Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has rewarded players of Bayelsa Queens Football Club for their spectacular performance at the 2022 Confederation of African Football Women’s Championship League (CAFWCL) in Rabat, Morocco.
Announcing cash rewards on Wednesday inside the Executive Council Chambers in Government House, Yenagoa, Senator Diri said 21 of the first team players would receive N1 million each while the 14 reserve players would get N500,000 each.
The governor also rewarded the technical adviser with N1.1 million, assistant coaches N500,000 each, and support staff with N300,000 each while all the board members would get N1.5 million.
While directing that the monies be released to the team before the end of November, he also made a personal donation of $4000 to the team in fulfillment of his promise at the quarter-final stage of the competition.
His words: “Your government has decided to reward you for your outstanding performance in the CAF women’s champions league. All the 21 players in the first team that participated in the competition will get N1 million each. I direct that this money be released between now and the end of November.”
Congratulating Bayelsa Queens for being the first team to take Nigeria to the semi-final of the competition, Diri assured that the medical bills of an injured player would be underwritten by the state.
According to him, by their performance, they made the state and the country proud and justified the resources the state government committed to the competition.
“You have proven that Nigeria is indeed a football country and that we are not a pushover when it comes to football in Africa and indeed the world. The image of the state is largely imprinted in female football in Nigeria, West Africa, and Africa. You have made the state and country proud by bringing home the bronze medal.”
While expressing gratitude to Premium Trust Bank for supporting the team with a donation of N50 million and provision of jerseys, the state’s helmsman urged the private sector to emulate the gesture towards supporting sports development in the state.
“I like to call on the private sector to come in to support sports development and in particular the game of football in the state just like Premium Trust Bank did by donating N50 million and jerseys to the team.”
The governor charged the Commissioner for Youth and Sports to fine-tune mistakes made during the competition and immediately commence preparations for the next CAF competition with the mind to win the gold trophy.
Diri said his administration would continue to support sports development and urged youths to take advantage of sporting activities to eke out a living rather than allowing themselves to be used as political thugs or get involved in drug addiction.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, noted that the Nigerian champions finished third in the tournament after they secured a 1-0 win against Simba FC of Tanzania in their third-place match.
He stated that Bayelsa Queens also emerged as the best entertaining and well-behaved team and received the Fair Play award in addition to $150,000 after losing 0-1 in the semi-final against ASFAR of Morocco.
The Sports Commissioner expressed appreciation to the governor for the support to the team that enabled them to achieve the feat and stressed the need to keep the players together to do better in the next tournament.
The high point of the event was the presentation of the third place trophy and medal to the governor by the Sports Commissioner, chairman of the Bayelsa Queens board, Robin Apreala, deputy captain of the team, Juliet Sunday, and the head coach, Domo Okara.