The group of former Footballers of the University of Ibadan has called on the federal ministry of sports and that of Education to form a synergy to save Sports especially football, in the country.
In their monthly discussion program held on their official WhatsApp platform, the group insisted that the present downward trend in Nigeria football may not be totally unconnected with the neglect of inter collegiate football by the appropriate authorities. They believed the time had come for the federal ministry of sports and that of education to form the needed synergy to save the country’s football from total collapse.
According to the Ex-University footballers, some of whom also played professionally said the problem that many of the ex-footballers are facing after their careers, is their inability to combine football effectively with education, made worse by the national educational system that did not encourage this to thrive. They said if the two government agencies worked effectively and in unity, modalities can be worked out where players can combine their careers effectively and seamlessly with the education.
They said that many of the former football stars that combined education and football are excelling now after their footballing careers, good examples, being Edith Agoye, who graduated from UI, played in Nigeria and abroad and currently coaches 3SC of Ibadan and Peter Rufai, ex Super Eagles captain who combined education with football while playing in Europe in the 90s, amongst others.
They opined further that this should go down to the primary and secondary schools which are areas where the foundation is formed. They said that though many are relying on the academy system, but the so called Academies are nothing to write home about.
They further suggested government should reactivate Higher Institutions league, ensure that the standard requirements for setting up primary and secondary schools are raised to include the provision of sporting facilities amongst others. They also suggested the establishment of an all Sports University in the country. “Considering the population of the country, and the talents we have, establishment of a Sports University is long overdue. We have other specialized Universities in Agriculture, Education and Technology, we can’t continue to turn away our eyes from having a Sports University in the country, considering the fact that sports have remained one of highest exports for the country” they concluded.