Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel has moved to fire up the players of Akwa United ahead of today’s Federation Cup final against Lobi Stars at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.
Akwa Ibom State Government, in partnership with Julius Berger, has concluded plans to establish Sports Academy in the state with coaches from Germany and other countries of the world to develop talents in the game of football and other sporting activities.
Governor Udom Emmanuel dropped the hint during an interaction with team managers and players of the state – owned Akwa United Football Club at the Government House, Uyo.
He commended the technical crew and the players for being able to make it to the final of the tournament and charged them to strive with all their passion to come top in the Federation Cup.
Governor Emmanuel said he had approved the release of one hundred million naira for the settlement of outstanding financial commitments of the club and informed them that they have all it takes to make history stressing that “once the passion is right, nothing is impossible.”
The Governor charged them to strategise and play as a team to clinch the trophy, adding that as a team, every individual in the round leather game is important and that they should remain focused in their aspirations.
“Ninety minutes of the game can change your life as your performance in the tournament would expose you to foreign clubs and stardom.” The Governor advised.
Governor Emmanuel described footballers as one of the fastest growing income earners in the world and said that his administration will stop at nothing to equip talents and expose them to the world market. This, he explained, will justify the vision of establishing an international sports stadium in the state.
The State Chief Executive used the occasion to announce plans to establish ten sports centres in the state to further boost sports development and aid in talent hunt, adding that facilities in the Uyo Township Stadium would be upgraded for the hosting of local matches and training of the players and particularly congratulated two indigenes of the state, Mr Edidiong Essien and Mr Akpan Udoh, who were part of the Under 17 Golden Eaglets that won the just concluded 2015 FIFA World Cup in Chile.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Monday Uko, expressed appreciation to the Governor for making funds readily available to clear up outstanding financial commitment and assured that the team is in high spirits to bring the trophy home.
He thanked the Governor for his sports friendly disposition and noted that it is a thing of pride for the team to attend the feat of escaping relegation and playing up to the final in the Federation Cup tournament.
Also, the captain of the team, Otobong Effiong, expressed appreciation to the Governor for the fatherly advice and improvements on their welfare and pledged to clinch the coveted trophy to the state.