By Jonathan Ugbal
The Udoakaha Jacob Esuene Stadium in Calabar, the Cross River State capital has been slated as venue for two games organized by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).
The games are the Nigerian Under 20 male side versus Guinea Bissau billed for May 19, 2018 and the Super Falcons game against the Republic of the Gambia slated for June 12, 2018.
Both are continental qualifying matches.
And, the Cross River State Government has inaugurated the local organizing committee to ensure the games are executed hitch free.
The committee is headed by the Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Sports, Mr. Effiom Effiwatt.
The secretary of the state’s football association, Mr. Mike Ushie is to serve as secretary of the committee while the General Manager of the Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, Mrs. Justina Ovat 18 others make up the 21 man team.
The Commissioner of Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Asu Okang who inaugurated the committee said that Mr. Ayade had “in a communication with the NFF accepted to hold (the) two international matches.”
Okang who posited that: “The Governor has remained resolute in terms of his commitment to sports development in Cross River State,” maintained that there is optimism the 10,000 capacity U.J Esuene stadium will be filled as the games will be toll-free.
He said that the stadium has always been a “great success story,” even as he hoped that the preparations will help the teams to victory.
Furthermore, Okang averred that it has been a good week as the governor, Senator Ben Ayade has replied the prayers of the sports loving populace in the state including the increase of the monthly imprest of the Rovers and Pelican Stars football clubs from NGN3 million to NGN5 million and the donation of two 32 seater coaster buses.
The Flying Eagles are expected to arrive on May 15, 2018 while the Guineans will arrive 24 hours later.
In his remarks, Mr. Effiwatt said that the state is not new to hosting such activities and has a good record to that effect.
He said that the national teams have had their best outings in the U.J Esuene stadium and called on the citizenry to avail themselves of the opportunity to cheer the teams to victory.
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