Bayelsa State Commissioner for Sports, Perekiye Buruboyefe has said that the governor, Seriake Dickson is successfully fighting cultism and other social vices in the state through the just-ended Restoration Football Tournament.
His position was corroborated by the special adviser to the governor on sports, Mr. Felix Omemu. They both spoke on Sunday at the event to mark the finals of the grassroots football competition.
Director General of the tournament, Mr. Ono Akpe said this year's edition was community based, adding that 150 matches were played across the state at the preliminary stages before the finalists emerged.
"The idea is to harness the abundant skills talents of the youths of Bayelsa state away from cultism, violence and other social vices", he added.
Ono revealed that a total of 90 talented players had been selected from the competition to be sent to the Bayelsa State Sports Academy, Asuama, built by the present administration.
Out of the 90 players, Ono said 30 would be carefully selected and sent to Abuja to be further groomed by Coach Samson Siasia.
"After four weeks of camping, training and friendly matches, these boys will be ready for our training tour in Spain, Norway or Turkey", he said.
During the finals, the newly refurbished 5,000- seater Samson Siasia Sports Complex was filled to capacity, as spectators trooped out to watch the final match.
Two goals from Tarabina and Roland in the 8th and 57th minutes respectively, were enough for Pere-Torugbene community of Ekeremor Local Government area to lift the trophy.
Pere-Torugbene went away with a star prize of N5million while the first runner- up, Opu-Nembe of Nembe Local Government Area went home with the sum of N3million.
In the third place match decided earlier, Toru-Orua trashed Otuasega 3-1 to emerge the third best team of the tournament with a prize of N2million while their opponent got a consolation sum of N500,000.
Dickson had earlier kicked the ball ceremonially to mark the end of the 2018 edition of the inter-community football tournament he initiated two years ago.
While thanking Sterling Bank Plc that sponsored the winning prizes and other groups for supporting the tournament, Dickson hinted that the major objectives of the football competition was to encourage the youths to shun anti vices and redirect their energies towards more productive ventures.
He added that in the course of the tournament, young talented footballers had been identified from all nooks and crannies of the state.
He therefore directed the ministry of sports to organize an inter local government football tournament, starting from July this year as well as the female edition of the restoration cup competition.