By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The 4th NorthWest Petroleum Calabar Municipal Unity Football Tournament has ended in Calabar with Ward 10 Warriors emerging winners with a prize money of N250, 000.
Ward 10 Warriors is picking the title for the first time since inception four years ago.
The club beat Ward Five FC on penalties to emerge champions after a 1-1 draw at the Ikot Ishie Sports ground otherwise known as “Maracana”. Ward Five FC got N150, 000.
Most valuable player went to Lucky, the captain of Ward five FC as the highest goal scorer position went to Samuel Egbe of Ward 10 Warriors who scored a total of six goals out of the total tournament goals of 109 in 28 matches played while the position of best goalkeeper of the tournament went to Nsan Duke of Ward 10 Warriors.
Akim United defeated Efa Babes to clinch third position to gohome with N100, 000 prize money while consolation prizes of NN20, 000 each went to Eim Otop Warriors, Efa Babes and Ward Nine United.
Speaking at the end of the tournament that attracted over 5, 000 spectators, the Brand and Corporate Communication for Northwest Petroleum, Mr. Dayo Adede, said, “we have been hosting this competition for the past four years, and this is the fourth edition which we have come to witness and for Northwest Petroleum, the competition is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative that we bought into and when it started initially, we didn’t get the number of crowds we now witness.
“But as it built from 2016, every year it keeps improving. The participation of people watching around is so impressive.
“When we started the tournament initially, we were looking at it as a test run but after the second and the third edition, we kept on improving, and with the organizing committee, they always bring out new ways of trying to do it better every year. We try to make sure that the fans that come to watch get involved. That is why we provided things like a vuvuzela just to get them attracted to the game. By next year, we will improve further so that people get more engaged”
In terms of possible collaboration with the NFF and other football authorities towards giving more and possible exposure to the talents discovered, he said even though the organizing committee will be in a better position to explain.
“over the years, they have had players who have had and gone for trials overseas. However, the competition is a platform that will make the players move to the next level. If they have the opportunity with a bigger clubs, fine and good. As I watched the final match, I saw some very good players that need some grooming and they will obviously do well”.
On the pitch that is small in size, he stated, “every year after the event we do a review of what had been done and see the possible areas of improvement for the edition. The field is always an issue because it’s more of a sandy place than a grassy place. We will work with the organizing committee for any other better venue but however, whichever place that is decided should be where the people can easily walk in to watch. If you pick a venue and it is not as easy for the people to walk in to watch, then the people are not involved. We need people to be involved”
He said Northwest Petroleum also has another version of this competition in Ebuzu, Delta state and “that comes up between December to January. We have numerous CSR projects and we have adopted some schools and gave them a facelift. We have many CSR projects all across the country”.