Royal Rangers FC have emerged champions of Odiofele Unity Cup organised by Ekwulimmiri Football Association, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Royal Rangers emerged top after drubbing humbling Young Stars FC with a 2-0 win in the final game of the competition.
The White-on-Red jersey team were rewarded with N300, 000 cash for their efforts while the second placed all Green Young Stars carted home N200,000 cash prize.
In the third place march, All Stars FC defeated Ari-Zion FC with 3-1 on penalties after playing 1-1 in regulation time to emerge third and fourth placed winners to go home with N100,000 and N50,000 respectively.
The competition was played in honour of the memory of late Chief Ibeneme Anyaso, an industrialist and philanthropist who contributed immensely to the development of Ekwulimmiri Town..
Chinedu Anyaso, who spoke on behalf of the family thanked the people of Ekwulimmiri for recognising the contributions of their father and promised to make the Odiofele Unity Cup more entertaining and rewarding in subsequent editions
Anyaso promised that the family would continue to support the development of the town in line with the legacy of their patriarch.
Speaking to journalists, Coach Okwuchukwu Asiegbu of Young Stars FC thanked the organisers and the sponsors for helping the people of Ekwulimmiri enjoy football during the Yuletide.
Asiegbu said there was abundance of potential talents in the streets but coaches could not harness a of them because of lack of facilities and financial support..
Meanwhile, Chief Clement Ezeifedikwa, the President General of Ekwulimmiri Town has called on the incoming administration of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to use sports as an instrument of youth development and empowerment to combat insecurity in the communities.
Ezeifedikwa, a Security Expert who spoke at the grand finale of the Football Championship lamented the absence of government impact in grassroots sports activities.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police (rtrd) said though private citizens have been doing well in creating opportunities for youth to express themselves in sports, the Anambra government should mainstream grassroots sports as part of governance action.
“As an expert in security, I can tell you that sports address youth restiveness anywhere more effectively than other approaches.
“Sports is a vehicle for youth development, you can see the enthusiasm in the youth, sports has a multiple purpose effect for addressing insecurity in communities.
“I want to call on the incoming government to take special interest in sports development, we need competitions, sports will not only address insecurity, it will empower families economically,” he said.