The Anambra State Football Association is set to establish the first Football Village in Nigeria according to its caretaker committee chairman, Dr Chukwuemeka Okeke, the sportsbay.com reports.
During a press conference, Dr Okeke said that the setting up of a football village has become necessary owing to the impact football as a sport has brought to the land in terms of unity, social integration, human capacity development, and entertainment.
He further stated that the anticipated football village will feature an Anambra Football Museum, Football Headquarters, and Football pitches for competitions that will accommodate both natural and synthetic turfs.
The proprietor of the Aspire FC also revealed that the ‘Football Village’ will create room for annual homecoming celebration where ‘Ndi Anambra’ born international and ex-international players, as well as other football stakeholders, will have a convivial one-week homecoming to celebrate their contributions to the growth of the round leather game and also to chart a new course for rapid development of football at the grassroots level.
He also posited that the ANSFA Caretaker Committee is poised to providing an enabling environment that will ensure that the beautiful game thrives and wax stronger in the aftermath of their three-month stay in charge of football administration in the state.
It will be recalled the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had set up a Caretaker Committee for the running of the affairs of the association, following the expiration of the tenure of the Dr Ifeanyi Ubah-led executive team, and pending the conduct of fresh elections.
The tenure of the Caretaker Committee was inaugurated on 5th August 2020 and will be in charge for a period of three months.
In a letter sent to the Anambra State Football Association, the NFF referred to earlier correspondences from the Anambra State FA on 28th April 2020, 27th May 2020 and 3rd August 2020, in which the expiration of the tenure of the Dr Ubah-board, the extension of the life of the board by three months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the expiration of the grace of three months, as well as the inability of the Electoral Committee to conduct fresh elections as scheduled were comprehensively articulated.
“The Caretaker Committee is to administer the activities of the Anambra State Football Association and also conduct elections into the Board of Anambra State Football Association and the Anambra State Local Football Councils within three months, effective from Tuesday, 4th August 2020 to 2nd November 2020,” the letter said.
It will be noted here that elections for positions in the Anambra Football Association have led to the factionalisation of the association, with one group being led by Ifeanyi Ubah, a serving Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the National Assembly and founder of FC Ifeanyi Ubah of Nnewi, while the other, referred to as the interim board of the association, is led by Emeka Okeke, son of a popular industrialist, G.U.O Okeke.
Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is the owner of a Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) team, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, which he founded through the acquisition of Gabros International Football Club formerly owned by Chief Gabriel Chukwuma.
Also known as ‘Anambra Warriors’ or ‘NPFL Galacticos,’ FC Ifeanyi Ubah play their matches in an 18,000-capacity stadium owned by the senator in Nnewi, Anambra State.
His team made history on November 6, 2016, when they defeated Nasarawa United FC on penalties to become the first Anambra State-based side to win the Federation Cup.
That historic feat at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, endeared the club and their proprietor to the people of Anambra State, who subsequently adopted FC Ifeanyi Ubah as their own.
On the other hand, the new Caretaker Committee boss is the brain behind the Aspire Football outfit, which has given many Anambra indigenes the platform to develop their skills and move to greener pastures abroad. Aspire Football Club is the current champions of the Anambra Football League.