IFA 2021: Ebonyi DC wins trophy, FON pledges N5m for another tournament


Football team of Ebonyi Development Centre from Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi has finally won the trophy of the 2021 Izzi Nnodo football competition under the care of Izzi Football Association (IFA).

The football competition fully participated by the 13 Development Centres of Izzi extraction in Ebonyi State, was sponsored by the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru (FON).
NATIONAL PANEL reports that the grand finale of this year’s tournament was held on Sunday at PA Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, Abakaliki, and Ebonyi Development Centre football team defeated Ebyia Development Centre players from Izzi Local Government Area by two goals to nothing (2-0), to claim the ultimate prize.

Also, Amachi Development Centre football players from Abakalki Local Government Area went home with the bronze medal after putting Abakaliki Development Centre down by a lone goal to nill 1-0).

We equally gathered that Ebonyi Speaker, has been dishing out huge sums yearly to facilitate and sponsor footballing events for the 13 Development Centres of Izzi extraction, under the care of Izzi Football Association (IFA).

The 2021 edition of this tournament was reportedly began on Sunday, February 7, 2021, yet again, under the sponsorship of Speaker Nwifuru.

Speaking during the grand finale, Speaker Nwifuru thanked everyone for their active participation in the tournament. 
He praised the hard work put in by the Local Organising Committee led by Chief Barr. Boniface Ezeagu and advised them never to relent in their strides to help promote sports in Izzi land.

While speaking on the benefits derived from such event, he said, "nothing unifies people better than quality sports. In addition to this glaring fact, sporting activities promote healthy competition, fitness of the body and mind, display of tremendous talents and elimination of idleness."
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Leo Ekene Oketa, in a clearly energetic scene, the 1st place team - Ebonyi DC went home with One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00); 2nd place team - Ebyia DC, Six Hundred Thousand Naira (N600,000.00); 3rd place team - Amachi DC, Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000.00); and 4th place team - Abakaliki DC, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00). The teams, individual players and coaches equally received various cash prizes as well, from notable stakeholders from within and beyond Izzi clan.

Speaker Nwifuru who was obviously elated,  announced that in a couple of months to come, he will make a provision of the sum of Five Million Naira (N5,000,000.00), to the committee to begin another round of this beautiful tournament. He admonished the youths to eschew violence, cultism and bitterness among themselves and embrace unifying and growth-oriented projects and activities like quality sports.

He thanked Governor David Nweze Umahi, for his tremendous and sincere efforts in providing enabling environment for sporting activities in the State. 

The Izzi West Lawmaker encouraged the governor to pay deaf ears to unnecessary distractions from any quarter and continue to keep focus in his quest to place Ebonyi State properly on the global scheme of affairs.
The occasion ably chaired by the former Honourable Minister of State for Power and Steel, Chief Godwin Ogbaga was a clear roar of emotions from spectators and fans. 
Ogbaga described the event as a delightful event, which produced sizzling displays and fine goals, especially for the neutrals. 

He commended the Speaker and urged other stakeholders in the clan to emulate the gesture, noting that the tournament has shown that Izzi clan has talented children in footballing that deserve more encourage to boost their skills.
In his speech, the IFA President, Chief Boniface Ezaegu, lauded the sponsor of the tournament and other supporters for the 2021 football supper league and called for more financial assistance from the stakeholders to keep the asssociation moving.
Interacting with newsmen, HRH Eze Sunday Oketa of Nkaleke Echara Autonomous Community, the Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area - Chief Mrs Chinyere Nwogbaga, a former House of Representatives Members - Chief Mathias Adum, the Coordinator of Ebonyi Development Centre  - Victor Nwobasi and the Captain of the winning team - Nwiboko Friday Onwe advocated for the continuity of the sports competition in considering its numerous benefits includin promotion of  love, peace, unity, harnessing talents among others.
Recall that one  of   the players, Alo Matthew Chukwuka from Ebonyi Development won the highest goal scorer with 8 goals, Patrick Nwamini from Ebyia Development Centre emerged best indigenous coach and Ebyia Development Centre won the best team of the season.

Iyere Development Centre produced the best goal keeper while Ofoke Obichukwu  of Ebyia Development Centre was awarded the most available player and Ebere Nwogba of Ekumaenyi Development Centre emerged the best performing Coordinator of the edition.

Meanwhile, the grand finale was well attended by the Deputy Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly and other Honourable Members, Executive Council Members, Local Government Chairmen from Izzi extraction, Party Executives, Traditional Rulers, Coordinators of various Development Centres, Youths from Ebonyi State, Gentlemen of the Press and indeed, many stakeholders of repute. 

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