A cleric, Rev.Fr. Livinus Obijiofor, who floated and nurtured an amateur football club to the Nigerian National League (NNL) Division Three, has solicited for the funding of the team to progress further.
Obijiofor, who is the Parish Priest of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Kpirikpiri in Abakaliki and proprietor of Altar Night FC, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that the club qualified from the non-league play-offs in Edo.
“I am the sole sponsor of the club and only receive assistance from sports loving parishioners, including well-wishers.
“That is the reason we are creating awareness for the club as life in the NNL is tougher than the one in non-league cadre.
“We are therefore soliciting for support from the public and private sector to ensure that the team competes favourably in the NNL and bring glory to the state,” he said.
He regretted the absence of a top football club in Ebonyi, noting that his club could have gained more if such clubs existed in the state.
“State governments and private investors should realize that big clubs serve as sources of motivation to smaller ones such as ours.
“They could serve as launching pads for players in clubs to express their talents at the big stage and become international figures, such as Mikel Obi, Kanu Nwankwo, among others,” he said.
According to him, his players are young, aged from 18 to25, and that the team has produced players currently playing for clubs across the country.
“One of our players underwent trials with a club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently as we hope to produce more stars to represent the state and country,” he said.
Obijiofor stated that the club was formed in 2007 when he assumed the leadership of the parish adding that it had metamorphosed from a team of ‘mass-servants, to its present status.
“I used to train with them on Saturdays and the commitment exhibited by players led us to the present position.
“I urge all tiers of government to pay more attention to sports financing and general administration. (NAN)