Yenagoa—The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has explained why his administration prioritized sports development, saying it is an investment in youths of the state and a good avenue to discover and utilise their talents.
Diri also said that sports promotes the government’s agenda of fostering peace and unity.
He spoke on Tuesday evening at the closing ceremony of the Bayelsa Governor’s Football Tournament otherwise known as the Prosperity Cup at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted him as saying that his administration’s investment in sports was yielding good results in the performance of the state’s athletes in national competitions in the last two years.
He noted that apart from the state’s football and basketball teams recording remarkable feats in national competitions in recent times, the Prosperity Cup with 206 participating teams is recognised as the largest grassroots football competition in Nigeria.
He also recounted that the Governor Douye Diri National Scrabble Championship, which the second edition ended on Sunday in Yenagoa, is the biggest scrabble competition in the country at the moment.
He stated that through the football tournament, many talents were discovered by scouts that came from outside the country.
He added that the state’s football club, Bayelsa United, will also be a beneficiary of the tournament.
Diri appreciated his predecessors for the annual competition, saying his government had to embrace and sustain the lofty idea.
The governor, who commended the organisers, said the standard displayed by the two teams in the final game was very high and could be compared to any final match in the world.
The state’s helmsman charged youths in the state to focus on discovering their talent and that they had no business with illicit drug activities or consumption.
His words: “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 Bayelsa United will be the most benefiting club from the 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 is the largest grassroots football tournament in this country.
“It 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 for those of you that have the skill, I am sure this tournament has exposed you to a brighter future. So try to discover where your talent is.
“You have no business with illegal drug activities, consumption and the attitudes that some youths exhibit. This is the right attitude to exhibit and you are very sure your government will support you.”
The governor expressed optimism that the state will become the centre of sports and sports events in Nigeria.
He restated his call on individuals and companies operating in the state, particularly the oil-producing companies, to take a cue from what the government was doing by investing in sports and the youths.
The final match between Odioma community of Brass Local Government Area and Eternal Grace Ministry of Yenagoa ended 2-1 in favor of the latter, which took the winner’s N5m prize money while Odioma got N2.5m.
Agbere community, which won the third-place match against Anyama-Ogbia community by three goals to two got N1m while their opponents received N500,000.
2022 CAF WCL: Bayelsa Queens defeat Egypt’s Wadi Degla, advance into semi-finals
Morocco—Debutant Bayelsa Queens have qualified for the semi-finals of this year’s CAF women’s Champions League, after thrashing Wadi Degla of Egypt 3-0 in their final Group B game on Sunday.
CompleteSports reports that Bayelsa Queens become the first Nigerian women’s club to qualify from the group stage of the club competition.
Goals from Juliet Sunday and Mercy Ikimi secured Bayelsa Queens’ passage into the semis.
The Nigeria league champions opened the scoring in the 8th minute thanks to Sunday before Ikimi made it 2-0 in 48 minutes.
Read also: Flooding: Over one million persons affected with 96 deaths recorded so far—BYSEMA
And in the 53rd minute, Ikimi got her brace to put Bayelsa Queens 3-0 ahead.
They will now face hosts AS FAR of Morocco in the semi-final on Wednesday, 9th November.
The second semi-final is between champions Mamelodi Sundowns and Tanzanian club Simba Queens.
Nigerian football sets for new leadership, as Gusau emerges new NFF president
Abuja—Ibrahim Gusau has been voted as the 40th president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Gusau who replaces Amaju Pinnick emerged president at the 78th Annual General Assembly that took place in Benin, Edo State, on Friday.
Premium Times reports that Only eight of the 11 aspirants were on the final ballot as Musa Amadu, Adam Mukhtar, and Suleiman Yahaya Kwande withdrew from the race. In the first round of the election, Gusau polled 21 votes, Seyi Akinwumi had 12 votes and Shehu Dikko had six votes.
Gusau would have been the outright winner of the election but he did not have the required 50 percent +1 votes of the total 41 votes cast.
According to the NFF election rules, every candidate that had at least a vote could be a part of the runoff but Shehu Dikko, Seyi Akinwunmi, and Abba Yola stepped down while Peterside Idah refused to step down.
It was reported that after the runoff, Gusau polled 39 votes to Idah’s one to emerge as the new NFF president.
Gusau was a member of the Pinnick-led NFF board when he held the position of chairman of club chairpersons. He is the Chairman of the Zamfara State Football Association.
Gusau who is also a CAF committee member will be president of the NFF for the next four years.
Diri rewards Bayelsa athletes, footballers, coaches
Yenagoa—Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has rewarded sportsmen and women and coaches from the state who participated in different competitions recently.
Olympic silver medalist, who won gold in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games, Blessing Oborududu, and sprinter Timma Godbless, who got gold in 4×100 relay for Nigeria in the African Senior Athletics Championship in Mauritius were among recipients of the governor’s gesture.
Among others were teenage table tennis sensation, Samuel Boboye, who won two gold medals for Nigeria in the Africa U-19 championship in Tunisia as well as
Bayelsa Queens, champions of the African Female Champions League WAFU Zone B tournament in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.
According the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, Diri while receiving the athletes and footballers inside the executive council chambers of the Government House in Yenagoa on Tuesday, said they made Nigeria and the state proud.
The governor noted that the performances of the athletes have placed Bayelsa prominently on the global map of sports, saying the state will reap rich rewards from their effort if they aim for more success.
Diri assured that his administration will continue to play its part in supporting sportsmen and women to enable them bring more glory to the state.
The state’s helmsman also assured Bayelsa Queens that his government will do everything to ensure the team had a hitch-free participation in the Africa Female Champions League holding Morocco.
He announced a reward of N2.5m for Commonwealth Games gold medalists, N1.5m for silver medalists while bronze medalists got N1m.
Similarly, coaches of gold-winning athletes got N2m each while their silver and bronze medal counterparts received N1m and N800,000 respectively.
Non-medal participants at the games also got N300,000 each.
African Athletics Championship gold medalist, Godbless, got N700,000 while Boboye received N500,000.
The governor also motivated Bayelsa Queens with N10m in addition to $1,000 each for the players and $3,000 for the three goals the team scored in a particular game.
His words: “We are indeed very proud of you. You went out representing not only our state but also Nigeria. You left no one in doubt that you were truly representing Nigeria.
“The people of Bayelsa are holding their heads high because of your sterling performances. Continue on that path. Success is difficult to sustain. People are already planning to overthrow you.
“Your state government will make every necessary arrangement for your travel and sustenance. Go to Morocco and conquer. If you deliver, my pronouncement will be more than what I have done today.”
Earlier, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, thanked the governor for his support for the development of sports in the state, saying it is largely responsible for the successes Bayelsa has had in recent times.