*1st Ibom Football Scouting tournament kicks-off in Uyo
By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
1st edition of Ibom Annual Scouting Programme, an initiative of Leon Sports International in collaboration with Senator Bassey Albert Akpan a.k.a OBA Youth Initiative has kicked-off at OBA Multipurpose Sports Complex, Ifa Ikot Akpan, Uyo, on Monday, November 14, 2022.
OBA who is the gubernatorial candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the state, who performed the kick-off, promised to set up yearly developmental funds for sports and football academy in the state, if he becomes the governor of the state in 2023.
Senator Akpan, who was represented by Mr. Emmanuel Billy, welcomed all officials and participating teams and called on them to exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship throughout the duration of the tournament.
“I wish to welcome you all to this tournament aimed at providing opportunities for the scouting of soccer stars from the participating teams.
“We expect you the officials and players, to exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship throughout the scouting tournament. Be magnanimous in victory and gallant in defeat.
“I can assure that once I come on board as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2023, I will institute yearly developmental programme for sports and football academy as means of grooming talents at the earliest possible ages,” he stated.
Among the officials at the tournament are retired Slovenian referee and Chief Scout, Damir Skomina, who officiated the 2017 UEFA Europa League final between Ajax and Manchester United; the 2019 UEFA Champion League final between Liverpool, Tottenham, among other top football encounters. Skomina leads other scouts from Europe to the 3-day event in the State for the soccer talent scouting programme.
A list of 20 football teams are set to feature in the programme which is exclusive for players between the ages of 16-19.
The participating teams are, Ngadiuba Football Academy, Uruan; Willbros FC, Eagle Eye Football Academy, Uyo; Uchecaria Football Academy, Aba; Immortality Football Academy, Uyo; FC Rising; Carabana Football Academy,, Uyo, Topflight Football Club; Nordic Football Academy, Nsit Ibom; Campos FC, Enugu and Obiaba Football Academy.
Others are Pillars Academy; Supreme Kings Football Academy, Umuahia; Blessed Stars Football Academy, Uyo; Sir Monty FC, Ikpe Mbak Eyop; Young Talented FA, Aba; Olegacy Football Academy; Hope of Glory, Calabar; Leon Football Academy and Diamond Stars FC.
The 3-Day action-packed football scouting programme will have matches holding at the OBA Multipurpose Sports Complex, between 9am and 3pm daily.
Talented youngsters will be picked, who will have the opportunities of traveling to Europe to undergo trials and for further development with top academies, in a bid to actualise their dreams of playing professional soccer in the future.