By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar

Residents of Asari Eso Layout in Calabar, Cross River State were treated to a thrilling two-week football fiesta, which ended on December 17, 2023, with team Brazil emerging winners of tournament.

It was the second edition of the annual Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba sponsored Asari Eso neighborhood football tournament, with Team Nigeria and Team Brazil, playing as finalists. Team Brazil won the tournament with a lone goal victory over Team Nigeria, in a thrilling final match played at the Ndoma-Egba Arena in the neighborhood.

The tournament, a four-a-side competition, which began in 2022 by the youths of the area who conceived and presented the idea to former Senate Leader, Senator Ndoma-Egba, for consideration and sponsorship.

Considering the significant role played by sports in the unity of people, the former Senate Leader promptly gave a nod to the idea for the tournament to kick-off, strengthening the unity of community residents.

The 2023 edition featured 12 teams grouped into four groups with the group stage games began on November 26th, 2023.

The winners of the 2023 tournament went home with the trophy and cash prize of N150,000 while the runners-up got a cash prize of N100,000. the second runners up took home N50,000. There were also cash gifts to the referees as well as all the participating teams.

At the closing ceremony, Senator Ndoma-Egba expressed satisfaction with the organization of the tournament, charging the Local Organizing Committee, LOC, to note all the lapses so that they can be improved upon in next tournament.

The former chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission assured the organisers of the sustenance of the sports competition, which according to him, helps to foster peace and unity in Asari Iso community.

A member of the LOC, Chief Sylvester Apebende, expressed joy and deep appreciation of the youths and residents of Asari Eso to Senator Ndoma-Egba for all he has been doing for the good of the community.

He cited the provision of potable water, support for community sanitation and waste evacuation as well as his sponsorship of the football tournament as some of the gestures of Senator Ndoma-Egba to the community where he resides.

He assured that the senator will continue to enjoy the support and goodwill of the people of the neighborhood and committed the LOC to a better improved tournament in year 2024.

The finals were watched by some dignitaries living in the area and a record crowd of both residents and passersby.


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