….As Round of Sixteen Commences On Saturday In Various Centres
By Hananeel Jackson
Key actors in the sports sector in Bayelsa State have applauded governor Douye Diri for increasing the prize money for winners of the Bayelsa State Governor’s Cup tagged “Prosperity Cup” from five million Naira to ten million Naira.
The Prosperity Cup which has been described as the Nigeria’s biggest grassroots football competition has continued to receive accolades from stakeholders since its inception .
Reacting to the development, a former Board member of the Nigeria Federation and member CAF medical committee, Dr Peter Singabele said the gesture demonstrated the governor’s love for sports in the State.
The Bayelsa State Civil Service Commission chairman,noted that he was not surprised by the governor’s move to increase the prize money, stressing that due to governor’s Diri’s love for sports, Bayelsa state has continued to attract global attention.
Director General of the Prosperity Cup, Mr. Onoriode Akpe, thanked governor Douye Diri for the continuous support for the biggest grassroots showpiece in Nigeria, pointing out that the state’s helmsman commitment to the tournament has shown that he is desirous in moving the youths away from social vices through sports.
Mr Akpe pointed out that the governor’s undiminished support for sports development has shown that the prosperity mantra was no fluke, describing it as commendable.
He urged youths in the state to make use of the opportunity by eschewing violence, cultism, drug abuse but preach peace and brotherly love for a prosperous Bayelsa.
Zonal Vice President Youth Sports Federation Of Sports YFSON, Mr. Kali Gwegwe, asserted that the gesture would spur participating teams in the tournament to do more having spent money to execute the fiesta.
Also, Chairman of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria SWAN, Mr Alambo Datonye appreciated the state governor for the show of love to Bayelsa youths, noting that since the commencement of the competition, crime rate has reduced in the state capital and across the eight local government area of the State.
Grassroots coach and member of the Prosperity Cup Technical Committee, Ada Gwegwe called on multinational oil companies operating in the state to key into the development of sports, stating that government cannot bear the burden alone.
Coach of Anyama Fc in Ogbia Local Government Area, Eboh Doutimi said the news has strengthened them to aim for the trophy, saying that the prize is more than the five million Naira winners of the Nigeria Women Premier League NWFL get.
In meantime, the round of sixteen games in the Prosperity Cup will commence this Sunday across designated centres in the State after the successes recorded in the knock out phase where over 210 teams participated.
Ebedebiri centre will have the opportunity to host one of the tournament favorite,Eternal Grace Ministry EGM Fc when they face Opuokun FC by 3pm, 1pm will see Amarata Fc up against former Champions Peretorugbene Fc.
At the Nembe centre Opume Fc from Ogbia LGA will take on Okoroma – Tereke Fc by 1pm while Opolo Fc will battle Odioma Fc at the Nembe City stadium by 3pm in the second match of the day.
Tuesday will witness another round of matches with the Opolo centre coming alive as Amassoma Fc welcomes UAC Fc of Akassa by 1pm, Anyama Fc will hope to continue on their fairytale run in the tournament when they face this years prosperity cup dark horses Agoro Fc.
Agbayama Fc and Akaba Fc will square off at the Kaima centre by 1pm while Osokoma Fc will entertain Agbere Fc immediately.