Pictures: Okala, Madu, others gather, as Anambra FA kicks off maiden All stars tournament

Anambra State Football Association (AnSFA), Sunday, kicked off State All Stars Tournament at Awka Township Stadium, with 24 teams lining up for a trophy.

The tournament which begun with Awka Capital Elite FC defeating Okpoko All Stars with one goal, was graced by many football veterans and enthusiasts, including the former Super Falcons star, Maureen Madu and former captain of U-20 and Green Eagles player, Sylvanus Okpala.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman, AnSFA, Mr Chikelue Iloenyosi, explained that the tournament was designed to give active but non professional footballers sense of belonging and to keep the spirit of football alive in Anambra.

According to him, Anambra FA was ready to utilise the facility at Awka Township stadium by making it the football capital in Southeast while assuring that his administration would continue to stage competitions for as long as it could.

Also speaking, the former captain of U-20 and Green Eagles player, Mr Sylvanus Okpala (OFR), commended Iloenyosi for the initiative and governor Chukwuma Soludo for giving sports recognition, which according to him, was a pleasant reminiscence of the good old days of Anambra in football and sports generally.

“I feel good about this, i came all the way from Lagos to see this, it shows that somebody who knows football is administering the game. When we where East Central State, majority if people representing it in sports were from Onitsha and Aba, sadly it down but thank God it is being revived,” he added.

Anambra State governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, represented by the State Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim, while flagging off the ceremony, reassured the administration’s support to sports due to their numerous benefits.

The Anambra state football association equally used the occasion to bestow awards of excellence on the state deputy governor, former Green Eagles goalkeeper, Okala; member representing Oyi Constituency in the state house of Assembly, Hon. Innocent Ojike; National President ASATU, Chief Titus Akpudo; and others.

Speaking on behalf of other awardees, Hon. Ojike, described it as a motivating factor, which would not only spur them to action, but encourage many to invest more towards sports development in the State.