Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has called on the 206 participating teams at this year’s Governor’s Football Tournament, tagged “Prosperity Cup” to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play, and equally ensure they give their very best throughout the competition.
Governor Diri gave the charge during the official kick-off ceremony of the showpiece grassroots competition at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, on Monday, May 2, 2022.
While declaring the competition open, the governor, who was the Special Guest of Honour, described sports as an integral part of every society and expressed optimism that the tourney will not only curb youth restiveness, but create opportunities for exceptional players who may wish to pursue a career in football.
He said the state government was unable to host the competition last year, due to some unforseen circumstances. He however expressed delight that the entire state is agog as the competition gets underway.
“And I implore all of you who are participating to note that the name of the game is fair play. I wish all of you the participating teams, good luck.”
“This is a competition that you need to put in your all, you wouldn’t know those who are coming to watch you, you wouldn’t know those who are coming to scout for players. This is a competition that can expose you nationally and internationally.”
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“And for the ministry (of Youth and Sports Development) and the organisers, I will like to appreciate you, and thank you for ensuring that this year did not pass us by. This competition should have been held last year, but for unforeseen circumstances, we could not commence it last year.”
In his remark, Youth and Sports Development Commissioner, Hon. Daniel Igali, attributed the success of the sporting sector to the commitment and support of the governor to sports, being a one-time Commissioner for Sports in the state.
Earlier, Director General of the Prosperity Cup, Mr. Ono Akpe, in his welcome address, highlighted some prospects of the competition, and thanked the governor for the attention given to sports in Bayelsa State since he assumed office.
He said every arrangement has been put in place for a successful tournament; arrangement in terms of security, medical, logistics and more.
“The tournament will run for six weeks and we anticipate that the final will be played on June 12. For now we have 20 centres across the state. Sixteen teams will emerge from the centres and will play until the final at this very stadium.”
“We expect a lot of national and international scouts in the last phase, the quarter finals, semi finals and final, while our own local scouts will be with us from the beginning of this (opening) match till the end of the tournament.”
The organisers had, on Thursday, April 28, conducted the draws of the tournament and also distributed jerseys to all the 206 participating teams.