Ex-international and Olympic gold medalist, Emmanuel Babayaro has charged the Federal Government on youth development through grassroots sports.
Babayaro, who is the Secretary General of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN), gave this charge in Abuja on Thursday after watching the final of the Abuja Elite Champions Cup.
While hailing the PFAN FCT Chapter for a “very impressive” tournament, the ex-footballer lamented the neglect of the government on youth development.
“The truth of the matter is that it’s a no brainier that any government that is serious in its business of governing must make youth development its priority but unfortunately, the country is not doing that.
“The Abuja Chapter (PFAN) has just showed us what it means to develop the youths to keep them busy by doing something great. It’s so inspiring what I see here today and am thinking that we should replicate it to the national level.”
He stressed that such an initiative, as put together by the FCT Chapter of the PFAN, in partnership with the Elite Project Group should not end in the final.
“Am inspired to go back to the drawing board to see how we can turn this particular tournament to a national tournament. I want all the youths all over Nigeria to be part of this. You don’t have to come to Abuja to get spotted.
Meanwhile, Chairman of PFAN FCT Chapter, Nnamdi Onuigbo said Nigeria is blessed with talents. He expressed delight to be part of the initiative that have given young players a chance and exposure.
The national U17 assistant coach, therefore, called for more involvement in the development of young talents to be able to help the future of the game.