U-17 coaches support campaign against football violence

The campaign against soccer violence across the country has been given a major boost with an unequivocal support by the National Under-17 team’s coaches to the 1 GAME: Football without Violence campaign.

The coaches jointly said that it is about time that every soccer lover should be involved in safeguarding of lives and properties in and around the stadium hence concerted efforts by 1 GAME: Football without Violence campaign is a welcome development.

The coaches said as much during a whistle stop to the Princeville Hotel camp of the Golden Eaglets on the outskirts of Calabar Municipality by Mr. Philip Obaji Jr. founder of 1 GAME: Football without Violence campaign, who incidentally is the Chairman, Media and Marketing Committee of the Cross River State Football Association.

Head coach, Manu Garba (MFR) said it was necessary that the stadia and its environs should be conducive for everyone since the game cannot thrive under insecurity, urging everyone to support all efforts at eradicating violence in football.

Assistant coach, Emmanuel Amuneke and Goalkeepers’trainer, Emeka Amadi were also of the view that the stadia should be made attractive so that every member of the family, young and old; male and female would find it convenient to watch matches at all designated venues across the country.

“Every civilised person must join forces to eradicate violence in soccer because the game is not an avenue for people to express their anger,” Amuneke, the 1994 African Footballer of the Year said.

“Football is so huge in Europe today because it offers families the opportunity to relax but this was not always the case before but they have cleaned up their act that violence has been reduced to the barest minimum.

“We must create such cultural awareness so that we can take our children and wives to the stadium could to enjoy the game as it is customary in Europe. We must take a cue from this exemplary conduct so that we can enjoy the game in a violence-free atmosphere,” he added.

Amadi tasked the administrators of the game saying one of their primary responsibilities as custodians of the game is to ensure good conduct and they should therefore, not do anything to undermine the spirit of sportsmanship, adding:”they should be in the forefront of genuine efforts against violence in soccer.”

Erstwhile Golden Eaglets’ captain, Nduka Ugbade (In pic) capped the commendable attempt by 1 GAME: Football without Violence campaign, insisting that soccer and violence should never go hand-in-hand. “Violence in football is not a new thing but is as a result of ignorance, insecurity, poverty and lack of education that has to do with orientation,” he explained.

“It is important that we see football as entertainment and we should, therefore, educate the fans that football is about fair play as such violence should never be encouraged.

“We must put efforts together in taking away violence from football and make it much more interesting for people to watch. We should talk and see football as life rather than death, so I support efforts at eradicating violence in soccer,” Ugbade added.
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