—– Warns Izhi Youths To Eschew Cultism and Other Vices
By Amuche Agbo
As Izhi Football Association plays final match of Izhi 2021 League, the team of Ebonyi Development Centre from Ebonyi Local Government Area, Ebonyi State has finally emerged first position of the tournament.
The football competition was fully participated by the 13 Development Centres of Izzi extraction in Ebonyi State under the sponsorship of the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly Chief Ogbonna Nwifuru.
Our correspondent reports that the grand finale of this year’s tournament was held on Sunday at PA Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki, and Ebonyi Development Centre football team defeated Ebyia Development Centre players from Izzi Local Government Area by two goals to nil (2-0), to claim the ultimate prize.
Also, Amachi Development Centre football players from Abakalki Local Government Area went home with the bronze medal after putting Abakaliki Development Centre down by one goal to nothing (1-0).
We equally gathered that Ebonyi Speaker, has been dishing out huge sums yearly to facilitate and sponsor footballing events for the 13 Development Centres of Izzi extraction, under the care of Izzi Football Association (IFA).
The 2021 edition of this tournament was reportedly began on Sunday, February 7, 2021, yet again, under the sponsorship of Speaker Nwifuru.
Speaking during the grand finale, Speaker Nwifuru thanked everyone for their active participation in the tournament.
He praised the hard work put in by the Local Organising Committee led by Chief Barr. Boniface Ezeagu and advised them never to relent in their strides to help promote sports in Izzi land.
While speaking on the benefits derived from such event, he said, “nothing unifies people better than quality sports. In addition to this glaring fact, sporting activities promote healthy competition, fitness of the body and mind, display of tremendous talents and elimination of idleness.”
According to him, the 1st place team – Ebonyi DC went home with One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00); 2nd place team – Ebyia DC, Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600,000.00); 3rd place team – Amachi DC, Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000.00); and 4th place team – Abakaliki DC, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00). The teams, individual players and coaches equally received various cash prizes as well, from notable stakeholders from within and beyond Izzi clan.
Speaker Nwifuru who was obviously elated, announced that in a couple of months to come, he will make a provision of the sum of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00), to the committee to begin another round of this beautiful tournament.
He admonished the youths to eschew cultism, violence and bitterness among themselves and embrace unity and sporting activities for the growth of the clan.
He extolled Governor David Nweze Umahi, for his tremendous and sincere efforts in providing enabling environment for sporting activities in the State.
The Lawmaker encouraged the governor to pay deaf ears to unnecessary distractions from any quarter and continue to keep focus in his quest to place Ebonyi State properly on the global scheme of affairs.
The occasion ably chaired by the former Honourable Minister of State for Power and Steel, Chief Godwin Ogbaga was a clear roar of emotions from spectators and fans.
Ogbaga described the event as a delightful event, which produced sizzling displays and fine goals, especially for the neutrals.
He commended the Speaker and urged other stakeholders in the clan to emulate the gesture, noting that the tournament has shown that Izzi clan has talented children in footballing that deserve more encourage to boost their skills.
In his speech, the IFA President, Chief Boniface Ezaegu, lauded the sponsor of the tournament and other supporters for the 2021 football supper league and called for more financial assistance from the stakeholders to keep the asssociation moving.
Interacting with newsmen, HRH Eze Sunday Oketa of Nkaleke Echara Autonomous Community, the Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area – Chief Mrs Chinyere Nwogbaga, a former House of Representatives Members – Chief Mathias Adum, the Coordinator of Ebonyi Development Centre – Victor Nwobasi and the Captain of the winning team – Nwiboko Friday Onwe advocated for the continuity of the sports competition in considering its numerous benefits including promotion of love, peace, unity, harnessing talents among others.
Recall that one of the players, Alo Matthew Chukwuka from Ebonyi Development won the highest goal scorer with 8 goals, Patrick Nwamini from Ebyia Development Centre emerged best indigenous coach and Ebyia Development Centre won the best team of the season.
Iyere Development Centre produced the best goal keeper while Ofoke Obichukwu of Ebyia Development Centre was awarded the most valuable player and Ebere Nwogba of Ekumenyi Development Centre emerged the best performing Coordinator of the edition.
Lending his voice, the Coordinator of Amachi Development center Hon. Obinna Nwiboko who was visibly happy over the third position of his team, thanked the sponsor and the organizers of the match for their effort in ensuring the success of the exercise.
The Coordinator who described the match as a welcome development and talent hunt called other stakeholders in the clan to queue into the exercise to harness the talent of izhi teaming youths while calling on the participants to see the match as a unification factor and urged them to stay clear from violent activities for their own benefit.
Meanwhile, the grand finale was attended by the Deputy Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly and other Honourable Members, Executive Council Members, Local Government Chairmen from Izzi extraction, Party Executives, Traditional Rulers, Coordinators of various Development Centres, representative of the Senator representing Ebonyi North zone, Youths and many other stakeholders from all walks of life.