The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has called on the Executive Leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to, as a matter of urgency, build sufficient will for the development of football in the country
He gave the charge on Wednesday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja when he engaged the Board Members of the Federation, led by its President, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau in a fruitful deliberation on issues surrounding the development of the Nation’s Domestic Leagues
A statement by the,
Director of Press and Public Relations, Mohammed Manga quoted Senator Owan Enoh to have indicated that the government was concerned about the political will especially considering the fact that football has remained one of the key sports that did not only attract national attention from across the country irrespective of tribe, religion or ethnicity but most importantly, provide opportunities for inclusiveness through the participation of our teeming youth, both male and female in the game
That is why he stated further that, it is imperative for the Federation to pursue with passion and intention, the development of the game at grassroots level to provide more opportunities for job creation, poverty alleviation as well as unity and safety of the country.
He explained that the followership, interest, popularity and excitement that football generates around the country necessitates that careful and intentional actions must be taken for its growth.
“We must therefore be open to dissecting some of the burning issues in our football with a view to proffering workable solutions for them, he said
The Minister, who pointed out that the meeting was a family one, called on the Board to ensure they give themselves a timeline for the completion and harmonisation of all pending issues that hinder the development of football in the country.
“We must be open to dissecting some of the burning issues in our football. This is what this meeting is all about. It is important for us to know where we are as a fooball nation, what prospects we have as well as plans we have put in place.
“This sector is one where everyone is interested and wants to know what is going on. We should address topical and trending issues such as the 10 Year Football Master Plan implementation, membership of the Executive Board of the NFF, and the image of our league, amongst other issues.
“We must look at global best practices obtainable in thriving nations and leverage on that to build our leagues to international standards”
Senator Enoh pointed out that the Ministry will continue to play its supervisory role in ensuring that Sports Federations work round the clock to enable the country produce teams that can stand out in all its local and international competitions.
The Minister expressed government’s desire to see NFF develop football from the grassroots and also ensure adequate training on football to international standards.
He charged them to intensify campaigns that will create public awareness on all the league matches.
Enoh therefore called on the football body to work assiduously towards the realization of the policy thrust of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary overseeing the Ministries of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar said that the meeting was conveŕned to provide for opportunity to brainstorm on issues and challenges affecting the growth of football in the country with a view to finding sporting solutions to them
He assured that the Ministry will continue to ensure the implementation of the policies, initiatives and programmes of the Federal Government that will help drive the development of sports with a view to bringing about economic growth of the nation
In his remarks at the meeting, the President of NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau said the immediate challenges bedevilling the football body is how to ensure that the Super Eagles begin the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualification campaign on a strong note come the month of November, adding that everything would be done to see the Super Falcons qualify for the Women Olympic Football Tournament in Paris next year.
He assured that NFF as a body will work assiduously to ensure the development of the games at the grassroots level, promising further that the body will not only ensure high performance at the 2024 African Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire but also embark on sensitization and creation of public awareness about the activities of our leagues
Sports minister lauds Afriking Homes for successful handover of facility
***Urges other private sector investors to embrace initiative
Minister of Sports and Youth Development Senator John Owan Enoh has commended the Management of AfriKing Homes Ltd for the successful completion and handover of the Abuja National Stadium Training Pitch to the Federal Ministry of Sports Development.
The Adopt-A-Pitch initiative was initiated by the former Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare
Senator Enoh during the handover ceremony held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja on Thursday, commended the organization for rehabilitating the training pitch, saying that it was a remarkable achievement not only for the football family but to the development of sports in Nigeria
Director of Press and Public Relations, Mohammed Manga in a statement quoted the minister to have
urged other private and corporate organizations to follow suit by actively participating in similar ventures under his expanded ‘Adopt-A-Facility-Initiative’, stating that the new expansion initiative will make room to encompass other sports federations.
The Minister explained that the new initiative was designed to ensure the full implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration which recently endorsed the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) approved by the immediate past administration which classified sports as a business and not just a mere recreation.
He added that the Federal Ministry of Sports Development under his watch is ready to collaborate with the private sector organisations using this policy initiative of government to advance sports development in Nigeria.
“The Ministry of Sports Development under my leadership has also committed itself to sustaining the program under which AfriKings Homes undertook this project.
“The only difference is that it is now called Adopt-A-Facility Programme. In the wisdom of the Ministry, a facility encompasses more.
“As we deal with several other sporting federations, we want to ensure the window is open for all federations to thrive.” Senator Enoh said.
The Minister who observed that what Afriking Homes did is no-easy feat, but that the effort was driven by passion, benevolence, love for the sports and love for the country, stated further that, “The Federal Ministry of Sports Development commends this effort and is proud of Afri Kings Homes Ltd for this gesture.
“It is a partnership that we will continue to nurture for national interest.”
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary overseeing the Federal Ministries of Sports and Youth Development Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar stated that the Federal Ministry of Sports Development will continue to create an enabling environment for the successful engagement of the corporate and private sector organisations with a view to ensuring the successful development of sports in the country, especially in the areas of grassroots sports and infrastructure upgrade so as to provide job opportunities for our teeming youth, alleviate poverty amongst them in order to foster unity, peace and stability in the nation.
