Nigeria Police Football team Zone 13 warming up for their first leg match on Thursday at the 13th biennial Police games in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. (Credit: The Dune)

Abasifreke Effiong

Eight teams played their first leg match on Thursday 24th November, at the opening of soccer tournament, male category, at the ongoing 13th biennial police games in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The tournament taking place at the training pitch of the Godswill Akpabio international stadium saw Zone 14 play against Zone 4 in the opening match.

The match which was watched by the top echelon of the Nigeria Police Force and members of the Nigeria Police Football Association led by its Chairman, ACP Garba Sule Yaro, and hundreds of spectators.

Zone 4 thrashed Zone 14, 3-0 in the opening game. Zone 13 from Anambra who are the defending champions of the male football defeated the Zone 6, which is the host Zone of this year’s games.

In the other encounters, Zone 9 and Zone 8 played goalless draw, while Zone 7 beats Zone 11 by 3 goals to 1.

Other two teams in the male category will play their first leg match on Friday. Six female teams participating in the tournament are billed to play this weekend according to fixture of the matches made available to our newsroom.

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The Chairman of the Nigeria Police Football Association, ACP Garba Sule Yaro said 16 teams are participating in the tournament.

“The Nigeria Police have about 17 Zones, but by virtue of this competition, we have 10 Zones that qualified for this finals. The Force Headquarters Abuja Zone 17, Zone 6 from Akwa Ibom, Zone 9 from Enugu, Zone 13 from Anambra, Zone 10 from Sokoto. We have a total of 10 teams for the male category. We also have teams from 6 Zones for the female category. We have 16 teams altogether competing in this tournament.”

We'll build football team for Nigeria Police that can play in national leagues - ACP Yaro ACP Garba Sule Yaro, Chairman, Nigeria Police Football Association.

He said the competition is sure to produce talents that will be further harnessed to build a formidable football team for the Nigeria Police Force.

“We are sitting here to identify exceptional talents from among the different teams that will play in this tournament. We are all here to scout for talents that we can take immediately to the camp and groom them together, harness them and bring up a team that can compete anywhere and we will beat our chest and say the Inspector General has produced these talents”, ACP Yaro added.

Meanwhile, the Sports Officer of Nigeria Police Anambra Command Zone 13, SP Daniel Wais, said he is optimistic that his team will win tournament.

Speaking after their first leg win against Zone 6, he said despite the prevailing security situation in the South-East, the team prepared extensively for the competition and lauded the organisation of the 13th biennial police games in Uyo.

13th biennial police games: Eight teams play first leg at opening of soccer tournament SP Daniel Wais, Sports Officer, Nigeria Police Command Zone 13 Anambra.

Hear him: “That we have security issues in our zone is not an excuse for us to say we won’t win this time around. We are even more so motivated now that we have an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Anietie Eyoh, in our team and he has been behind our success.

“Before we came to the competition we prepared very well, we played several matches, we played Rangers International of Enugu, so coming here our win in the first leg match is not a glorifying matter, it is just the beginning of our success.

“By record, we won this game in 2016 in Abuja; 2020 we won in Anambra State. And the team we played today, Zone 6, we beat them in Port Harcourt in 2013, we beat them in Anambra, we had also beaten them at the Kaduna elimination, so beating them today is not such a big deal to us. They are our friends, we know how they play, they have a very good team but at all the times we’ve met, we have defeated them.

“The biennial game is fantastic. The essence of the game is to bring police together to know themselves. Those that are serving in the North, we don’t know them, those serving in the West we don’t know them but with this, maybe some of your colleagues that you have not seen for a long time, this gives us an opportunity to see ourselves. The arrangement of this game in Akwa Ibom is fantastic. We applaud it”, the Sports Officer said.

Fixtures for the female football show that Zone 9 will play Zone 16 on Friday. Force Headquarters will slug it out against Zone 9 on Saturday, while Zone 16 will take on Force Headquarters on Sunday.

For update on the tournament always check