From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

Abia Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has eulogised the Nigeria Football League, calling it one of the best in Africa. This is even as he has called for the sponsorship of the league by corporate organisations, as it is done in advanced countries.

Ikpeazu made the commendation at Enyimba International Stadium, Aba during the opening ceremony of the Dr Okezie Ikpeazu 2nd edition pre-season tournament.

Represented by the Commissioner for Sports, Hon Karibe Ojigwe, Ikpeazu said the tournament was a platform to get players in the various leagues in the country prepared for the session.

“This is a platform to get the players prepared and know their fitness level before the league’s proper start.

“We are happy to see how enthusiastic these players are to be here and we are happy to be a good host”.

Ojigwe said it will take only a sports-loving governor like Ikpeazu who floated four premiership clubs in Abia and probably, the only one in the South East, to still sponsor the week-long tournament.

“The tournament will enable the participating clubs to know how prepared they are for the coming leagues”, Ojigwe said.

The Commissioner said he hoped the tournament would continue even when Ikpeazu leaves office since, according to him, football is a unifying factor in the country.

He said winners of the tournament will go home with N1m and a trophy, runners up, N500,000, while the 3rd placed club will receive N250,000.

He called on corporate organisations in the country to sponsor the league as is done in advanced countries, to make it more attractive.

Twelve clubs are participating in the week-long tournament. They include Abia Warriors, Enyimba International, Sunshine State, Jewel Academy, City FC, Abuja and Apex Krane.

Others are Jaguar FC, Heartland, Empire Academy Supreme Kings, Ngwa Utd FC and Ahudiya FC, Abiriba.

In the opening match played at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba on Sunday, Supreme Kings Academy, Umuahia defeated Jewels Academy of Aba, 3-1.

In the second match, Empire Sports Academy, Umuahia were held to a 2-2 draw by Jaguar Football Academy, Okigwe.

Enyimba International FC defeated City FC of Abuja, 2-0 in the third match.

The tournament will end on November 27.

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Source: news