Former Captain of the Super Eagles, Joseph Yobo, is excited by the endorsement given to his pet project, The Joseph Yobo Sports Academy by the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Last Wednesday, the former Everton FC defender was guest of the Governor at his Alausa office in Ikeja where they discussed youth and sports development in the state and Nigeria.
According to Yobo, Gov Ambode welcomed the idea of the academy and endorsed the project. The Governor further described it as a meaningful venture that the state is proud to be associated with.
â€œGovernor Ambode has shown commitment to empowering the citizens of Lagos and recognises the role of sports beyond its significant ability to boost the economy but the ability to harness the potential and overall development of the youths,â€ stressed Yobo who was capped 101 times by the three-time AFCON champions.
He led Eagles to winning AFCON 2013 in South Africa before calling it quit with international duty for Nigeria.
The Ogoni-born ex-international said his academy was modeled on the belief that football and academic pursuits are supposed to go hand-in-hand.
â€œMy academy model is based on the belief that sports excellence and academic pursuit are not mutually exclusive. I welcome his support for my project and the people of Lagos and Nigerians who would be beneficiaries of it,â€ he stressed further.
Yobo whose testimonial match in Port Harcourt drew top African and European players (including his former coach at Everton, David Moyes), hopes when fully functional, the academy will also help discover talents for the national teams.
â€œThe sports and educational academy will discover new talents for the country. In addition, it will help the country to have educated sportsmen.â€
â€œ In addition, it will provide kids the opportunity to explore different sports discipline with quality professional instruction,â€ concludes the Rivers man.
Yobo revealed that the academy to be situated in Lagos is expected to take off this year but would be fully operational in 2019.