ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has challenged the newly promoted Nigeria Professional Football League side, Bayelsa United Football Club to win the 2022/2023 NPFL title.
Diri gave the charge on Thursday night during a dinner with players and officials of the club at the Chief Harold Dappa-Biriye Conference Hall, Yenagoa, the state capital.
The governor congratulated the team for returning to the elite division, noting that playing in the NPFL was the beginning of their success having won the Aiteo Cup last year.
He pointed out that the state government was committed to ensure they play in the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League.
Diri promised that the government would do anything possible to ensure that quality players are recruited across the world to strengthen the team, describing them as worthy ambassadors.
He hinted that the state government was ready to send the technical crew of Bayelsa United for refresher courses in order to be acquainted with modern football techniques.
He said he was pleased to hear that 75 per cent of the players are Bayelsa people.
Diri noted that his administration would soon embark on the remodeling of the Samson Siasia Stadium before the commencement of the season or start the construction of a new stadium in Yenagoa, noting that his government was committed in making Bayelsa a hub of sports in Nigeria.
The Governor explained that due to Bayelsa’s exploits in sports, the state would soon have a sports festival to complement its sports development policies.
Diri, who said the state government had received positive responses from corporate bodies, also applauded the management, technical crew and players Bayelsa United for their undiminished commitment in ensuring that the team move out of wilderness after seven years.
In his remarks, Chairman Bayelsa United, Mr Ebiki Timitimi, appreciated the governor for giving premium attention to sports development, describing Bayelsa United 13 games unbeaten run as unprecedented.
He asserted that he was happy to have guided the Prosperity Boys to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in a space of one year after his appointment.
In separate goodwill messages, member, CAF Medical Committee, Sir Dr Peter Singabele, and the Chairman, Bayelsa State Football Association, Barrister Porbeni Ogun, charged the players to be focused and not to let the euphoria get into them.
They thanked the governor and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, for the immense support given to the team, adding that Bayelsa sports had never had it so good since the state’s creation