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Soccer, Great Poverty Alleviation Instrument, Says NNL Boss, Okenwa

From  Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

Chairman of Nigeria National League, (NNL), Chidi Offor Okenwa, has identified the round leather game, football, as one of the “greatest instrument for poverty alleviation in the contemporary globe, including Nigeria, saying gone are the days when it  was merely for entertainment.

He noted that the sports has launched scores of  youths from less privileged homes, including Nigeria into billionaire clubs, adding that it had also alleviated the suffering of numerous  families both in developed and developing nations of the word.

Offor, who is also chairman of Enugu State Football Association (ENSFA), stated that : “Soccer is the greatest instrument of poverty alleviation and there is lots of finance in football these days than before,, calling on Nigerians with the financial capacity to start investing  in the sports which had remained a great unifying factor in countries of the globe, Nigeria, inclusive.

Speaking with sports writers weekend at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium Enugu, on the ongoing 2017 governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi amateur soccer tournament, christened “Gburugburu Football Bash competition” put together by the state ministry of youth and sports in conjunction with a group under the aegis of friends of good governance, Offor, also stressed the need for Nigerian youths to begin to see football as a career and pure business.

He explained that the competition which is being  organized for youths of the state, is aimed at  grooming and celebrating hidden soccer talents from parts of the  state, saying  “it is also a way of exposing the young players to scouts and  top flight clubs  managers, such as Rangers Inter. FC of Enugu.

According to him, for instance, if at the end of the day, players are picked from the competition by Rangers handlers, they would help in strengthening the state elite club, besides,  players discovered from  this type of tournament could also serve as   materials for the county’s elite clubs and national teams.

“This ongoing 2017 Gburugburu Football Bash is powered by Enugu State ministry for Youths and Sports in conjunction with friends of good governance.’’

The state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Joseph Udedi, in his remarks, said that the state is committed towards empowering  its young people via sports.

As a  unifying factor, sports could be use to check youth restiveness in the country, it can be use  to keep them busy, we have to engage them  with something that they have much interest in.

“Though, football is the most popular sports in the country but we will soon take others sports to an enviable height in the state,’’ Udedi stated.

He reiterated the state government’s  determination to diversify sports in the state and promised that the football bash will be an annual event.

Leader of friends of good governance, who is equally  Managing Director (MD) of Enugu Housing Development Corporation, Chuks Agu, in his  comments, expressed satisfaction with the budding talent at the soccer fiesta.

He said ” We noticed good talents in the state and wish to give the clubs an opportunity to exposed talent in their jurisdiction.

“I am not disappointed with the players display because the players are good to watch, the clubs eagerness towards this competition showed that they had been waiting for this opportunity. In spite of the short notice given to the clubs and the players, they still make it to this competition,’’ Agu stated.

African Examiner sports  Correspondent covering the tournament reports that the amateur soccer competition which commenced on  5, October  will come to a climax on  October 22, 2017 at the main bowl of Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu.


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