161 youth football clubs drawn from different communities in Bayelsa State and corporate organizations are presently vying for honours in the ongoing 3rd Governor Seriake Dickson Restoration Cup which kicked off on Saturday in Yenagoa.
In the opening match of the tournament, Akuku Dynamics FC of Biseni Community whitewashed Igbogene Community football club 5-1.
Greatman Johnson, Binaemi Dena, Paul Godswill, Nyesi Agunowei, and Oyowah Alex scored a goal each for Aluku Dynamics who have moved to the second round of the competition.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (Rtd), described sports and football in particular, as a sure means of curbing youth restiveness.
He commended the organisers of the tournament for putting the competition together, adding that with 161 teams participating, Bayelsa youths have accepted the competition.
“A tournament with 161 teams is not an easy thing The advantage to us is that it goes down to every corner of the state. When they say talent hunt, this best explains it.
“Youths everywhere in the country exhibit lots of energy and if you don’t direct that energy well, they will direct it. One thing that is like a religion in Nigeria is football. So, when you have every corner or almost every community involved in football, you are actually solving a problem,” he said.
Director General of the Restoration Cup, Mr. Ono Akpe, in his remarks, highlighted the positive impact of the Restoration Cup since its maiden edition.
He said players discovered from the previous edition have formed ‘Restoration Starlets FC’ and finished third at the African Youth Cup in Cape Verde.
Akpe added that the team also emerged champions of the Bayelsa State League.