Ex-internationals, the Sodje brothers, Efe and Sam, have emphasized the need to support and encourage individuals who put in their hard earn money to develop and promote grassroots football in Nigeria.
The brothers expressed this view recently in a chat with journalists ahead of the November 15 kick-off date of this year’s edition of the Felix Anirah Football Tournament.
The elder Sodje, known in his playing days for his rugged style of play and his trademark bandana scarf, said tournaments like the FAFT are needed not only to stoke the interest of youngsters but equally to ensure that there is a steady stream of players available for use by the country’s national teams.
The former Crew Alexander and Bury FC defender called on Nigerians to toe the path followed by Chief Felix Anirah by organising similar tournaments.
Sodje, noted that it wasn’t easy putting in personal funds to develop grassroots football especially organising tournament with a total prize money of over N4.5million. “This tournament will be very good if well organised,” he said. “Others especially those in the executive branch of government should emulate this Delta State House of Assembly member to help in development and promotion of the game.”
Sam, who played for Leeds and Charlton Athletic, on his part expressed gratitude to Chief Felix Anirah for his effort at encourage the growth of youth football as well uniting the ex-internationals and former players. He added: “I want to express my gratitude to Chief Anirah for what he is doing. Engaging the youth especially the young footballers by hosting this competition, which I hear is an annual activity, is commendable.
“I am delighted because competitions like this are what brought most great international footballers like myself to get to where we are today. “I was fortunate to hear Chief Anirah grant an interview a few days ago about the upcoming competition and I saw how passionate he was abo