Wike, Iyaye Applaud Pre-season Football Tournament

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The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and the state’s Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, have heaped praises on the organisers of the recently concluded Governor Wike Pre-Season Football Championship in Port Harcourt.

Speaking at the final, the governor, who was represented by the Chairman of Rivers State PDP, Desmond Akawor, said the standard of play at the tournament was great while expressing happiness that the state’s team, Rivers United FC won the title.

He said: “For a team to get to the final and actually played till level of penalties to determine the winner, that’s to show that the standard here is very high.

“It is not just about the win, but to measure the standard of play which we have achieved. One thing that is convincing is that the investment in sports especially football in the state is actually a worthwhile investments.

“For us, if we are just starting the Real Madrid Academy, you can imagine what will happen in the next five years when we start to have graduates from the school playing either away or for the state team, I am highly impressed with the competition.”

Also, Iyaye praised the standard of the championship while revealing that Rivers United is still far away from a finished team.

He added that this year’s edition was better than last year’s as there were several innovations in the 2020 edition.

He added: “It has been a great improvement from the first edition, despite the issue of Covid-19 and all that, we still have a successful tournament, if not for the pandemic, the stadium wouldn’t have contained fans that will come to the stand, but we had to restrict them.”

Rivers United defeated Nigeria National League side, Bayelsa United, 5-4 on penalties after the regulation time ended 1-1.