By Chioma Ndife
The Indomitable Lions of Obiuno Village, Oraeri, Aguata LGA, Anambra State, have emerged winners of the 2021 Cyprian Abanefor Foundation Cup after beating Obinri United 2-0 in the final match at Central School Field, Ora-Eri.
The finals of the highly contested match held on January 1, 2022, was between Obiuno Village Team and Obinri Village Team after they had eliminated other teams in the first and second legs of the competition.
The Foundation Cup which has become a yearly event since 2001 when the foundation was founded by Chief Cyprian Abanefor, also witnessed the participation of Ebenato Village, Umudike Village and Umueriofa Village football teams that were defeated at the early stage of the competition.
Fides gathered that the winning team, Obiuno Village, had been winning the competition since the 2016 edition of the competition. The players of Obiuno Village during their interaction with Fides expressed optimism that they would lift the cup again in 2022 and many more years to come.
Speaking at the kickoff of the football competition, the founder of the foundation that has been sponsoring the football competition since 1987, Chief Cyprian Abanefor, said the yearly football competition of the foundation was geared at encouraging the interest of youths in football and to engage them in meaningful activity during the festive season.
He appreciated God for the energy and resources which the foundation committed yearly in sponsoring the competition, saying that he was happy that some young people had been signed into both local and international clubs as good players were selected and recommended to play for higher clubs by invited guests during the competition.
He called on the losing teams to prepare well to emerge victorious in the next edition.
Explaining the aim of the foundation, Chief Abanefor said the foundation which was solely established to assist the less privileged in Oraeri, expressed optimism that the foundation would keep catering for itself, especially in executing its humanitarian projects.
He recalled that the foundation in the past had awarded scholarships to indent undergraduates, secondary and primary school students. He noted that interested candidates for the competition showed evidence of past qualifications before going through some screening conducted by the foundation trustees.
Chief Abanefor re-assured his commitment towards helping the people in the community and pleaded to spread his tentacles to the local government level.
Contributing, the Vice Chairman of Obiuno Village Improvement Union, Mr. Chinedu Nnajiofor, commended the village team for emerging victorious and revealed that he would reward the team to encourage them more. He maintained that the tournament would become better if other towns around the community joined in the competition.
Adding his voice, a stakeholder of Obinri Village, Mr. Leonard Okafor, said that the competition had helped the youths of the community who had the intention of developing their career in football.
For his part, the PG of Ora-Eri Development Union, Dr. Colman Okafor, described football as an instrument of development and commended Chief Abanefor for his philanthropic deeds in the community, noting that it had helped people to actualize their potentials.