The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has commended the football grassroots body, Youths Sports Federations of Nigeria (YSFON) for not relenting all these years searching for talents that will make the country proud in the round leather game.
The respected Yoruba monarch made this call while hosting the executive members of YSFON from South West in his palace over the weekend where he presented a giant trophy for a football competition tagged: Oodua Unity Cup that will be played among youth clubs within South West States.
The motive according to Oba Ogunwusi is to encourage grassroots soccer development in the country and support YSFON in its drive at discovering hidden soccer talents especially within the south west states saying he’s always a supporter of any project that enhances capacity building of Nigerian youths.
“I must commend your body (YSFON) for helping all these while in discovering young lads that are doing the country proud in football. Your efforts are quite commendable and that is why I’m going to support your efforts.
“While Africa has produced some of Europe’s biggest football stars in recent years, including Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o and Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba and Nigeria’s Kanu Nwankwo, I believe together we can channel a way to assist our youths through the game of football and produce more of these stars right from the grassroots.
“I have already established a football academy in Ile-Ife through the Ojaja Principal Cup we’re sponsoring annually for secondary schools in Osun, and I know it shall be a model football academy in Nigeria as I was told by the director of the Ojaja Principal’s Cup, Akinola Martins that the academy will play in NNL this season”, the Arole Odu’a informed.
The Vice President, South/West of YSFON, Rafiu Abayomi Alabi who led other members of his executives to the Ooni’s palace in his remarks thanked the monarch for his huge support and love for football saying the competition will be played in U-17 boys and U-18 girls respectively among states in the South West which comprises Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti.
He, however, pledged the cooperation of the national executive of YSFON led by the President, Dr. Nasir Gawuna and the national secretary Patrick Okpavueme to the sustainability and continual organization of the Oodua Unity Cup.