Siasia, Kanu, Ikpeba to grace finals of Bayelsa’s Restoration Cup
Former Super Eagles striker and coach, Samson Siasia will lead other former soccer legends, including Kanu Nwankwo and Victor Ikpeba, to the finals of the grassroots development football competition, the Restoration Cup, which comes up at the Samson Siasia Sport complex, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Also coming for the final, which will also be used to formally commission the renovated Yenagoa sport complex, is Youth and Sports Minister, Sunday Dare.
Speaking in Yenagoa on Monday, the Director-General of the tournament, Ono Akpe, said the curtain on the grassroots football tournament would be drawn on today with the final match laced with other forms of entertainment for football fans.
Akpe apologized on behalf of the organisers for the lengthy suspension of the competition, saying the delay was due to security and logistics challenges arising from the conduct of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
He said, “We are expecting the best of football in the finals; you won’t understand it until you visit the stadium and see what goes on especially when it gets to this final stage.
“The Samson Siasia sports complex, where we can now have international matches, will be commissioned on the final day.
“We must really commend the governor and thank him for that, because he’s officially handing over, it will go a long way to project our sports.
“The stadium reconstruction was delayed by the contractor, but at the end of the day, it will be ready and we will play our semi finals and final there.
“And, because it’s named after Samson Siasia, he will be our special guest for the commissioning of the sports complex… we will equally have ‘Victor Ikpeba.
“We have spoken to Kanu Nwankwo, he’s outside the country and making arrangements to come. We have also spoken to Tijani Babangida, he equally wants to come to witness the matches.”
He disclosed that the first two semifinals would be played, adding that the losers will meet in third place match.
The first semi finals will feature the defending champion, Peretoruogbere FC against the Okolobiri FC, while Ekeremot FC will battle with Nembe FC in the other semifinal.
Akpe disclosed that the first place winner will go home with N3 million, while second and third place winners will smile home with N1.5 million and N1 million respectively.
Other incentives lined up for the participants, according to the Akpe, include trophies and other prices for the best goalkeeper, the highest goal scorer, the Most Valuable Player and best-behaved players and teams.