We Have Gotten Approval To Float Anambra State Owned Football Team – Iloenyosi

Mmaduabuchi Onwumelu

The Chairman of Anambra State Football Association (ANSFA), Gen Chikelue Iloenyosi, says that approval for Anambra State to own a football team just like other States in the country has been granted.

Iloenyosi made the announcement at Awka City Stadium during a press conference which preceded the round of 16 match between Awka Capital Elite Football Club (ACE FC) and Nkpor Veterans Recreation Club.

‘First of all, I want to thank His Excellency Gov Chukwuma Soludi, for the approval for a state football team which is very, very important for Anambra State. Anambra State is going to have a SOLUTION TEAM very soon,’ Iloenyosi said


‘We’re are here to support the government of Gov Prof Chukwuma Soludo on whatever he’s doing to make sure that we had an enabling environment here in Anambra State. We thank him so immensely for the approval as well as for granting us access to use the Government’s facilities for the ongoing All-Stars Football Competition.



Speaking on the issues emanating from the ongoing maiden edition of Anambra State All Stars Football Championship took his time to clear the air


When quized on the disqualification of Ekwulobia team for having a referee currently officiating in the tournament in their line up.


His words, ‘Yeah, the decision we took in the match between Ekwulobia All Stars and Omagba All Stars is very, very clear.


‘Ekwulobia All Stars were alleged to have a referee currently officiating in the tournament in their match day squad list. Dis didn’t sit appropriately well with the rules as it affects justice and fairness.


‘We went through the match Commissioners report, the referee’s report and even saw in the video footage that indeed, he was listed for the match, so on the strenght of the convincing and overwhelming evidence, we took the right decision which was to disqualify Ekwulobia All Stars team.


‘Yes, we didn’t invite both teams to the FA Secretariat for hearing in the matter. Some people may feel it was appropriate to have both parties argue their case in the presence of the FA. But when we were convinced and there were clear evidence to prove the referee’s inclusion in the match day team sheet as well as the video clips where he was seen shouting on his team, we needed no further argument or evidence on the matter before taking decision”, Iloenyosi said.


‘There have been some other referees who are taking part in the tournament and Iloenyosi was quick to clear the air by drawing a line between the two issues.


‘A referee is allowed to play in the tournament for as long as he’s not part of the officiating referees in the tournament. If you want to play, you don’t officiate. And if you want to officiate, you don’t play”, the FA boss emphasised, citing some clear instances.


‘For instance, the Chairman of Awka South Referees Council is playing for Peace FC All Stars. He’s allowed to play because he’s not officiating any match in the tournament as a referee.


‘You cannot officiate in a tournament as a referee and at the same time play in the same competition as an active player. So that’s why we took the decision and also reason why we didn’t invite both teams.


‘Of course, before then, the petition was already out,and everybody had seen the hand writing clearly on the wall. We sighted the referee with his jersey, we sighted him when he was aggressively talking to his team and all that.


‘So it’s very, very simple. That’s why we did not invite anybody like we did in previous cases.


‘Now, we’re going to take another decision on whatever they are writing to make sure that sanity prevails. There has to be a ‘ban’ in this thing because we must make sure that Anambra State Football Association is not made up of ‘moi-moi’ people.


‘We do everything on the basic principle of justice and fair play and we must ensure that justice prevails at the end of the day.


‘This is the first of such tournament, All Stars competition in the state and as such, there are bound to be issues.


‘And we’ve had to deal with such issues promptly as they arise without bias so as to maintain the integrity of the competition.


The ANSFA Boss disclosed that players were being penciled down in the course of the games. He added that the selected players will play his team in a Novelty Match, adding that from the selected players, the team that will represent the State at the National All Stars Championship will emerge.


‘Yes, already, some people are selecting players as the competition progresses. We’re going to play the All Stars Novelty game against my team. I cannot finish a competition I organised without playing. This is fun, you know, so, me, I want to play. Because I want to play, to display some skills.


‘We want to also raise the team that will represent the state at the National All Stars Competition from players selected from this competition.


He admitted there are challenges faced by the FA in the course of staging the maiden edition of the Anambra All Stars Competition.


He said such challenges had to do with funds but quickly hinded that some public spirited individuals have extended some measure of assistance to the project.


‘We’re moving forward. The most important thing in this tournament is the fact that this is the first edition. The second edition is going to be much better and I’m promising everybody that we gonna have more than 50 teams in the next edition .


‘And we’ll do it in such a way that we will use money (registration) to scare some teams out. You can see the fun in the tournament now. Everybody is coming to Awka every weekend with their families to enjoy themselves. That’s the essence of this tournament, fun.


He paid glowing tribute to the State Government for erecting the Awka Stadium, saying it has provided the hub for current fast tempo of football and sports revolution currently sweeping through the state.


‘I’ve to thank the state government for this wonderful pitch. If the state government had not given us this infrastructure, we would not have been playing this tournament.


‘So, all the glory goes to the state government. And I want to thank the Sports Commission Chairman (Patrick Estate Onyedum) for standing behind me. He’s been in support of everything I do.


‘And I want to give a special thanks to the Governor of Anambra State for all the support they are giving to us.


‘I want to thank the Deputy Governor who, despite his crowded schedule, still found time to grace the opening ceremony of this tournament. I will also extend my thanks to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Somto Udeze and the Majority Leader.

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