Nto Eyin Wins Inter-family Christmas Football Tournament In Akwa Ibom State
It is a tradition which is gradually becoming a norm that communities, towns and villages engage in various competitions particularly football to engage their members and keep them busy during the yuletide season, Bestchoicesports.com.ng Editor, Amaechi Agbo, writes.
Everywhere across the southern part of Nigerian, this seeming traditional activities is gaining disaporal and global attention and recognition as family members, relatives and friend when traveling for the Christmas and New Year celebrations will always look up to the football activities. Some take active part as players, coaches or administrators while others take indirect part as spectators.
In Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria, a 7-year old Inter-family football tournament was held and three families, both male and female, each, took part in the competition.
The tournament which began in 2014 saw it’s 7th edition played this January with Nto Eyin Family emerging champions.
Sponsored by a former Youth Leader in the state and a member and team captain of one of the participanting families, of Ikot Ese Village, Etim Ekpo L.G.A Akwa Ibom State, Idoreyin Akpanudo, the tournament has drawn together both the nuclear and extended families to a union of love, peace and understanding.
At the final of the three-day competition played on January 6th, 2020, Nto Eyin Family emerged champions and recorded a back-to-back success after winning same in 2019.
They defeated Nto Essien 3-2 on penalties after the regulation time had ended in a barren draw.
Nto Eyin Family got a prize money of N10, 000 for their hard work while runner up, Nto Essien Family got N5, 000 for their efforts.
Speaking with our correspondent, captain of Nto Eyin Family, Udianaobong Ofonime Monday expressed joy over the feat and thanked the sponsor for remaining steadfasting in the sponsorship of the tournament.
An elated Monday added that the core value of the tournament was not actually the monetary reward but the need to ensure unity, peace, love and and understanding within the family which the tournament has been able to achieve.
“It is always a thing of joy to win any competition and we are happy that we have defended the tournament successfully. This feat will give us the bragging right over other families. We promised them that we will defend it this year and we did just that.
“I also want to thank the sponsor, Idoreyin Akpanudo for his consistency and steadfastness. It is not easy but I commend him.
“Of course, the core value of the competition is not the money or prize. The essence of the 7-year old competition is to bring the families or community together and for scout to come and pick some players. Through this competition, lasting peace, love, unity and understanding has been achieved and we need it to continue, ” he said.
They say that blood is thicker than water but in Ikot Ese Village, Etim Ekpo L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State, the NTO FAMILY has demonstrated that indeed, love is thicker than blood.
Think of sports/football, think of global, continental, regional, national and family peace, love and unit.