The Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr Dave Nweze Umahi, FNSE of has fulfilled his pledge of floating a football club for the state with the formation of the Salt City Football Club, Abakaliki.
By so doing, Umahi made history by being the first Governor to bequeath a professional football Club to Ebonyians.
The State Commissioner for Youth Development and Sports, Charlse Akpuenika, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, describing the development as ‘heart-warming’.
Akpuenika said that the team would compete in the national league cadre of the 2021/22 football season and acquire the participatory slot from an existing club in the country.
“We have gotten the necessary endorsement to participate in the league from the relevant soccer authorities and would not inherit any liability from the acquisition process.
“Players to form the core of the team would be sourced from the grassroots to enable talented Ebonyi footballers display their talents nationally.
The forthcoming King David Football Championship will be used to select such players as the ministry of youth development and sports had notified that of local government and chieftaincy matters on the development.
“The competition will involve teams from the 64 LGA development centres of the state and selected players would be groomed to ensure we present a formidable team.
We hope to quickly gain promotion to the higher cadre as efforts have been intensified to also float a female team for the state,” he said.
The commissioner said that an interim management committee for the club had been formed which he will inaugurate on Aug.17.
Hillary Obiesie has been appointed as the Acting Chief Coach and will be assisted by Chris Akukwe, Harrison Obasi and Martin Mkpuma.
“Felix Odionye is the Acting Team Manager, Desond Ome—Acting Secretary and Leonard Obijiofor– the Acting Welfare Officer.
“The team’s media crew include: Emeka Ikegwu, Nnamdi Echem and Emenike Ogalagu,” he said.
He thanked the governor for fulfilling the pledge of floating the team which he made on several fora especially during the #END SARS youth summit in January.