* Line up of PIFO FC & Soccer Star FC shortly before commencement of the opening match of the PIFO Challenge Cup championship yesterday
PIFO FC faced Soccer Star FC in the first match of the Prince Inyang Inyang Foundation (PIFO) Challenge Cup Football Championship 2018 Final held in Ikot Abasi, yesterdaay, and the early goal in the second minute of the first half by midfielder Christian Ekong brought PIFO a 1-0 win which gave them an ideal start in the competition where the star price of N500,000 as well as N300,000 and N200,000 respectively for the first and second runners-up have been package for grabs.
Other match fixtures at the ongoing championship have Teamwork FC to take on Ambassadors FC on Monday, while Ikot Abasi City FC is scheduled to lock horns with Ibekwe United FC on Tuesday.
Day Four of the championship on Wednesday will feature Ubo United playing host to Teamwork FC, and on Thursday, the Day Five, Soccer Star FC will battle with Ikot Abasi City FC.
Fixtures for Days six, seven eight and nine have Ibekwe United FC versus PIFO FC on Friday, Ambassadors FC versus Ubo United FC on Saturday, Ikot Abasi City FC against PIFO FC on Sunday, while Soccer Star FC will slug it out with Ibekwe United FC on Monday, February 26.
Seven teams divided into two groups registered for the championship, with PIFO FC, Soccer Star FC, Ikot Abasi City FC, and Ibekwe United FC in Group A; while Team Work FC, Ambassadors FC and Ubo United FC are in Group B.
Earlier in his opening address, the sponsor, Prince Inyang Inyang, said the championship is part of his organization’s way of giving back to the society by meaningfully engaging youths of Ikot Abasi and Akwa Ibom State.
Inyang said that apart from other activities such as educational support grants, empowerment for business ventures, and skills acquisition training his foundation is concerned with, it is using the football competition to take the minds of youths off unprofitable activities.
“This is about the third time we’re doing this, and the first being a challenge cup. It has really been helpful to our youths, particularly those from the inner communities of Ikot Abasi.
“We’re doing this because those that will participate will be busy training to perfect their skills in readiness for the competition and therefore will have little time to think or engage in unnecessary activities.
“We want to see the teams grow up to the level of participating in national and global competitions”,he said.
Declaring the championship open, the chairman of Ikot Abasi local government area, Mr. David David, said that the competition is in line with his administration’s drive in the area of using sports to develop youths.
David said unity and love have been well reintegrated into the communities through the series of competitions organized by PIFO in the past, adding that Ikot Abasi is blessed to have the likes of Prince Inyang.
Another official of the Prince Inyang Inyang Foundation, Linus Ndah, said PIFO is using the championship to speak for the underdogs, and that the people are happy to see it as a thing of joy and development.
Ndah said the championship was also designed to discover and develop new talents the foundation will nurture for greater heights.
He said lots of consolation prizes have been provided for the competitors in addition to the cash prizes, adding that provision for adequate security has been made to ensure a hitch free competition.
The final match of the Challenge Cup is scheduled to hold at the Uyo Township Stadium on March 4,2018.