From Agbo Amauche, Abakaliki
As Izhi Football Association,IFA kicked off her 2023 tournament, the players have been enjoined to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship as the exercise is not do or die affair.
The President of the association, Chief Boniface Ezzaegu made the appeal during the flag off of the football completion at the ancestral home of Izhi Nnodo clan, Amegu in Abakaliki Local Government Area, Ebonyi State.
The IFA president who disclosed that the association was formed in the year 2004 and since then had been hugely supported by His Excellency the Governor of Ebonyi State, Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru which led to its survival.
He commended the Governor for always supporting the football competition and assured him the readiness of the association to produce well talented players that would represent the state at both national and international league.
The President noted that the team were selected across the thirteen development centers in Izhi clan, saying that the match would be ended in December this year while assuring a level playground for all the teams.
In the same vein, the Local Organizing committee Chairman, Mr George Iboko emphasized that the competition was organized to harness football talents of their youths who could compete favourably with players at the national and international league.
He enjoined the players to put much efforts in the competition for the realization of the set objectives and admonished both the winning and loosing team of the kicked off match to shun violence and imbibed the spirit of brotherhood while calling others in Ebonyi State to emulate Izhi clan by engaging their youths in sporting activities to reduce youths restiveness and crimes in the society.
On his part, a member of the association, Prince Andrew Ekpe described sports as one of the integral part in the unity of any Nation, and as such afford one the opportunity to utilize his talent.
He revealed that at the end of the competition, the best players would be selected and presented to the State Government for onward approval to join the State team.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion and the former Senator that represented Ebonyi North zone, Senator Sylvanus Nguji Ngele appreciated organizers of the competition for sustaining Izhi football tournament and expressed hope that the players would attain greater height that would be enviable of all through the competition.
In an interview, the coach of Nnodo Development Center Mr Nwofe Anthony maintained that their loss to Ebonyi DC was as a result of some mistakes of their players and expressed optimism that they would emerge victory in the next outing.
Our correspondent reports that the football competition which was flagged off by the Governor of Ebonyi State Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru, ended in favor of Ebonyi Development center after scoring three goals to beat the opponent Nnodo DC that scored two goals.