Posted by News Express | 2 January 2014 | 4,297 times
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday led other dignitaries to the final of the 7th Utuama Peace Cup at Otu-Jeremi Township Stadium in Otu-Jeremi. The annual event began in 2007 as a competition among youths in the Ughelli South Local Government Area and gradually assumed the status of a statewide event.
Yesterday’s final was played between Warri Wolves Feeders FC and the Royal Eagles FC of Oleh. The game began at about 4:10 p.m. and ended in a one-goal draw. In the ensuing penalties, Royal Eagles triumphed 4 to 2 to lift the trophy and a cash prize of N1 million.
Speaking just before the kick-off, Governor Uduaghan, while wishing those present a happy new year, lauded Prof. Utuama and his wife, Dr. (Mrs.) Nelly Utuama, for the vision and belief in the development of sports at the grassroots. He promised that the next edition would be bigger in scope.
“I want to also very warmly congratulate Prof. Utuama and his wife, Dr. (Mrs.) Nelly Utuama, for the success of this competition. It started as an event for just one local government but today, it has grown to be a statewide competition. It is a testimony to their vision and belief in youth development and empowerment as well as sports development at the grassroots level. My hope is that it will be bigger in scope by next year. I want to also thank our own son, the Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, and other dignitaries present here. This is an affirmation of the success of this tournament,” the governor said.
Speaking to newsmen, Prof. Utuama expressed delight that what started as a mustard seed is gradually gaining ground. He expressed joy that the objectives of the annual event were being realised and hoped that the tournament, having become a statewide event, will go on the gain more recognition.
Governor Uduaghan presented the trophy to the Captain of the winning team while Prof. Utuama presented Keshi with the Sports Ambassador Award. Trophies and prizes were handed out to the tournament’s Best Player, Emmanuel Ekpemaye, as well as the Best Behaved Team, the Morning Stars of Ekiugbo; Highest Goal Scorer, Ojevwe Akpoveta of Warri Wolves Feeders FC; the Best Goalkeeper (Royal Eagles FC goalie); and Best Coach (also Royal Eagles FC). The Best Philanthropist award was won by Chief John Oguma, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state from Olomu,
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were former Chairman of the Nigeria Football Association ( NFA) Brig- Gen Dominic Oneya, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, Chief Ighoyota Amori, members of the state executive council, lawmakers from the state and PDP chieftains, including Dr Steve Oru, the National Vice Chairman, South-South zone, and traditional rulers.
•Photo shows, from left: Sen. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo; Super Eagles Chief Coach Stephen Keshi; Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN); wife of Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Nelly Utuama; and former Chairman of Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Brig.-Gen Dominic Oneya, at the 7th Utuama Peace Cup Football Final at Otu-Jeremi Township Stadium, Delta State . . . yesterday.
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