Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams in reaching the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup (formerly FA Cup and later Federation Cup)
An elated Governor Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performance, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, which plies its trade in the lower Nigerian National League, on Friday, defeated hard-fighting Premier League neighbours, Rivers United, in the semi-final by a lone goal while Bayelsa Queens, a few days earlier, crushed perennial rivals, Rivers Angels, 5-0 to also reach the final of the Aiteo Cup.
The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating other top teams in the Premier League such as Rangers International of Enugu and Lobi Stars of Makurdi on their way to the final.
He said the feat of the state-sponsored teams was historic as it was the first time two teams from a state were reaching the finals of such a major football competition in the country.
While assuring them of the unremitting support and encouragement of the state government, he urged Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens to complete their heartwarming performance by bringing home both trophies to the state.
Governor Diri equally commended the management and technical officials of both teams.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, was on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.
“The state government will continue to encourage and support them. I also assure the players and officials that the government and people of the state are solidly behind them. They have what it takes to be champions now that they have reached this stage. They should go all the way to complete the double.”