By Aherhoke Okioma,Yenagoa
– As debutant defeat defending champions in opening game
The Bayelsa state governor, Senator Douye Diri, has officially kicked off this year’s ‘Governor Football Tournament’ at the Samson Siasia’s Sports Complex in Yenagoa, Monday, May 2, 2022.
Addressing the 206 sportsmen and women, Diri tasked them to be best losers and winners by imbibing the spirit of sportsmanship, fair play and charged them to give their best throughout the competition.
The “Miracle governor” while declaring the competition open, described sports as an integral part of every society and expressed optimism that the tournament will not only curb youth restiveness but create opportunities for exceptional players who may want to pursue a career in football.
According to him, the state government was unable to host the competition last year due to some unforeseen circumstances but expressed delight that the competition is held this year.
“This is a competition you need to put in your all, you wouldn’t know those who are coming to scout for players. This is a competition that can expose you nationally and internationally”.
“And for the ministry and organisers, l will thank you for ensuring that this year did not pass us by. This competition should have been held last year, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we couldn’t hold it last year,” he stated.
Hon Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon Daniel Igali, attributed the success of the sporting sector to the commitment and support of the governor who was once a commissioner for sports in the state.
Earlier, the Director-General of the “Prosperity Cup”, Mr Ono Akpe in his welcoming address highlighted some prospects of the competition and thanked the governor for the attention given to sports in the state since he assumed office.
“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 stadium,” he said.
“We expect a lot of national and international scouts in the last phase, the quarter-finals, semi-final, while our own local scouts will be with us from the beginning of this match till the end of the tournament,” he added.
Meanwhile, the debutant Bayelsa Medical Varsity defeated their opponent 2-1 to herald their arrival into the competition.
Action will commence on Friday in the selected twenty match centres across the eight local government areas of the state.