Akwa Ibom gets FG’s awards for excellence in sports development

Charles Udoh, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Akwa Ibom State.

Begins construction of artificial turf in Eket

As reward for its investments in sports, the Federal Ministry of Sports has selected Akwa Ibom State as recipient of three awards in its honours’ list.The state’s Commissioner for Information and strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh told correspondents yesterday in Uyo that the awards were for sports infrastructural development, sports development and best supporting state for the Super Eagles.

He added that the awards were in recognition of the role the state has played in recent times in providing sports infrastructure, grassroots sports development and providing the platform for the qualification of the Super Eagles for this year’s FIFA World Cup.

“The awards were for the part the state has played in recent times towards sports development in Nigeria. You will recall that the Super Eagles qualified for the World Cup with a game to spare all thanks to the logistics support and the support from fans in the state during their qualifying matches in Uyo.

“You recall that for the first time match bonuses and other entitlements to the players and other logistics was not a problem for the team. The state government had a hand in that and that contributed to their seamless qualification.

“In sports development, you also recall that two teams from the state qualified for the finals of the FA Cup last year. Akwa United eventually won the male version, while the female team lost on penalties to their Rivers counterpart. This shows the level of inputs we have made in sports.

“We also hosted a nouvelle competition, the state youth sports festival, which was used to discover budding talents from the grassroots and that is a plus for total sports development not just football.

“Akwa United is also representing the country in CAF Confederations Cup and that is courtesy of the level of funding of that club.”The commissioner pointed at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo and the arrangement for its maintenance as part of the areas the state stood out from the rest. He added: “In addition, we are continuing with the building of 10 sports centers in the 10 federal constituencies of the state and work on a new stadium for Eket City has started. That stadium will have an artificial turf so that our football clubs can also be accustomed to such turfs since most of the pitches they use outside Akwa Ibom are artificial.”

The commissioner commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for investing in sports, saying such investments were yielding positive results going by the state’s performances in national and international events in recent times.

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Charles Udoh
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