By Eunice Nnachi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa state Governor, Senator Douye Diri on Thursday formally took the ceremonial kick off to herald the 5th edition of the Bayelsa Governor’s Cup.
The tournament also referred to as ‘The Prosperity Cup’ is described as the largest grassroots football competition in Nigeria and Africa.
Governor Diri who performed the event at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and a cast of top officials of the Bayelsa State government shortly after participating in the weekly Prosperity Jogging exercise.
In a remark, Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Daniel Igali said the tournament would have about 6,420 players participate.
He stressed that the products of such grassroots tournament had been recruited into the state owned Bayelsa United which campaigns in the Nigeria Premier League.
A former member of the Nigeria Football Federation Executive Committee and Confederation of African Football Medical Committee, Dr. Peter Singabele gave thumbs up to Governor Douye Diri for sponsoring the competition, stating that it would ensure that more budding talents at the communities are discovered and groomed for stardom.
Earlier in a welcome remark, the Director General of the Prosperity Cup, Mr. Ono Akpe thanked Governor Diri for supporting the tournament which has continued to throw up young footballers including a player identified as Nestor who now plays in the Bosnian League and would be returning home to grace this year’s edition to motivate the younger ones to pursue their dreams.
Akpe noted that the Governor increased the prize money from N5 million from previous editions to N11 million. He stated that the competition is already attracting patronage from the private sector, urging multinational oil companies and the corporate world to support the tournament.
In the ceremonial opening game, a youthful _Bayelsa United_ Feeder team pipped defending champions, Eternal Grace Ministries (EGM) FC by a goal to nothing.
A record 214 teams registered to take part in this year’s edition of the Bayelsa Governor’s Cup with action expected to commence on Sunday, June 11th, 2023 with teams in Yenagoa Local Government Area battling for honours.
A total prize money of 11 million are at stake in the compe