…reaffirms commitment to grassroots development

With a vision to support football advancement in Edo State, the Edo Football Association has inaugurated five committees to help the new board drive the process of football development.

The inauguration ceremony which took place on Friday at the Edo State Sports Commission board room at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, had in attendance board members of the State Football Association.

Speaking at the event, the Football Association (FA) boss, Fred Newton Erhunmwense charged members of the new committees to be prudent, transparent and accountable in their duties.

He also stressed the need for members of the committees to be united, determined and committed to ensuring that there is a re-birth of vibes in football in Edo State while taking the game to a higher level.

“We are all seated here to see how to support our football. We are from this State and we need to move football to greater heights,” the FA boss said.

The Edo FA Chairman who reaffirmed his commitment to the overall improvement of football games in Edo State with emphasis on grassroots development, expressed confidence in the members selected for the various committees, insisting that their appointment was based on their track records and wealth of experience in football administration.

Members of Marketing and Branding Committee.

“We have confidence in you and believe in your ability to brilliantly contribute to workable policies and programmes that will bring about desired changes and also help redefine football administration in the State.

“We have put our hands on the plow and will not look back. Edo people expect much from us and we can’t afford to disappoint them. Edo is football native land full of raw talents and we must do all that is needed to encourage participation and overall development of the game in our state,” he emphasized.

Notably, five committees were inaugurated and the members were encouraged to carry out their assignments with every sense of responsibility and be guided by the vision of the Fred-led administration to work proactively to ensure the real growth and development of football in the State.

The committees inaugurated include Organizing and Disciplinary Committee and its members are; Kindness Ohiowele, Chairman; Patrick Owolabi, Vice Chairman; and Salihu Ibrahim, Obasuyi Emmanuel, Paul Ojiesokhoba, Mikhial Igbinovia, Capt. Stephen Amadi, Sylvester Okungbowa, and Otasowie Ogbonmwan are members, while Peace Ikerebe will be the secretary.

Members Media, Publicity and ICT Committee.

The marketing and Branding Committee has the following: Paul Ojiesokhoba, Chairman; Honorable Felix Osaro, Vice Chairman; and Ogboe Nosa, Honorable Samuel Eigbe Osazee, Aituari Igbinedion, Mikhial Igbinovia, Ken Ugbodaga as members and Otupate Bisi Richard as secretary.

Media, Publicity and ICT Committee has Kennedy Ugbodaga as Chairman; Joseph Isokpehi as head media, Osaigbovo Ehigiegba as head ICT, Kehinde Osagiede, member (media), Eben Onasco, member (media), Egobi King Pele, member (media), Nelson Dafe, member (media), Randy M. Ogbobio, member (media), Ohre Eloghene, member (ICT), Vincent Uyi, member (ICT), Gabriel Taiye, member (ICT), Kehinde Peter, member (ICT), Ovoke Ekana, member (Photography), Oboh Benjamin, member (Graphics Design), while Edward Omoruyi Oseghe act as 1st secretary, and Andrew Ohwifo as 2nd secretary.

Technical and Referee Committee has Kindness Ohiowele as Chairman, Sylvester Okungbowa, Vice Chairman, Pastor Osayomore Aghahowa, Vice Chairman; Emmanuel Aiguobasinwin, member, Roland Temigbe, member, Daniel Iruero, member, and Paul Ihenyen as secretary.

The Youth Football Development committee has Faith Ojeaga, Chairman, Mikhial Igbinovia, Vice Chairman; Sunday Enobakhare, member, Ben Omorogieva, member, Prince Winner Victor Okojie, member, Kennedy Ugbodaga, member, Lucky Sampele Uwadia, member and Peace Ikerebe Karson is the secretary.

Fred, however, stressed the need for the marketing and branding committee to be active in their line of duty, noting the association is always ready to bring innovations into the system. He also expressed confidence in the capacity of the various committees to deliver on the mandate.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Fred thanked those who supported him before, and during the election, maintaining that the job to make football great in Edo State is for all.

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“I would like to use this medium to appreciate everyone seated here for your support and the role you played before, during and after the election,” he echoed.

“We are seated here to define the purpose of how football will be organized in the next four years. We want innovative ideas. We want those that would love the game to take charge of various committees,” he added.

Speaking on behalf of the newly inaugurated committees, the Chairman of the Organizing and Disciplinary Committee, Mr. Kindness Ohiowele promised that various committees will work assiduously with the FA Chairman to ensure that the set goals of the new FA board are achieved. He thanked the FA Chairman for allowing members to serve in their various capacities.

“We are all stakeholders and we are all working towards one purpose which is developing football. I assure you that we shall hit the ground running as we are ready to move Edo State Football forward,” he declared

According to the Chairman Organizing and Disciplinary Committee, “By the grace of God, we are going to kick-start immediately and I believe with my position as the Chairman of the Organizing and Disciplinary Committee, which is the heart of the FA, we will deliver to make sure that there is a difference and also take football to the glorious heights Edo people are expecting.

“We will do our best to give the best to Edo state. We are coming up with various tournaments and by the grace of God, we are kick-starting this year with two tournaments already in the pipeline; The Ighodalo Peace Cup and the Oba of Benin Veteran Cup are coming up this month.

“And from January 2024 we’ll be talking about the FA Cup and the awaited State League that has not been organized for over three years in Edo State.

On his part, Ken Ugbodaga, Chairman Media, Publicity and ICT Committee remarked, “Earlier this year l was in Egypt for the U-20 CAF Confederation tournament and l took some vital information from the Egypt FA to bring it to the State FA to ensure the media department come to a success.

“I am introducing an internet-based media house that will work even when you are not in the country, you can send it through different social media platforms.

“You will agree with me that before now the FA neither had a website, nor a media center where they publish online news, that is what l am going to bring on board with my board members and other stakeholders who are in the media committee with me. And l believe we will always excel.

“I’ve great men who are ready to produce software to digitalize the FA, most especially from the grassroots clubs, to bring them into a database and do players registration, and at the end get players license for them.”

Likewise, Paul Ojiesokhoba, Chairman of the Marketing and Branding Committee said, “In the next four years by the grace of God, we want to take the Edo State FA to the next level as far as marketing and branding is concerned.

“We understand that this is 2023 and marketing has evolved, marketing has been digitalized. So we want to bring in new ideas, we want to bring in innovations into marketing and branding aspect, too.

“In summary, I want to pledge that at the end of four years, the marketing and branding section of the Edo State Football Association will have gotten to greater heights.”

Faith Ojeaga, Chairman Youth Football Development Committee remarked, “First of all, let me use this opportunity to thank the FA Chairman for finding me worthy to Chair this committee and also the media for following us in the few days we’ve spent in office.

“As you all know the youth department is the engine room of football, whether you want to play professionally, you must start from the youth. We aim to comb the state, get the best, and organize football programmes.

“We also want to partner with the various club sides who haven’t been partnering with the FA. We have to encourage them so that they can join the moving train. It’s going to be a teamwork.”

Members of Youth Football Development Committee.