Abuja - The 2015 Diamond Youth Soccer
Championship, organized for football academy teams across the nation by the
Diamond International Football Academy, has ended in Umuahia, the Abia State
capital with Abia Warriors Football Club Youth Team, emerging as the overall
The Warriors, under the tutelage
of Kelvin Ejeh and Chidozie Ukoh, won four of their five games during the
competition with one draw including a 3-1 penalty shoot-out victory over city
rivals and hosts Diamond Football Academy in the final game decided at the Abia
State University, Umuahia Campus pitch.
The final match, which was
witnessed by some foreign scouts and the Assistant Coach of Nigeria’s senior
national team, the Super Eagles, Salisu Yusuf, as well as other football
aficionados both from within and outside Abia State, could not produce any goals
during regulation and extra time, hence the penalty shoot-out to untie them.
Among the teams that participated
in the annual football festival were CAP FC and Youth Sports football Academy,
both from Lagos, INE Stars of Benin, Konum Farms FC, Warri, Delta State and
GEE-LEC Football Academy from Jos, Plateau State.
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Presenting the giant gold trophy
to the captain of Abia Warriors Youth team, an obviously elated President,
Diamond Football Academy, Umuahia, Prince Martin Ikechukwu Apugo, commended the
winners as well as all the participants for making the competition thick and
promised that the contest which started in 2012 will continue to attract youth
teams across the world annually.
Prince Apugo noted that the youth
competition was initiated to help develop Nigerian Football at the grassroots
level and create a platform for talented youngsters to showcase their personal
skills in the presence of national and international football scouts and
coaches, revealing that the objective is being realized as products of the
competition have gone ahead to play for league teams across the globe and
Nigeria’s national youth teams.
In his speech, Abia State
Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, who was represented by his Senior Special
Assistant on sports, Rev Obioma Onyeaghala, commended the organizers for a job
well done and expressed confidence that the competition will help lay a solid
foundation for the growth, development and sustenance of youth football in the
state in particular and Nigeria in general.
Dr Ikpeazu promised that his
administration will continue to support sports as a way of creating employment
and developing talent, calling on the private sector to assist government in
this regard since sports is capital intensive.
Chief Emeka Inyama, the Chairman
of Abia Warriors Football Club, who showered cash and gifts to his youth team
and the runners-up, said the competition was an eye-opener as some youngsters,
who could graduate to the Abia Warriors main team were spotted and will be
given a chance at the end of the season to rub shoulders with the big boys.