Nigeria Beach Soccer Association pays courtesy visit to Nnewi palace and Innoson Motors ahead of Second Round

The board of the Nigeria Beach Soccer Association (NBSA) paid double visits ahead of the second round of the 2024 Nigeria Beach Soccer League (NBSL) slated to kick off on Wednesday, May 15.

The first courtesy visit took them to the Palace of Igwe of Nnewi, His Royal Highness K.O.N Orizu III on Monday.

The crown prince of Nnewi, Prince Obi Orizu welcomed the visitors on behalf of the King.

He prayed for the safe arrival of dignitaries after the traditional cutting of kolanut.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Anambra Beach Soccer Association, Professor Victor Madubuko thanked the prince for welcoming them and expressed his pride in Nnewi hosting the league.

“Thank you for giving us the audience today and welcoming us.

“We are proud to be selected as the host city for the 2024 NBSL second round. Yesterday we welcomed players from five states and national officials of the league.

“It is a thing of joy taking place in our city. We thought it is only proper to pay respect to the Nnewi kingdom before going about the league.”

The Administrative Secretary of NBSA, Rasheed Saraki introduced the league officials to the crown prince.

Cordinator of the Nigeria Beach Soccer League (NBSL) who doubles as the President of the African Beach Soccer Union (ABSU), Mahmud Hadejia said it is the tradition of the association to pay respect and get associated with traditional institution at league host centres while taking him through the history of the game in the country.

“We are elated and happy to pay this visit to the palace. It is a tradition that we have been observing since we started the league and is something that we practice anywhere we go as we hold tradition and culture in high esteem.” He said.

“I want to give a little brief about beach soccer in Nigeria and why we are here. Beach soccer started in 2005 and the game wad officially initiated in Brazil. We formed the game under the aegis of NFF.

“Nigeria started participating at international tournaments. The country has been doing very well over the years.

“Recently we started the league. This is the fourth season. We have been having it great with teams across the country. We do partner with specific states and institutions that can host the league. We are all excited to be here. This is my first time here.

“We have really been elated and excited with the hospitality here. We are looking to have a good event and look forward to the next event in Nnewi.

“I want to commend the Chairman of Anambra Beach Soccer Association for what they have been doing as far as a standard facility for beach soccer is concerned. When the tournament starts, the whole world will know more about Nnewi and Anambra state.

“In the league, we also try to exhibit the culture of the people. We are happy to be in your city. Please pass our goodwill and best wishes to the Royal Highness. We hope when the game starts, you will have the opportunity to be with us.

“Beach soccer is a family game and we want every family to be part of it.” He concluded.

The Chairman of the Anambra Beach Soccer Association and the NBSL officials presented souvenirs (club jersey and face cap with other personal effects) to the crown prince.

Prince Orizu while responding to the visit spoke about the uniqueness of Nnewi and the history of traditional rulers while welcoming dignitaries.

“Igwe is 99 years. He has been on the throne since 1963 as the oldest traditional ruler in the country and the second in terms of longest tenure to the Awujale.

“In our tradition, everything we touch turned to gold. Anyone who comes here with good intentions becomes successful. We have the highest number of millionaires in our community. People believe that we don’t go to school because we are wealthy. Irrespective of that we have lots of Professors, Doctors, and other educationists.

“We do everything we do with every sense of sincerity and don’t honour illicit money.”

The second leg of the visits took the league officials to the home of the founder and Cheif Executive Officer (CEO) of Innoson vehicle manufacturing, Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma.

The founder of Nigeria’s first indigenous automobile manufacturing company welcomed NBSA officials with open arms.

During the meeting, Chief Chukwuma promised to attend the opening games with the honour of observing the ceremonial kick-off.

Accompanying the Coordinator of the league are Secretary of Anambra Beach Soccer Association Ezeakukwu Emmanuel, CAF Beach Soccer licenced coach, Kadiri Christopher, technical director of the association coach Abdullahi Isa, Kebbi BSC Team Manager Abdullahi Yahaya, Kebbi BSC coach Bashar Samaila, media officer of Anambra Beach Soccer Association and coordinator Anambra Beach Soccer Warriors Okwudili Emmanuel, media assistant of the league Oyediji Oluwaseun, and photographer of the association Tanko Ibrahim.