By Ikenna Nwokedi
Peace FC, Awka on Saturday, 17th December 2022 emerged champions of the maiden edition of the Awka North Soccer Championship, an initiative and football programme of the Awka North Local Football Council.
The grand finale played at the Christ the King Parish pitch Isuaniocha saw the capital city club seeing off Uncle Ralph FC of Isuaniocha by three goals to one to clinch the coveted trophy and claim the star prize of N200,000 while Uncle Ralph FC settled for the second prize of N150,000.
A brace from Thomas Kelechi in the 15th and 56th minutes put the Evangelist Obi Moneke’s side on the edge of victory with Ebuka Okoye’s headed effort from set play in the 77th minute sealing victory while the only goal from the Anambra Dangerous Tigers scored by Samson Orakwulu in the 63rd minute from a trademark free kick was sandwiched between the goals for Peace FC.
In the third and fourth place playoffs earlier in the day, Chineceherem Nwaikwu’s goal in injury time ensured that Chukwudinigbo FC took the third prize of N100,000 with a one nil win over Anambra Rovers FC.
In his interaction with sportswriters, the benefactor and Chairman Awka North Local Football Council, Comrade Ralphael Okafor stated that his love for the game and the will to provide a platform for youths in the Local Government and beyond to showcase their God’s given talent was the motivation behind the competition.
Comrade Okafor disclosed that the competition has come to stay and will be an annual event in the football program of his constituency.
“I am delighted that today under my watch as the Chairman Awka North Local Football Council, we have done something unique and unprecedented with this football championship. This competition which is the maiden edition has come to stay and will be an annual programme for clubs within Awka and beyond.
“I must commend the nine clubs that featured in the competition, the next edition will be bigger and better by God’s grace. Special thanks to all football stakeholders who in one way or the other supported this noble course as we are poised towards ensuring that grassroots football thrive in our dear state,” Okafor said.
Also speaking, Coach of Peace FC, Michael Okoi was ecstatic with his team’s performance which gave his side the win to emerge as champions. Okoi also eulogized the Awka North Local Football Council for the beautiful initiative.
“I must commend Comrade Ralphael Okafor for the initiative behind the Awka North Football Championship. We are really delighted that we are part of history not just by featuring but winning the competition. Peace FC of Awka is here to stay and do more exploits, kudos to the boys today for the competitive spirit, desire and giving a good account of themselves,” Okoi said.
Present during the grand finale were Cordelia Akanna, board member Anambra State Football Association (ANSFA); Mrs Helen Ezeadim, Sports Organizing Secretary Awka North Local Government Area; Mr Great Onyiuke, representing the Owners of Private Schools Association of Nigeria as well as the President General (PG) of Isuaniocha Community.