Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and the state’s commissioner for sports, Boma Iyaye, have commended the organisers of recently concluded Governor Wike Pre-Season Championship for delivering a championship worthy of Nigerian football.
Speaking during the final of the competition, Governor Wike, represented by Rivers State PDP Chairman, Desmond Akawor, said the standard of play at the tournament was great while expressing happiness that the state’s team, Rivers United, won the title.
He said: “For a team to get to the final and actually played till level of penalties to determine the winner, that’s to show that the standard here is very high.
“It is not just about the win, but to measure the standard of play which we have achieved. One thing that is convincing is that the investment in sports, especially football in the state, is actually a worthwhile investment.
“For us, if we are just starting the Real Madrid Academy, you can imagine what will happen in the next five years when we start to have graduates from the school playing either away or for the state team, I am highly impressed with the competition.”
Also speaking on the tournament, Iyaye revealed that Rivers United is still far away from a finish team, adding that the 2020 pre-season championship was better than previous editions.
He added: “It has been a great improvement from the first edition, despite the issue of COVID-19 and all that, we still have a successful tournament. If not for the Pandemic, the stadium wouldn’t have contained fans that will come to the stand, but we had to restrict them.”
Rivers United defeated Nigeria National League side, Bayelsa United, 5-4 on penalties after the regulation time ended 1-1 to win the championship.