Bassey Inyang in Calabar
A grassroots football competition, the first of such, in Cross River State, has kicked off in Calabar.
The soccer fiesta which will last for two weeks will feature ten teams within Calabar Municipality, among them: Ikot Ansa Rocks, Qua Rangers, Ikot Effanga United, Ishie Pillars, Eefut Strikers and Ediba Bombers.
The completion, co-sponsored by Calabar Municipal and NorthWest Petroleum, is aimed at promoting football at the grassroots and also act as a talent hunt for Rovers FC and other clubs within the metropolis, the organisers announced.
According to the organisers, the tournament will end on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Ishie Maracana Arena.
They disclosed that the team that emerges champion of the competition will win a cash prize of N150, 000, while the second and third place winners will go home with N100, 000 and N50, 000, respectively.
Chairman of Calabar Municipal Council and the initiator of the competition, Ntufam Donatus Etim, said:“I commend the NorthWest Petroleum for the sponsorship of the tournament. It was actually conceived to sustain the bond of unity amongst the youths.
“It will also serve as a breeding ground for potential soccer stars while at the same time distracting idle youths from negative tendencies.”
Commending the organisers of the competition, the Chairman, Cross River Sports Commission, Mr. Orok Duke, said: “It is interesting to see the private sector participating actively in sports development at the local level.”
The sports commission chairman said he was optimistic the soccer fiesta will proved ample opportunity for budding football talents in the area to be discovered.