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LOC hails standard at Ebonyi veterans football competition



The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the on-going Ebonyi Veterans Football competition has hailed the standard of play being displayed by participating teams.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the competition has two teams each from the three senatorial zones of the state and features players above 40 years.

Mr Emmanuel Utobo, the competition’s LOC Chairman, told NAN on Thursday that the players had exhibited high tactical and technical knowledge of the game not expected of individuals of their ages.

“The fans can attest to it that such standard has eliminated the tag of ‘novelty’ which such competition is usually associated-with.

“People were expecting to see the players going against the sport’s rules and parrying the ball for instance instead of kicking it.

“We have instead seen encouraging levels of fitness, accurate and incisive passes, and cohesive play by the teams among other positive attributes.

“This can however be attributed to the parading of ex-footballers by the teams especially former players of the defunct Ebonyi Angels Football Club (FC) and clubs across the country and abroad,” he said.

Utobo who is the Director of Sports in the state, however expressed displeasure with the low-level of conduct exhibited by some of the participating teams.

“We expected high level of maturity from the teams even after softening on the rules to accommodate their conduct.

“We are however effectively managing the situation to ensure that the competition ends successfully,” he said.

The LOC Charmian noted that such unsavory behaviour was displayed by the Ebonyi central zone’s team ‘A’ which failed to appear for its best losers decider against Ebonyi South team ‘A’.

“The match was to determine the competition’s best loser that could join the three already qualified teams for the semi finals.

“The Ebonyi central team ‘A’, however, failed to turn-up after the officials ‘graciously’ waited for about one and half hour instead of the stipulated 30 minutes,” he said.

He announced that the semi finals which were originally slated for Sunday, Dec. 8 had been postponed due to a religious programme at the Pa Ngele Oruta stadium, Abakaliki on that day.

“A new date will be announced for the semi finals and would be duly communicated to the affected teams,” he said.

Edited & Vetted By: Donald Ugwu

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