March 5, 2024

Track & Field: 1996 Summer Olympics: Nigeria Chioma Ajunwa in action during Women's Long Jump at Centennial Olympic Stadium. Ajunwa won gold. Atlanta, GA 8/2/1996 CREDIT: Al Tielemans (Photo by Al Tielemans /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X55275 TK3 R5 F10 )

Emelam Udo, Umuahia

The Abia Government has expressed its resolve to deploy relevant resources to enhance Sports development in the state especially Football at the grass roots.

Nwaobialor Ananaba, the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, disclosed this during a Football Talent Hunt Programme in Umungalagu-Nvosi in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area.

Ananaba said that the government was working in partnership with stakeholders to improve the game in the state and promote the talents of young players in order to position them for global career opportunities.

He also noted that the government’s rebuilding agenda was focused on creating an enabling environment for the nurturing and harnessing of discovered football talents.

“We have some scouts from Europe, that have come to pick raw talents and hopefully take them to Europe.

“They will finish the talent hunt in Umuahia where they will pick a few boys that will travel to Europe with them.

“We decided to bring them here to look at our female team and see the potentials they have and hopefully pick one or two of them” Ananaba said.

He also hinted that the government was determined to provide the necessary infrastructure that would revive sports in the state and promote football.

Also speaking, a FIFA Intermediary, Kenneth Ogbuehi, said that he was in the state with international scouts to fish out raw talents and added that he was hopeful their mission would be fruitful.

“I would not say we are disappointed at the moment, everything is positive, but we hope for better things,” Ogbuehi added.

An International Scout, Jorge Fuster, enthused that he was impressed with the skills of the young players he had seen during the talent hunt.

Fuster said that he was able to find a lot of good talents and noted that there were a lot of areas that the young players need to improve in.

Another international scout, Fabiano Menezes, said: “I saw raw talents in the past few days I have spent here”.

Menezes added that a lot needed to be done to help the young players to improve themselves grow up to become professionals.

The Coordinator of UECOB Sports Academy, Chiemela Iroha, commended the government for taking giant strides in transforming the different sectors of the state’s economy.

Iroha thanked the government for its unwavering commitment towards facilitating the achievement of sports development in Abia.





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