Some members of the AIFL Committee in a group photograph after their inaugural meeting in January at FIDES Complex Okpuno, Awka.
About 16 teams across Anambra are set to engage in a new football league set to kick off Friday March 17,2017 .
Arising from their meeting last week at Fides Complex Okpuno, the group behind the league called Anambra Independent Football League (AIFL) Committee resolved to give talented Nigerians the opportunity to pursue their carrier in professional football.
Speaking to FIDES, the initiator of the idea and chairman of the committee, Rev Fr Coach Obinna Dike, said he conceived the idea last year of getting teams and their owners that play purely business football to independently play a normal league season so as to keep the players busy and create awareness and platform for home grown talents. Fr Coach Dike who is the Director of DOSAD Sports, as well as the President of DOSAD Football Academy Enugwu-Ukwu, said he intended to play 10 teams initially. But with the publicity it received, more than ten teams responded.
Fr Coach Dike further explained that his initial idea was to get assistance from sponsors to help DOSAD Sports run the league, but with the positive interest shown by the clubs, the initial idea was jettisoned for a corporate league. Fr Dike who is also a media personnel, sports psychologist, retired referee and sports administrator, said the league has the collaboration of the Anambra State Football Association and Ministry of Youth Entrepreneurship and Sports Development Anambra state.
Coach Dike said too that the AIFL Committee has decided to throw open 4 slots to teams who seriously wish to participate and are able to meet p with the criteria for joining the league, one of which is registration fee of fifty thousand Naira and security deposit of another fifty thousand Naira. The security levy is redeemable if the team does not incur any disciplinary caution during the league. Another criterium is having a playable and secure home ground. The deadline for admitting the four teams that will join the twelve others was put at February 22, 2017.
So far the teams involved in the AIFL include: DOSAD Football Academy Enugwu-Ukwu, Golden Child Football Academy Eziowelle, Rangels Football Club Achina, Flying Jets Football Club Uga, Smith City Football Club Awka, Nwaudo Football Academy Ihiala/Gboko and Awka Football Club Awka. Others are: Terich Football Club Onitsha, Morning Football Club Onitsha, Awkuzu United Football Club Awkuzu, Graceland Football club Awgbu and World Football Academy Nanka.
FIDES Sports Desk gathered that the AIFL league matches would be played on Fridays only across Anambra state in what is dubbed “SUPER FRIDAYS”. The teams play in regular home and away league format with mid season transfer period. A good number of sponsors have declared interest in partnering AIFL. (Enquiries on the league, 08034307585).