Organisers of the Ifeanyi Okowa Annual Football Tournament have described the personal attendance of the Delta State Governor at the finals of the 2017 edition as a sure way of promoting community and grassroots sports development.
Governor Okowa was accompanied by his wife, Edith Okowa, former chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Nduka Irabor and his wife, Ebelle, as well as top community leaders in Ikaland to the event held at the Agbor Township Stadium December 30 as part of the community’s Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The highly entertaining 5th edition of the tournament saw Boji Boji Urban (Ward 7) defeat Abavo (Ward 11) 6 – 5 to cart home the cash prize of N1m and a giant trophy.
Both teams had held on the stakes, unyielding to each other to end nil-nil at regulation time and thus went straight into penalty shootout which dramatically went into sudden death. Abavo lost on the 6th kick to finish as first runner up for a cash prize of N500, 000.
Earlier in the proceedings, Umunede (Ika North Ward 11) defeated their Ward 6 counterpart opponents (Ofien/Owaekie/Alizomor) in the third place match to go home with N300, 000.
Former national player and head of the Organising Committee, Lucky Sunday, said the tournament ended on a glorious note with huge attendance by members of the community and the physical presence of Governor Okowa putting icing on the cake.
“This tournament is about community life. Yes, it provides space for youngsters to showcase their talent, but it is more about maintaining a platform to constantly bring our people together. We can celebrate the season individually at our family levels but you can see that sports bring us all together,” Sunday said.
“It was big icing for our efforts that Governor Okowa personal attended with his wife, family members and a top personality like Hon Nduka Irabor and his wife. This attendance endorses and appends seriousness to community and grassroots sports. It motivates not just players but even spectators.