By Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu
As the opening ceremony of the maiden edition of Solution Community Shield draws closer, the Chairman of Anambra State Football Association, Chikeluo Iloenyosi, has expressed the organizers’ readiness to give Ndi Anambra all they bargained for, assuring their readiness to deliver a mouthwatering tournament.
The ANSFA boss made this known at a tripartite press conference involving the FA, the Anambra State Sports Development Commission and the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) at the main bowl of Awka City Stadium.
Iloenyosi appreciated the governor for deeming it fit to approve the competition within the shortest time and said the competition was in line with his football development program.
‘I want to first of all thank His Excellency, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, for approving this tournament; this shows that our governor is sports and football inclined. Special commendation will go to the Sports Commission Chairman, Hon. Estate Onyedum, and the PG of all PGs in our state, my good friend Barr. Titus Akpudo. This tournament falls within my Football Development Programme and I assure the whole of Anambra State that this will be a special competition,’ Iloenyosi assured.
The Chairman, Anambra State Sports Development Commission, Mr Onyedum, while speaking at the press briefing, expressed satisfaction with the progress of the preparation while assuring football stakeholders that the goals of the competition were many.
‘For us at the State Sports Commission, these are the type of programmes that we easily identify with. And this, coming from the state government, makes it even easier to identify with. Like we know, previously we used to play the Governor’s Cup, but under our brilliant governor we went with the caption, Solution Community Shield Championship, that will involve all 179 communities in the state.
‘I want to say this now, we have a team already set up to pick players that we will add to the state team, the Solution FC. With all these bodies involved, especially the experience of Mr Iloenyosi, the FA Chairman, I am sure that Anambrarians will be happy about this tournament. We encourage as many towns as possible to pick their forms and start preparation as this tournament is the survival of footballing’s fittest. It promises to be great,’ assured the FA boss.
The President of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), Barr Titus Akpudo, emphasized that their major interest was the gains of the competition which, he said, was community based. He disclosed that mobilization had been difficult but they were pulling through.
‘Every government is born out of a community setting. That is the fact. For us being part of this championship, our major interest is the gains of this competition which is community based, entities that we represent at ASATU. This competition will foster peace and unity among different towns in the state of which, with the capacity of the FA Chairman and Sports commission, many boys from different communities will be picked to help further their careers.
‘Rest assured of the support of all the 179 Presidents General of ASATU as we expect, a hitch-free competition. I also want to urge the Sports Commission and FA to start this competition on time next year so as to give it publicity that it deserves. But for now, the stage is set as I wish all communities the best of luck,’ Akpudo stated.
The opening ceremony of Solution Community Shield will happen on Sunday, 8th of October, at Awka City Stadium and run till the second week of November. It will start at the local government level before we get to the state level to crown the very best of teams. The winning team will go home with N2, 000, 000 while losing finalists will get N1, 000, 000 for their effort. There are honours for most valuable player, best goalkeeper, coach and top scorer of the competition.