By Amaechi Agbo
Determined to match words with action, the FCT Football Association, under the able leadership of Adam Mouktar Mohmmed, Friday signed a partnership with Italian giants, Juventus as well as Bundesliga lords, Bayern Munich for the development of grassroots football in the federal capital.
The partnership which was signed between FCT FA and VOE Solutions who operates the official Juventus Academy in Nigeria and VOE Foundation representing FC Bayern for the Bayern Munich Youth Cup in Nigeria, according to the FCT FA Chairman, Adam Mouktar Mohammed was aimed at developing children from ages 4 to 17 years in the nation’s capital.
The agreements are put in place to assist on your youth development in the FCT.
Bayern Munich have won the UEFA Champions League five times and have been crowned champions of Germany a record 29 times, while Juventus have been champions of Europe twice and clinched the Italian championship 35 times.
Next year Juventus will set up an Academy in the FCT in conjunction with the FA, while the best young players in the Federal Capital Territory will feature in the 2020 edition of the FC Bayern Youth Cup Nigeria with a chance of representing the country at the world finals in Germany at the Allianz Arena.
“This is a proud and auspicious day for football in the Federal Capital Territory and by extension Nigeria
“On Tuesday, June 20, 2019, when we were elected to serve on the board of the FCT FA, I made a bold promise that we will hit the ground running with our plans to improve the stakes of FCT football.
“The past week, I attended the famous youth football festival, the Gothia Cup in Sweden. This is the largest and most annual youth football tournament in the world as it attracts over 1, 700 teams from as many as 80 countries.
“This again caused me to admit that we have a lot of catching up to do as regards participation, exposure, facilities and organisation at the grassroots level. But despite this huge gulf between what we have here and what is obtainable in most of Europe, we remain focused and totally committed to the development of football at this level and that explains the partnerships we have undertaken today.
“It is stating the obvious that Nigeria is a country endowed with enormous and exciting footballing potentials, what you will call rough diamonds.
“But we need to polish these assets to give them a lot more value and that is why we have made a deliberate attempt to collaborate with two of Europe’s major football brands to assist us in our pursuit.”
“We will therefore continue to solicit for support and suggestions of stakeholders so as to move football forward in the FCT because we cannot do it alone.
“It is my strong belief and sincere hope that when we work hard together, we will make meaningful progress and achieve a lot more together,” he concluded.
Explaining further on the modalities of how the children will be enrolled as well as the association’s plan for the FCT football lovers, Mr Mohmmed said “I have always been passionate about football and grassroots development and the process that led up to us being elected into the board was a process that we promised a lot of changes, a lot of innovation and new ideas that would propel football to greater heights and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve started to our words to show the world that we are ready for business and we are ready to give kids in Abuja and around the country the opportunity to be with the best and to have an opportunity to travel at the end of such programmes to have a new experience and their lives will never be the same.
“This is an open system. You don’t have to be attached to any club owned by anybody. It is open and anybody can access it. It will inspire the kids to be part of such a programme because it has the best football players in the world. In football you need mentoring system whereby the kids look up to someone and aspire to be the best. Juventus and Bayern, no doubt, are top brands that we’ve attracted and we hope to see more. You will definitely hear from us in the future to see more and bigger brands that will be interested to come to the FCT to develop football as a whole.
“They have a structure and they will train the players in the right way. There are lot of characteristics required in training a player, a lot of inputs, a lot of variables involved so also not only the players but even the coaches will get a chance to travel to Turin and Munich to be part of the process so it’s a training that cuts across the technical and the players in different age categories and gender.
Project Consultant, VOE Solutions, Victor Obinna Edeh, said in his presentation that Juventus Academy will cater for players from age 4 to 17 with the top players rewarded with scholarships and access to international tournaments and training in Italy every year.
“FCT FA is collaborating with VOE Solutions to develop and implement the FA’s agenda for football development by attracting programmes that will bring football in the FCT at par with the top programmes around the world,” he said.
The FCT FA is also committed to provision and development of facilities across the area councils of the FCT and have also commenced moves to affiliate with an international football federation for coaching and refereeing courses.
The FA is currently exploring possibilities to affiliate with England, Scotland or Ireland federations in this regard.