The Niger State hockey team which became runners-up at the local league to book a place at an African tournament has vowed to win the upcoming African Club for Club Championship (ACC) slated for Lusaka, Zambia in December 7. The Niger State darling team which has also been representing the country at the international scene said they are condemned to win the tournament this year to honour the Chief Servant of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu. The team said their resolve to win the trophy was borne out of their desire to present the governor with a birthday present in view of his contribution to the development of sports and hockey in particular in the state.
However, the team is on the other hand, pleading with the governor to release funds in time to enable it honour the championship which is only few weeks away.
Since Governor Babangida Aliyu assumed office, the game of hockey in the state has improved to a level which saw them compete in both local and international competitions’ like the ACC tourney in 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana last year.
The camping for the championship for the Lusaka edition is due to commence on Sunday November 20, but funds for the trip has not been released to the team, a situation that may deny them an opportunity to represent the state.
Team Manager of the team, Mohammed Danjuma Kolo told LEADERSHIP SPORTS that since the inception of the ACC, no Nigerian club has ever won it. But they are promising the state governor to break the jinx this time: “We are promising to win the cup for the chief servant for the support he has shown for hockey in the state. We are going to Zambia and we are coming back to Niger State with the trophy,” he promised.