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Gov Diri Kicks Off Nigeria’s Biggest Grassroots Football Tournament in Yenagoa . Krusaders FC Begins Title Defence in Style By Chris Mark

Gov Diri Kicks Off Nigeria’s Biggest Grassroots Football Tournament in Yenagoa .

 Krusaders FC Begins Title Defence in Style

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Abeni Aso-Oke

The Bayelsa State Governor’s Football Tournament christened the Prosperity Cup season six has kicked off in Yenagoa with over two hundred teams jostling for glory in 22 centers across the eight local Government Areas.

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo took the symbolic kick off to herald this year’s spectacle.

Governor Diri noted that Bayelsa has taken sports as a major tool to take the youths away from drugs, criminality and other social vices, pointing out that the successes recorded in the last edition is a testament to the feat achieved.

According to him, the State was committed to the development of sports which has amassed numerous achievements in the last four years of the Prosperity administration, particularly para soccer and success recorded in the National Sports Festival.

He urged fans and stakeholders to take the tournament seriously that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports endorsement of the tournament in the next two years was indicative of the global recognition accorded to the tournament.

The state helmsman reiterated the call for multinationals and international oil companies and the organized private sector to invest in sports development, stating that investing in sporting activities, IOCs and the corporate world would have contributed to the growth and development of society.

He stressed that Sports was a veritable tool to positively channel the energies of the youths, thereby reducing the rate of crime, social vices and other forms of violence.

The governor appreciated the sponsors: Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Premium Trust Bank, Century Group, Linkage Assurance, Dan Etete, Ayalla Waters, Hamilton Gardens, Phone headquarters and Aqualina Waters.

Earlier in an address of welcome, Commissioner for Sports Development, Chief Daniel Igali, represented by the permanent Secretary Ministry of Sports Development, Mrs. Grace Alagoa, charged all the participating teams to abide by the rules of the game.

In a remark, Director General of the tournament, Mr. Ono Akpe, said the tournament would witness three-in-one competition; the para soccer, female tournament and female edition, stressing that he was pleased with the exciting display of football.

Mr. Akpe explained that in the coming days, the tournament would kick off across the length and breadth of the State, maintaining that Bayelsans should expect the best grassroots football in the various centres.

In the meantime, defending champions, Krusaders FC of Peretrogbene begins their title defence in a smooth note beating Police Machine FC 3-0 at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa in the curtain raiser of the tournament.

Goals from Moses Anthony, Iwasoma Hansil and Paul Kememiah on 17, 28 and 45 minutes ensured that the Police Machine FC went back home empty handed.

In attendance were the wife of the Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Diri, member representing Sagbama-Ekeremor Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Fred Agbedi,member representing Ekeremor Constituency one and the House Committee Chairman of sports, Hon. Tari Porri, Chief of Staff Government Dr Peter Akpe, Head of Service, Barr. (Mrs). Biobelemoye Charles-Onyema.

Others are chairman People’s Democratic Party PDP Hon. Solomon Agwana, Chairman of Bayelsa State People’s Democratic Party, members of the State executive council, local government chairmen, permanent Secretaries and Director of Sports Sir Braveman Wodi.

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