By Kunle Adewale
The Nigerian Football Federation through the Secretary, Lagos Football Association has written to Blaugrana Sports Group, promoters of the Barca Academy Nigeria, for possible sustainable support, if it meets the association’s requirements.
In a letter signed by Bitrus Bewarang, National Technical Director, on behalf of the General Secretary, addressed to the Lagos Football Association, through the secretary, stated that the NFF is gathering data and collating information on some specific football academies in the country with the aim of assisting them in their programmes. In Lagos State, only three football academies are on the shortlist-Pepsi, Buruj and Barca.
In a media chat, Chairman, Blaugrana Sports Group, Leslie Oghomienor, commended the impactful and visionary leadership of the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, for his tremendous contributions to the development and growth of the game in Nigeria. He appealed that the efforts so far made should be sustained and improved upon, for the good of the game. This he believes will enhance Nigeria’s chances of not only winning world laurels but can stand the chance of hosting a global football tournament.
He however, acknowledged that without the unalloyed support of the Lagos State Government and the Sports Commission led by Deji Tinubu, who during his life time worked tirelessly to ensure that the academy began on a strong footing. He added that the current LSSC Chairman Sola Aiyepeku, is a great ally of the academy and his commission’s support has been remarkable, without which the academy would not be where it is today.
“That we have been shortlisted as one of the academies is an indication that the supervising bodies are satisfied with what Barca Academy Group Nigeria is doing.
“And so far, if not for these associations’ huge support we wouldn’t have been able to reach the point we are now. And honestly, to be on the shortlist is a great encouragement and a motivation,” he stated.
Oghomienor maintained that the Barca Academy Group Nigeria’s direction is global, nationalistic and people-oriented and therefore, will continue to look for ways to help grow the available teeming talents and support the development of football in the country.
The NFF will appraise the academies base on genre, target, and age category of participants among others.
The Barca Academy is for both boys and girls ages from 3 to 18 and it is an all year round football academy with three campuses in Lagos.