By JOHNSON EBIGIDE, Asaba
The much awaited football tournament in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, tagged ” Aniocha North Football Fiesta 2020″, kicked off on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at the Ogbe Utu Primary School play ground in Issele-Uku, the administrative headquarters of the local government.
Speaking before the kickoff of the opening match between the Issele-Uku and Idumuje-Unor football teams, the sole sponsor of the football competition, Mr. Bazim Sally Biose, said that the fiesta was put together to forester peace and unity among the various communities in the locality, adding that apart from discovering some skilful talented players during the competition, which he said would hold from December 6 to 29, 2020, the tournament would help in uniting the people, particularly youths in the area.
Mr. Bazim, who was represented at the occasion by the Peace Ambassador of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Osita Biose, disclosed that the team that emerged the winner of the trophy would go home with #300,000 cash reward, while the runner up and the third place teams would have consolation cash rewards of #200,000 and #100,000 respectively, adding that several other cash rewards, including fair play award, the best goalkeeper, the most valuable player, would be splashed on the teams and individual players.
The sports enthusiast said that he would personally bestow the various cash rewards and awards on the winning teams and players immediately after the grand finale of the football tournament on December 29, 2020.
Earlier before the kickoff of the opening match, the Obi of Issele-Uku, HRM Obi Nduka, who was represented by the Ashiobi of Issele-Uku, Uche Mgbanwa, commended Mr. Bazim for his initiative in sponsoring the competition, adding that such togetherness through sports was one sure way of promotion unity among people of any locality.
The royal father enjoined the competing teams to embrace fair play and decorum throughout their participation in the tournament and thereafter, noting that it would be counterproductive for the teams and their players to turn the competition into a warfare.
The royal father was thereafter presented with a pack of the football kits for the tournament by the representative of Mr. Bazim, Comrade Osita.
The 17 main villages in the locality were grouped to fixture in the tournament as follows: Group A has Issele-Uku, Idumuje-Unor, Obior and Ogordo; Group B is made up of Onicha-Ugbo, Issele- Mkpitime, Issele-Azagba and Ugbodu while groups C and D have Onicha Olona, Idumuje-Ugboko, Onicha Uku, Ugboba and Obomkpa, Ubulubu, Ezi, Idumu-Ogo, Ukwu-Uzu respectively.