Niger State Football Association (NSFA) has applauded the state Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umar Bago, for his partnering interest in the development of the game of football.
The first vice chairman of the state FA, Alhaji Yabagi A Baba, gave the applause during the 2023 Governor’s cup draws, held at Matag Luxery Hotel, Minna.
He disclosed that the governor had before and after his election informed the state FA board members that he will partner with them to develop the round-leather game in the state and had demonstrated that commitment by making funds available for the competition.
Yabagi Baba who is equally the Chairman of the organising and disciplinary committee of the state FA added that the approval for the renovation of the Bako Kontagora stadium is another commitment to football development by the governor.
He said this year’s tournament will be a unique one as for the first time in about 31 editions of the inter Local Government Area (LGA) football competition, there will be a round of 16 stage.
He also disclosed that arrangements have been made to ensure that all the 25 LGAs in the state participate in the tournament, adding that all the participating teams will be given financial support by the state FA as subsidy for the cost of participation.
Yabagi Baba also informed the local government sports secretaries present at the draws that the ancient city of the Nupe kingdom, Bida, will host all the matches of the 2023 Governor’s cup, with exception of semi-final matches that will be play in Lapai LGA as the co-host.of the tournament.
He also disclosed that the 2023 Governor’s cup will kick-off on December 4, and four pitches have been identified to host the matches in Bida, including the Ndayako memorial stadium.
While appreciating the state Commissioner for local government, Hon.Hamidu Mu’azu Jantabo, and his management team for ensuring and without delay, the smooth preparation for this year’s Governor’s cup, the first vice chairman of NSFA assured that they will do their best to organise the best Governor’s cup ever.
In his goodwill message at the draws, the Head Coach of Nigeria Flying Eagles and national president of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA), Coach Isah Ladan Bosso, said with a fair playing ground, the grassroot coaches will always do their best, and expressed optimism that the organisers will provide fair playing ground.
He also urged them to submit to the rules and regulations of the tournament, adding that with hard-work, discipline and commitment they will excell, while wishing them a hitch free tournament.
A board member of the state FA, Comrade Barau Awaisu Kuta, guided the participants through the framework of the tournament, urging them to go through the tournament rules and regulations and digest them, as it will be the reference point for any complaint.
The 25 LGAs were grouped into six groups with four teams in each group, except group F which has five teams.
Two teams are expected to qualify from each group for the round of 16 stage, while four best losers would be selected based on the points they acquired to join those that qualified to complete the round of 16 teams.
There were contributions from representatives of the Niger state referees council, Federation of Youth Soccer Clubs (FEYSOC), as well as some sports secretaries present, all towards having a successful tournament.