Rivers United, which FIFA recently banned from the transfer market for three windows because of their outstanding liabilities to a former player, Samuel Akurugu, yesterday said they have cleared the debts.
Rivers Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, said the payment has freed Rivers United from the ban, adding that FIFA had stated that the sanction would be lifted
“immediately and prior to its complete serving, once the due amount, plus interest is paid.”
Iyaye told the chairman of Ikwerre Local Council, Samuel Nwanosike, who was on a courtesy visit to his office in Port Harcourt, that “With this clause in the letter from FIFA, it is our hope that it will be lifted immediately as the club prepares for continental and domestic football calendars.”
The commissioner added that the Rivers State Government was re-jigging grassroots sports development, hence the willingness of the sports ministry to partner with stakeholders and local governments to unearth talents that would represent the state at all levels of sports competitions.
He said Rivers would have completed its sports festival aimed at bringing out the best from those at the grassroots if the outbreak of the coronavirus did not interrupt all sporting activities, adding that plans were on to hold the festival as soon as possible.
Iyaye commended the council boss for seeking partnership with the ministry, saying it was the first time a local government chairman was embarking on such engagement to optimize the energies of youth at the grassroots.
“We shall grant you support and expertise and treat your local government as a pilot in our avowed commitment to positioning the grassroots as the bedrock for sports development in Rivers State,” he stated.
Earlier, the Ikwerre Council boss had unveiled his sports development plan, pointing out that sports represent a major platform to harvest the time of youth and convert it into a profitable venture.
Nwanosike disclosed that his council was already constructing facilities for football, swimming, wrestling, table tennis, basketball and cycling, among others, hence the visit and request for technical and professional assistance from the ministry.
He also disclosed plans to construct a sports academy in the area and called for inputs from the ministry in terms of technical advisory and expertise in sports management.
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