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Grassroots holds key to football development, says promoter

By Samuel Ifetoye
04 May 2022   |   2:23 am
Sponsor of the JOF U-13 Football Cup Tournament, Mr. Olusegun Olugboyegun, believes the country’s neglect of the grassroots has caused big damage to nation’s football development.

Sponsor of the JOF U-13 Football Cup Tournament, Mr. Olusegun Olugboyegun, believes the country’s neglect of the grassroots has caused big damage to nation’s football development.

Lamenting that Nigerian children no longer have avenues to express their skills, Olugboyegun said the country can only reap the gains of its large youth population when it starts paying attention to their development from infancy.

Speaking at the final of a grassroots competition he organised in conjunction with Lagos Grassroots Soccer Association, where Badagry’s Bullet Babes defeated Aboru’s Paul Boys 3-1 on penalties at the Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos, promised to continue to empower the youths to hone their talents.

“I think the competition is getting better and better. In this year’s edition, we have been lucky to have on board some of the firms that have been supporting us.

“The likes of La Casera, Nestle, Indomie Noodles, Nigeria Breweries have been with us. And for this year, we also have Zenith Bank coming on board and we are super excited about it.

“The kids I saw on display in the finals are promising talents. If they were in Europe, they would be in football academies. But here, we don’t have such things and that is why we are organising this tournament for them to also have the chance to showcase their talents for everyone to see,” he said.

He added: “The skills they displayed on the field at this tournament are skills you won’t see kids of their age show in Europe. If they have the opportunity, they will probably come up than this and by now you should see Nigeria competing with others in the world stage.

“Nigerian football is not where it should be because our kids don’t have the opportunity that kids in Europe have. We can only hope to expose them to people that will take them away from here and expose them for better prospect out there, which is not our role. We are hoping that the next edition will be bigger and better,” he stated.