Governor of Bayelsa state,Senator Douye Diri have said his administration will continue to ensure the state is regarded as the home of sports in the country, adding that it remains one of the cardinal focus of his government.
Diri said this at the grand finale of the Bayelsa Governor’s Football Tournament, otherwise called the Prosperity Cup, at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa.
National Wire learnt that the Bayelsa Governor’s tournament was started by the past administration of former Governor Seriake Dickson.
Governor Diri promised that more sporting events would soon be unfolded, just as he urged youth and sports stakeholders to up their game and get ready for the competitions.
He described the just concluded national scrabble tournament which also held in Yenagoa, the State capital as one amongst the many sporting events which would continue to be hosted by the state, saying over two hundred players from all over the country participated in the scrabble competition, describing it as one of the best event ever.
He said: “We believe that this is the best way to engage our youths.Through this tournament a lot of talents will be discovered. Scouts have been here and I believe the Bayelsa United FC would be the most benefiting club from this tournament.
“I congratulate all the participating teams. As you know sports and in particular, football is a unifier. This tournament has brought together 206 teams across our state. It’s the largest grassroot football tournament in the country”, Governor Diri said.
“This tournament has also fostered peace and unity in our state. So, let me appreciate the founding fathers that introduced this governor’s football tournament. This is a government of prosperity and those of you that have the skill, I’m sure this tournament has exposed you to a brighter future. So I urge you the youths to try and discover where your talent is. You’ve no business with consumption of illegal drugs that some youths exhibit. This is the right attitude to exhibit and you’re sure, your government would support you”, Diri added.
National Wire gathered that no fewer than 206 football teams participated in the competition and that the Bayelsa state Governor has in the spirit of sportsmanship urged the losers to brave up for the next edition.
National Wire reports that the 2022 edition of the Governor’s cup tagged, ‘prosperity cup’ is the second edition of the Governor Douye Diri’s grassroot football tournament, while it is the fourth edition in the history of the Bayelsa state Governor’s cup having commenced during the administration of former Governor, Seriake Dickson.
At the finals, Eternal Grace Ministry (EGM) FC, netted 2-1 against their rival, Odioma FC, of Odioma communitiy in the Brass council area of the state and emerged as champions of the tournament and were rewarded with a whooping N5m cash gift as well as the championship trophy.
This was just as the first runner-up, the Odioma FC got a cash reward of N2.5m and a second position trophy, while the second runner-up position went to Agbere FC in the Sagbama council area of the state which had earlier defeated the Anyama FC of Anyama Communitiy in the Ogbia Council area 3-2, respectively.
National Wire reports that while Agbere FC were rewarded with N1m, Anyama FC were rewarded with N500,000 hundred thousand cash gift as consolation prize.
Meanwhile speaking with Newsmen shortly after the grand finals, the Director-General of the 2022 edition of the ‘Prosperity Cup’, Mr Ono Akpe reiterated that successes have been made year-in-year with the hosting of the Bayelsa Governor’s cup.
He noted that scouts from parts of Europe and South Africa were brought to seek for talented footballers for further grooming in football academies in their respective countries, just as he restated that already a number of such skillful and talented players would soon be traveling abroad to commence their further grooming and nurturing.
He said: “We’ve been recording successes every year with the hosting of the Bayelsa Governor’s cup. In this year edition we had 206 teams, out of these teams talents have been discovered. And we’d scouts from France, and some Eastern European countries and even South Africa during the begining of the tournament this year with us here in the state.
“We’re about sending some abroad to renowned football academies for further grooming. The prosperity Governor of the State, His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri like his predecessor is willing and ready to use sports, especially football as a tool for empowering youths of the state.”