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MKO remains reference point in sports development, says Akanni

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Waidi Akanni


Waidi Akanni, a former Super Eagles player, says the late Moshood Kasimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola still remains a reference point in sports development the country.

Akanni said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

He said the void created by MKO in sports development after his death in 1998 was yet to be filled.

“I think times have changed and we have to look at what other people are doing for football in recent times.

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“Although there are some privately owned football clubs, kudos to them for empowering the young boys and girls, but it is still not enough.

“MKO Abiola was a special person that touched the lives of a lot of football players, even if you didn’t play for his club. This selfless act is worthy of emulation.

“I still remember a match in 1989, Cameroun versus Nigeria in Yaounde, MKO showed up in our dressing room, his support that day I’d never foget, although we lost the World Cup qualifying game,” he said.

Akanni urged sports enthusiasts to emulate the philanthropic nature of late MKO.

NAN reports that Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12 1993 Presidential Election, was the founder and proprietor of Abiola Babes FC of Abeokuta (now defunct).

The team paraded some of the best names in the Nigerian domestic league and made waves when they won the 1985 FA cup and represented Nigeria in continental competitions.

His greatest contributions to sportsmen and women, beyond giving money, was his penchant for giving scholarships.

The team was also reputably known to be the best club in terms of players’ welfare and general administration. The club won the Nigerian FA Cup in 1985 and 1987.

The crème de la crème of Nigerian football such as Muda Lawal, Rashidi Yekini, Friday Ekpo, Toyin Ayinla, Dominic Iorfa, Best Ogedengbe and Yisa Sofoluwe all wore the club’s jersey.

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