The newly elected Anambra State Football Association under the leadership of Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has unveiled a blue print towards fast-tracking the transformation of the game in the state.
Amongst the programmes which are aimed to revolutionize football in the state is the highly anticipated “Football Made in Anambra” which seeks to foster grassroots football. This competition, which will involve participants from over 50,000 families in Anambra State and in Diaspora, will set out to discover young and budding talents whose talents will be harnessed by the best hands in the country in an academy to be set up by the association. “1 family-1 footballer” which is the theme of the programme aims to identify and develop one footballer from every family in a fiesta that will be hosted in every community for a period of two weeks with lots of giveaway prizes including over 50,000 branded footballs and jerseys for participants and their families.
The programme is billed to attract legends from within and outside the shores of Nigeria as the association looks to completely change the face of football in Anambra state.
According to a communiqué released after the inaugural meeting of the Executive Committee on May 14; as part of its efforts to set the pace and ensure speedy growth of grassroots football in the state, the committee resolved to introduce series of programmes which includes ‘Football Made in Anambra’, ‘Anambra State Unity Cup’ as well as focus on the training and retraining of state football coaches, referees and administrators by renowned instructors from across the country.
The committee also agreed that in its bid to enhance administration as well as the credibility of the State FA, its secretariat has to be relocated to a more befitting edifice.
Chairman of the association, Dr. Ubah while addressing pressmen pointed out that the massive Games village coming up in Nnewi with over six football pitches will be a turning point towards attaining the glory that Anambra lost over the years. He further explained that the use of the pitches will be split into three categories, two pitches for children between the ages of 6 and 12, two other pitches for children/youths between the ages of 13 and 20 and the last two pitches will be used to harness amateur footballers. According to Dr. Ubah, all these programmes will be complemented by a Football Academy and School which would kick off soonest. On a lighter note, Dr. Ubah said that under his watch, Anambra state stands a great chance of producing at least five Messis and Ronaldos within the next five years. He further declared that his target is to ensure that football tourism grows to be the biggest contributor to Anambra State’s Internally Generated Revenue.
In a show of appreciation, Dr. Ubah thanked the Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano for his promise and determination to support the association and its programmes aimed at revolutionising football in the state. “A journey of a million miles starts with one step and that visionary step we have taken”, Dr. Ubah said.
According to the document, various committees will be constituted for the smooth running of the FA to ensure the realization of an all-inclusive administration and vision of the Dr. Ubah-led administration.
The committees which will be headed by members of the executive committee include Technical, Media and Publicity, Match Appointment, Organising, Disciplinary, Security, Finance and Restructuring committees. Members of these committees will be announced at the joint meeting of the State Executive Committee and the local football councils on Sunday, May 22 in Awka.
The association also decided that in line with its efforts and good intents, a Reconciliation Committee comprising of Rev’d Father Obinna Dike (Chairman), Chief Charles Onyeka (Vice Chairman), Rev’d Father Azudiugwu (Secretary), Chief Martin Nwosisi and Mrs Nkiru Igwenagu will be reconstituted, to unite the state’s football family, with specific mandate to reach out to all aggrieved members of the family in the state.
The communiqué also revealed that there would be a World Press Conference and Facility Tour of the Games Village in the next couple of weeks which would be used to unveil the detailed blueprint of the association. It also noted that the modalities for its flagship programme ‘Football Made in Anambra’ would also be unveiled during this press conference.
The executive committee also thanked the State Government and the entire football stakeholders for the confidence reposed on it to champion the course of repositioning football in the state.