The Izzi Unuphu community in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State has commenced an intra-community football tournament to herald this year’s Christmas celebration.
The tournament is named FON Unity Cup Football Competition after Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru.
It is sponsored by one of theirs, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Stanley Mbam.
The football tournament is to be competed for by four major villages of the community: Achara, Nkaliki, Agbaja Unuphu and Inyimegu.
The opening game, kicked off at Nkaliki Primary School on Sunday by the Chairman of Abakaliki LGA, Ebere Nwogba, ended in a draw between Echara and Nkaliki.
Speaking to newsmen at the event, Mbam said the competition was geared towards raising talented stars and building peace and unity in the community in support of Governor Nwifuru’s Charter of Needs governance agenda.
Describing sports as a unifier, he encouraged the youths of the community to embrace peace and unity through the tournament and play the game as brothers and not as enemies.
He noted that he was motivated by Governor Nwifuru’s administrative pattern, which focuses on the real needs of the people, adding that the tournament was his little way of responding to the needs of the youths of his community.
Mbam said: “Looking at the administration of our governor since he came on board, you will understand that his government is interested in the people’s needs.
“I deemed it necessary because it’s been a long time since my people have been lacking in such needs.
“So I feel this is also important, especially during this festive period, that we join and reconnect with our youths, bond together and discuss the way forward in supporting the government of Ebonyi State.
“Moreover, through this, talents can be discovered and sponsored to represent our state and nation in higher sports quarters across the world.”
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Mbam, while urging the youths to conduct themselves well in the entire exercise, appreciated the organising committee for putting up a colourful opening event.
He charged the committee to ensure that only the best players are selected.