It was all applause for Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Thursday as the chairman of the Enugu State Football Association, Hon. Chidi Ofo Okenwa reeled out the State’s achievements in the area of soccer.
Speaking Wednesday with sports writers at an event tagged, “90 Minutes with the Chairman”, held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Okenwa said the association had every reason to thank God for the tremendous achievements recorded during the years under review.
He said since Ugwuanyi came on board, he had practically demonstrated immeasurable support not only to the Flying Antelopes, Rangers International FC but other levels of soccer engagements in the State.
The FA chairman said despite numerous challenges, associated with soccer development in Nigeria, the State had recorded impressive feat in the last few years, including producing a FIFA badge Referee, Miss Patience Ndidi Madu.
He added that apart from Madu, who was decorated at the event, scores of referees from the state had equally being enlisted into the Nigeria professional football league, NPFL and Nigeria National League, NNL .
He said, “in Enugu FA, we create records to make history, we may not be at the speed track but we are not stagnant or still.
“Gburugburu Starlets won future Super Eagles U-13 in 2016 and in 2017 the players graduated to U15 and still lifted the trophy, but this time around in a fashioned way.
“ The Gburugburu Starlets won the trophy and also took home almost all the individual awards.”
He said that Enugu State has at least seven players from the 2017 future Super Eagles conquerors at current national U-15 team.
”His Excellency, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in his love for sports appointed a football genius Davison Owumi and Olugbenga Ogunbote as the General managers and Technical Adviser of Rangers respectively”, he added.
He explained that the annual meeting with sports journalists was aimed at taking stock of its activities during the past years, as well as letting stakeholders of the round leather game, across the state, Nigerian, and the globe know where the state FA was coming from and where it was going.
“Despite starting from virtually nothing, the state FA has continued to grow from strength to strength, and we thank God for that”, the chairman stated.
Ofo, who is also the incumbent Chairman of Nigeria National League, NNL, posited that no meaningful feat could be achieved in the busnisess of soccer development without sports writers, whom he described as “key stakeholders and partners”.
“This is because no mater how an event or programme is fantastically packaged, if it is not reported, it means it did not take place.
The Enugu FA Chief expressed appreciation to governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for his continuos support and encouragement to the association and soccer development in the state.
General manager of Rangers FC, prince Davidson Owumi, in a brief remark, hailed the Ofo led FA, for its vibrancy and proactiveness.
He urged stakeholders to continue to support the association and the Flying Antelopes, so as to enable them meet expectations.
Owumi said that he was proud to be back to Rangers after memorable years back with the club in continental league during his first stint as the GM.
He promised to ensure that Rangers qualified for continental league.
In his appreciation, a member of the Gburugburu Starlets Divine Nwachukwu thanked the Enugu FA Chairman and the governor for their assistance to his exposure in the game of football.
“We went to Kano and Lagos, saw and conquered and most of it all is that the governor hosted us and rewarded each us handsomely.
“We were really shocked with the package we received from His. Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; we never expected such thing. May God continue to bless him”, he said.