In his remarks, Chairman of AfriKing Homes Ltd, Kingsley James Awodi, highlighted the company’s dedication to the project, stating that the rehabilitation of Practice Pitch 1 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium was part of their corporate social responsibility to support the efforts of the Federal Government in enhancing the nation’s sporting infrastructure.
Awodi assured the Honourable Minister of their unwavering commitment to the maintenance and upkeep of the facility for the next two years.
Sports minister promises to create equal opportunities for all in sports sector
The Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has assured that he will work towards addressing some general practices in the sector to ensure that ethical standards are imbibed so as to provide equal opportunities for young talents to excel in their various sporting endeavours.
This the minister saidit is order to ensure fairness in the sports ecosystem.
Director of Press and Public Relations Mohammed Manga in a statement quoted ttge minister to have given the assurance on Thursday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, when a delegation from the Prestige Football Academy, led by its President, Mr. Uchendu Stephen, paid him a courtesy call.
The Minister who was responding to the delegation’s proposal submitted to him, stated that government was committed to fostering a conducive environment for the growth and development of sports in the country and as such, the Ministry under his watch will review the proposal aimed at regulating the scouting system within Nigeria’s sports landscape.
He stated that Nigeria’s sports talent pool makes it a hotbed for all forms of sports scouting activities, adding that scouting plays a critical role in nurturing and harnessing the nation’s sports potential which makes it a destination of choice for scouts from all around the world.
Senator Enoh who informed that most people in the sector are concerned about the subject of the scouting process of our young men and women, observed that “when our sports men and women go out of the shores of Nigeria, and breakforth, the support they send to their families and the laurels that they win are of benefit to the country”
He however added that the manner in which some of our sports men and women leave need to be addressed.
The Minister assured that the Ministry will continue to create an enabling environment for the development of sports in the country, in line with the policy thrust of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration and that scouting forms the bedrock of identifying and nurturing future sports stars and that there was the need for the stakeholders in the industry to recognize the value of an organized scouting system that fosters fairness, transparency, and professionalism.
Senator Owan Enoh said the Ministry will review the appropriateness of the proposal, as it remains resolute in its dedication to uplifting the ethics of scouting.
He stated that sports is a universal matter which is promoted globally, and as such Nigeria will ensure its commitment to enhancing Football Scouting Regulations in line with global best practices.
*Nigeria will work to facilitate a process that integrates fair play, integrity, professionalism and equal opportunities for all sports talents, especially footballers*, he said.
Speaking earlier, the President, Prestige Football Academy, Mr Uchendu Stephen, thanked the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh for granting them audience inspite of his busy schedules.
He expressed optimism that if the proposal submitted to government was adopted after a thorough review, the reforms would be pivotal in transforming the scouting landscape as well as would ensure that deserving talents receive the attention and opportunities they merit.
How African footballers make money for cousins, in-laws to enjoy, by Mikel Obi
Former Super Eagles and Chelsea midfield maestro, John Mikel Obi, has lamented that African footballers do not enjoy the wealth they labour for, as their extended families and relatives who overwhelm them with financial burdens are the most beneficiaries of their hard-earned money.
Mikel said the pressure was on the footballers on the African continent to shoulder the responsibilities of both their nuclear and extended families, adding that it has been a silent cry they all endure.
The 36-year-old former Nigerian skipper said that sometimes they hardly cater for themselves after they settle the financial problems of their relatives, stating that, “When you make money, it’s not yours.”
Mikel revealed this while appearing on the latest episode of Vibes with 5 podcast with former Manchester United and England legend, Rio Ferdiannd, as he added that the majority of them as African footballers do not talk about this challenge.
He said, “We come from Africa, and this is something that I don’t think we speak a lot about. When you make money, it’s not your money. You have all these relatives, cousins, and others asking for money.
“Then your sisters get married to some guy who just wants to get married into John Obi Mikel’s family because then “my life is sorted”. You send money to your sister; the money goes to him, and he does whatever he does with it. This is something nobody knows about.
“So you get your salary, and you put some aside for this person; put this aside for that person; put this aside for mom and dad. Before you know it, where is it? You get nothing.”
Mikel also decried the trending problematic issue of Africans who give birth to many children without the economic and financial muscles to nurture them, thus becoming the responsibilities of the African athletes.
He said, “They keep having so many kids, and you look at it and ask the question, “You have this many kids; who is going to look after them?” Then you realise it’s you. They look out for you to look after the kids, the husband, and the husband’s family. And it becomes really and absolutely crazy. For them, you owe them that; that is the culture. I was talking to Osimhen the other day, and he said the same thing.”
He said he was in the same position until he resolved to end it about five years ago, on the advice of his agent.
“So sometimes you have to be strong and say enough is enough. I don’t care. For me, that was five years ago; I say no more. Because I’ve been doing this since I started playing football,” he said.
“The reaction is that you become the bad guy. They stop answering your phone calls. They don’t call you to ask about you; they only call to ask for money.
“My agent told me, ‘Mikel, you can’t be doing this. You’re killing yourself, and you’re killing them. Because all you do is give them, and they get so comfortable that they expect you to do that for the rest of your life. And I came to that point five years ago, where I stopped.”
“They will give you this thing, whereby if you don’t do it, they say, “We’re going to the press.” What? After all that I’ve done for you guys?”
Culled from Daily Trust
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