Ikpeazu’s wife lauds Abia Angels
• Urges club to win Women Premier League
Abia State Governor’s wife, Nkechi Ikpeazu, who is a renowned sports enthusiast, has congratulated the state’s women football team, Abia Angels, for being the first team in the South East to qualify to play in the National Women Football League.
Mrs. Ikpeazu has also urged the team to strive to make history as the first team in the region to win the league, which has for a long time been dominated by teams from the South South region.
Speaking at a reception held for the club in Umuahia to celebrate the team’s promotion to the Premier League, Mrs. Ikpeazu called on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to establish the female equivalent of the CAF Champions League for women football clubs in the continent, adding that the setting up of an African Women Champions League would advance female football in the continent and also bring more African female players to international limelight.
Pledging to assist and canvass support to enable the club compete successfully in their debut season, she commended the players and their management for their focus, selfless sacrifices and diligence, which resulted in their elevation.
“I am optimistic that your outings in the 2015/2016 league season will be as remarkable as those of your male counterparts, the Enyimba International Football Club, who are currently dominating the men’s premier league,” she added.
The governor’s wife whose husband, Okezie Ikpeazu, is said to be a great footballer, further expressed confidence in the Nigeria Women Premier League Board, urging them to push for increased private sector sponsorship of women football in the country “because the game is a rewarding and veritable way of engaging women in sports activities.”
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of Sports, Dr. Johnson Uzoatuegwu, while listing the recent successes recorded by the state football clubs, said, “Abia is becoming a Mecca of soccer with three teams in the Premiership and the fourth in the Professional league. They are Enyimba, Abia Warriors, Abia Angels and Abia Comets.”
He attributed the successes to the sport-friendly disposition of the state administration.
Also speaking at the reception,
Abia Angels’ Coach, Roland Gbaruko, thanked the Governor’s wife for her encouragement and care, saying the motivation propelled the players to win the 2014/2015 pro-league season.
He called for public support to enable the club prosecute the Premier League, which, he pointed, out is money intensive.
Team Captain, Mary James, assured the state of their determination to bring more glories to the state, saying the players’ ambition was to win the 2015/2016 premier league.
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