The Chairman of Benue State Football Association (BSFA), Barr. Paul Edeh, has announced participation fee of N200, 000 to each of the 10 clubs that made it to the ongoing maiden FA Chairman’s Cup in Makurdi, the state capital.
The cash donation to the 10 clubs that eventually made it to the tournament after emerging tops from their various local government areas and constituencies of the adjourning Zone A, B and C of the state, means that a total of N2 million have been handed out by the BSFA Chairman who is also the sponsor of the competition.
That is aside another total sum of N2 million earmarked as prize money for the competition for the would-be overall winners (N1 million), runners-up (N700, 000) and N300, 000 for the third place side.
There are also giant trophy and individual awards available for grabs.
On the first day of contest on Sunday November 19, 2022, Buruku FC edged Gboko 2-1 in a hard fought clash.
At the official kick-off of the tournament symbolically performed by the State Commissioner of Youth, Sports and Creativity, Rt. Hon. Ikyange Terkimbi, inside popular McCarthy stadium Makurdi, the Benue State FA Chairman affirmed that grassroots football development under his watch will surely experience the three tripods upon which the round-leather game is instituted by FIFA at the global level which cascade to the continental, national, states, local government and communities.
He then assured that as from 2024, more grassroots football competitions including U17 tournament will be triggered in parts of the state.
He said, “Our vision remains to build a football association that is investment-driven, self sustaining, and that can develop the game at the grassroots. I believe that with the ball we have set rolling today, it is going to lead to an enduring impact in footballing in Benue state.”
The FA Chairman also took time out to shower encomioms on the state government, the BSFA board members, local football council executive and other stakeholders for their support in moving football forward, while revealing the modality that led to qualification of the 10 teams for the ongoing FA Chairman’s Cup.
“It was a tedious process with a lot of funds sank into the tournament. My joy is that we accomplished our goal.
“I want to thank all football stakeholders in Benue state for making football come alive again in our dear state. Particularly, I want to thank the Hon. Commissioner of Youth Sports and Creativity for his robust commitment. When we visited him after he assumed office, he was unequivocal in his determination to supporting football and we see it clearly in his participation in all our activities including today’s event.
“I am happy also to note that the local FA chairmen have distinguished themselves, It is my joy to note that when we took the initiative that the local FA chairmen should run their local FA Chairman’s Cup, everybody thought the FA at the state level was going to give them money. Despite the challenges, they hosted the local FA Chairmen’s cup in the 23 local government areas.
“I believe that if we must grow the game of football, that is the way to go, everybody must work towards ensuring that he or she has the capacity, to raise funds and use the funds in the most transparent manner to develop the game of football. I want to also commend members of my board, indeed we are enjoying ourselves in the board of Benue State Football Association. When the 23 local government areas were done with their finalists, the board members among the winners and the second place, hosted board member’s cup, from where we have got the 10 teams that qualified to come to Makurdi for State FA Chairman’s Cup,” Barr. Edeh, who is also the President of Ratel Sports Development Foundation said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Youth, Sports and Creativity, Rt. Hon. Terkimbi commended BSFA for numerous innovative moves within a short time of its emergence.
He reiterated the readiness of the state government to restore the dignity of sports for the overall good of its citizens, with the return of the Governor’s Cup competirion which last held several years ago.
Declaring the FA Chairman’s Cup competition open, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aondona Dajoh, who stood in for the Deputy Governor, Dr. Sam Ode, affirmed that the legislators are in full support of BSFA’s grassroots football development drive.
Represented by the House Majority Leader, Comrade Saater Tiseer, the Speaker said already the lawmakers are in unison to endorse the proposed Speaker’s Cup tournament by the Benue FA board adding, “By the time we resume general sitting, we will look into it and ultimately pass a bill to that effect.
“We have the responsibility to join hands with the Benue State Football Association to develop football in the state. We won’t also leave other Sports but due to the large followersship football enjoys, a lot more will need to be done in that direction in order to engage young people and take their attention off social vices.
“Paying requisite attention to Sports development is certainly going to reduce insecurity and other societal problems. I can assure you that the leadership and entire honourable members of the house are committed to this course and we will follow it through.”