No fewer than 20 football teams from Owan East and Owan West Local Government Areas of Edo will be participating in the maiden edition of the Owan footbal league that will kick-off on Saturday.
The sponsor of the league, Christopher Ojo who disclosed this in an interview in Benin on Monday, said the league will be christened, “Man of God Memorial League.”
He said the aim of the league is to identify and groom talents to stardom as well as use sport to productively engage the youths.
While noting that the draws for the league will take place on Thursday, he explained that the league is being organised starting from the zonal basis.
According to him, “for the purpose of the league, we have divided the Owan Federal Constituency into four zones; Otuo, Iulleha, Afuze and Ora zones.
“Preliminary will take place in each of the zones where teams in a particular zone will play themselves and the champions from each zone proceeds to a central zone where they will play in the knockout stages.
“The idea is to be able to get the best of the best emerge as champions of the league at the end of the day.
“While mouth watering prices have been earmarked for the champion, 1st and 2nd runner-up, other teams as well as some spectators will also not go home unrewarded.”
He said to ensure transparency in the league, professional referees and linesmen have been engaged as officials.
He further noted that plan have been made for talents that would emerge from the league to be sponsored to a football academy either in Europe or within the country.
Ojo also solicited support for sports development by individuals and corporate organisations as he stressed that government alone cannot do it
“Sports have become a global brand and business for most corporate organisations; it is time for corporate organisations and individuals in Nigeria to tap into this.
“Aside this, joining efforts with the government in the area of sports development can help address, to the barest minimum, the challenges of insecurity in the country.
“To us, this league will be an annual affairs, just like we have done with the 10km Owan Marathon Race,” he stated.