By Ugochukwu Iwuchukwu
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, has blasted the management and players of Rivers United over poor performance in the 2019 football season.
Iyaye, during a courtesy call by Sports Writers Association of Nigeria SWAN Rivers State Chapter in his office said Rivers United has failed to perform despite the huge investment in the team by the State Government.
Iyaye said SWAN members should criticize the team when they should be criticized and praise them when they need to be praised.
He said the team has continued to bring in bad results despite the fact that the state government has given free hand for the management of Rivers United to run the club.
Iyaye described the woeful performance of the club at the just concluded Aiteo Federation Cup as an embarrassment to the Rivers State government.
”The Rivers State Government has done everything that should be done and I beat my chest any day to say that no team in Nigeria gets the kind of attention Rivers United gets, in terms of motivation, in terms of welfare, in terms of appropriate payment of salaries, bonuses, and allowances, no team in Nigeria have that kind of advantage.
“And so they don’t have any reason not to perform except out of negligence and non-commitment of the management, technical and the players, that is the only reason they are not performing” he stated.
The Commissioner of Sports Rivers State Boma Iyaye while commending Rivers Angels on winning the 2018 Aiteo Cup said the team has done the state proud.
He boasted that Port Harcourt is the headquarters of female football because of the quality of players that have featured for Rivers Angels.
”The issue of Rivers Angels, I want to say a very big congratulations. Our darling team, they have always made us proud, I am not surprised, I will be shocked if they did not win, because I know that the female trophy will always come back to Port Harcourt because that is its base” he said.
”I say this with all conviction because we all know that female football started from Port Harcourt, so it’s not out of place at all that we have remained on top of the echelon of female football in Nigeria, most of the national team players either have played or are still playing in Port Harcourt, we control female football” he stated.
The Commissioner of Sports also appealed to members of SWAN Rivers State chapter to reconcile aggrieved members of the body.
Earlier, the Acting Chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria SWAN, Rivers State Chapter Soni Uboh said SWAN will organize an Award Night for members in December.
Soni Uboh said the aim of the Award Night is to encourage sportsmen and women especially upcoming writers to develop an intimate passion for the profession in Rivers State.
He also appealed for support for the annual Henry Kalio football tournament and also for the proper welfare of sports reporters in the state.
The Acting Chairman of SWAN in Rivers State also promised that the body will continue to do its best to promote sports development in the state.