By Ikenna Nwokedi
All is now set for the commencement of the fourth edition of the annual Hon. Ifeanyichukwu Ibezi football competition which kicks off on Wednesday, 26th October 2022.
Representatives of 17 communities domiciled in Idemili North/South Federal Constituency converged at the home of the business mogul turned politician for the competition’s draws held on Saturday, 22nd October 2022.
The draws saw unveiling of jerseys and competition programme as well as prize monies and individual awards to be won by the teams and playing personnel at the end of the tournament.
This year’s edition of the tournament would begin with a two-legged playoffs between Abatete and Ogidi scheduled for Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at CKC field Abatete with the winner of the clash expected to join the round robin group stages of the competition which begins on Saturday, November 5th, 2022.
The football competition which began in 2019 is one of Hon. Ibezi’s plans to harness the untapped talents of Idemili youths by providing them a platform that gives exposure of these talents to the world and opportunity to start their career professionally through football.
“Football has been a unifying factor not just for the communities in Idemili but in Nigeria as a whole. This is my way of engaging our youths meaningfully through the instrumentality of sports by unearthing talents at the grassroots and bringing them to limelight”,
“It is my hope that they would become stars in the future just like Iwobi, Iheanacho, Ndidi and Aribo in the present Super Eagles. My advise to the players and the LOC is to ensure there is fairplay and let the best community win the competition,” Ibezi stated.
The prestigious grassroots football programme hitherto had led to the discovery of 22 amazing football talents who were sponsored by Hon. Ibezi to a seven-day International Football Scouting programme held at Keffi, Nasarawa State earlier in the year.
During the program, a host of football clubs and academies across the nation were involved playing to the admiration of European, Asian and South American football scouts. This eventually led to one of the players who hails from Nnobi Town in Idemili South LGA to be selected and inked a deal to play professional football with a top club in Europe.
Reigning champions, Abacha town, would hope to retain their stellar performance from the previous edition when they begin their campaign for top spot in this year’s tournament.