmes that took place or were ongoing before and after the lockdown on sports due to COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
According to the Commissioner, the grassroots sports’ development drive were targeted at getting the youths positively engaged as well as discovering and developing new talents and their potentials.
Ikwuagwu listed the Oversea Football and Academic scholarship awarded to two youths by Brookhouse College, London during the School Sports Festival earlier this year as one of the gains of grassroots sports drive in the state.
He disclosed that Governor has given approval to his Ministry to revive Abia Valiants Handball International Club, the on-going Abia State Under 2ema1 Fle Inter-Local Government Football Competition as part of the many efforts of the government geared towards youth engagement, self reliance, curbing and controlling youth restiveness.
Chairman of the 2020 Dr Okezie Ikpeazu Pre-season Tournament Committee, Mr Ugochukwu Onosike (a.k.a Dauda), among other dignitaries, spectators and the footballers themselves witnessed the trophy presentation ceremony.
Some of the clubs which participated in the tournament included Enyimba FC, Aba; Cynosure FC, Abakiliki; A&A FC, Calabar and Abia Comets, Umuahia.
Others are Jewel FC, Aba, Abia Warriors FC, Umuahia; Plateau Utd, Jos; Flight FC, Gboko; Ngwa Utd, Aba and Abia Greater Tomorrow, Aba.