By NWOGHA NDUBUISI ANDY, Abakaliki
The local football competition league, otherwise known as Izhi Nnodo Football League which recently completed its first way has commenced second leg on 10th March, 2021.
Speaking the National President,Izhi Nnodo Football Association,Barr. Boniface Ezzagu told our reporter that the essence of the age long football competition was to promote healthy talent display among the youths and assured players of transparent refereeing.
According to the national president, the football league was officially established in the year 2002 and since has helped in promoting unity of the people of the clan and Ebonyi State generally.
He noted that the essence of the competition cannot be overemphasized, adding that the football league helped wade off crime among youths in the society and called for continuous support.
He revealed that the team before the state own league went into extinction produced it’s three viable players and others who went abroad for their football career.
He appreciated the speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly,Rt.Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru for his recent support which prompted the awoken of the team that’s currently on at the 2nd leg base and called other well meaning Izhi man and others to emulate the kind gesture.
“The league,Izhi Nnodo Football Association started officially in the year 2002 with the aim to promote healthy football and other sports talent among the youths.
“We have it in mind to help the youth discover and showcase their talents, having understand that among the well known players like Kanu Nwankwo,Okocha and many more came from none popular villages but are today celebrate in the whole world.
“It helps also wade off crime in the society because once a mind is positively engaged become free from negative thinking.
“Infact, we have groomed players from local and international leagues as we had three players in Ebonyi Angel before it was dissolved and some of our players had gone for trial abroad in International league.
“It will interest you to know that we have IFA referees who are our offical but for the sake of transparency in the ongoing competition employed the services of Ebonyi State Association of Referees as an external body.
“Our greatest challenge was lack of funds to sustain the team. I was footing the expenses alone until 2007 when Edward Nkwegu a.k.a Edon came to our help until 2009 .
“The team continued till 2013 when we became incapacitated, and recently we ran to the Speaker,Rt.Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru who surprised us with the sum of five million naira.
“We have mapped out to award first prize for one million,2nd prize-five hundred and 3rd prize for three hundred thousand naira.
“The fourth prize will go home with two hundred thousand naira and every participated team is going home with consolation prize of fifty thousand naira among the thirteen Development Centers.
“I’m advising our players to be discipline because we have had experiences where external body visited pitch wherever this nature of competition is ongoing to hunt for players and humility is one of the attitude demanded by such opportunity.
Corroborating the national president,the Public Relation Officer Izzi Football Association and member of the technical crew of the ongoing competition, Engr.Jonas Ibaki noted that lack of financial support has been the greatest challenge facing the league and appealed for the annual sustainance of the match.
He pointed out that sports is one of the ways to advance communal peace, adding that with football, bridge of disunity would be built among Ebonyi communities.