Cross River state government not impressed by the state-based teams’ performance

Unicem Rovers FC and Canaan United will represent Cross River at the 2012 national Federation Cup finals, after emerging finalist in the state event.

The state government has, however, said it was not impressed with their performance. 

Cross River State Deputy Governor,  Efiok Cobham, who spoke after Unicem Rovers defeated Canaan United 3-0 at the state final played at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, said the quality of play by both teams was not impressive.

He said the government would expect nothing less than the Federation Cup from the teams.

“We all know that the level of football has gone down in Nigeria, what we see today attests to that,” he said. “I am not impressed by the standard of play by the teams. But I will call on well-meaning people of Cross River and indeed Nigerians to support the development of sports.”

According to him, the government is doing everything possible to foster this, in addition to their Comprehensive Sports Development Programme.

“We want to see our footballers perform better than this. We want to see Unicem Rovers perform better than they are doing currently in the Nigerian National League (NNL). We want its management to really sit up. I will see that at least one of the two teams play in the final of the Federation Cup,” he said.

Cobham recalled that the U.J. Esuene Stadium, in the past, was usually filled with people and the gate would be shut to prevent more people from coming in, but not anymore.

“People prefer watching the English Premier League and the FA Cup final,” he said. “It has to do with quality of football they are watching.”

In his reaction, Coach John Ene of Canaan United, promised that his team would pull surprises at the national finals of the competition.

Ene said that he would beef up his team for stiffer challenges, having known the lapses to work on.

“I will make sure that my team is going to the national finals not just to play but to at least, be in the last eight,” he said. “My target is to develop budding stars in this young team to national and international stardom. I also expect that those I groom will take over from where I stop. We have talented players here. They may not play like some of us did but there are prospects that they can catch up, mature, be like us and even surpass us.”

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