Eluru: Move over cock-fights for professional football is in town all roaring and ready to floor even the non-enthusiast.West Godavari, which boasts of serene ambience that makes for picturesque greenery, is popularly known as its cock-fights.

This gains further credence during the run-up to Sankranti and Pongal festivities. This time around, however, the popular event, which is on despite court rulings against it, will get a run for its money with the commencement of football leagues that takes off from the professional ones run on the global firmament.

The vibrancy in the sports landscape comes at the exuberant behest of Football League of West Godavari (FLOW) that has been launched amid fanfare to encourage youth to take to the world’s most popular sport. Its baptism on Saturday at the Sir CRR Grounds here is certain to add verve to the locals, who are passionate about the beautiful game.

Flow, the first-of-its-kind T20 inspired league tournament in the State got off to a colourful start after Narsapuram Legislator Bandaru Madhava Naidu inaugurated it. Ironically, the league opener was a damp-squib as the match between Bhmavaram Football Club (BFC) and Eluru Football Club (EFC) ended in a goal-less draw, despite the best of efforts from man of the match Hemanth.

The points tally was opened by Narsapur Foot ball club (NFC) when it defeated Tadepalligudem 2-0 at YN College Grounds on Sunday evening. Meanwhile at Tanuku town, Tanuku Football Club (TFC) put it across Jangareddigudem Football Club 2-0 at Government Degree College grounds.

Earlier, the MLA reiterated the government’s commitment towards promoting sports in a big way. He said that with football being a rural game, there was a need to tap the potential in the interiors. State Association President Kotagiri Sridhar, Narsapuram Football Association President Bandaru Patel Raja Naidu, YN College Correspondent Chinamilli Satyanarayana, Tennis player Ch Chinareddappa Dhaveji, Municipal Chairperson Pasupuleti Ratnamala graced the inaugural function.