By Amaechi Agbo
No fewer than 24 clubs have registered to participate in this year’s Federation Cup (Aiteo Cup) in Enugu State.
Chairman, Enugu State Football Association, Chidi Ofo Okenwa disclosed this in interview but said the FA is expecting higher number in view of the fact that the deadline for registration has not elapsed.
“As I speak with you, we are at the very last part of finishing formalities and club registration for the Cup. The club who have registered for the FA Cup are playing friendly matches among themselves and the FA is having an interface with the clubs that will participate to handle issues of player status such as movement and migration. There is a difference between the two – player’s movement has to do with players moving from one place to another in search of greener pastures or due to location; player migration occurs due to the person concerned gaining admission to school like Ibadan and had to play there.
“Right now, we have 24 clubs that have fully registered for the Aiteo Cup but that figure could increase because we have not closed down registration. By the time we do that, more clubs could come,” he said.
On other activities going on in the state FA, the chairman said “Basically you know that state football associations are the ladder of crossing over to Nigeria football. In Enugu state, we are up to our responsibilities; basically, grassroots football development, education and coaching. We run a programme we call the ‘Book-to-Boot Progrmme’.
“In this programme, we ensure that all the people within the football age are in school. For the out-of-school children, we still have a programme for them. When we say ‘Book-to-Boot’, education must not be western; it can be family education, where values and morality are taught.
We run our leagues as usual – Under 10, 13, 15 and Under 17 leagues. We as well run the state league and the Federation Cup, that is Aiteo Cup. We run the veterans league; this is a league like no other which is meant for those who are 40 years and above.
“So all these leagues are running and we take them to the nooks and crannies of Enugu state. We have our quarterly fitness test for our referees, we have seminars for them too.”