40 Percent Current Eagles Are Private Sector Products – Kumbi Titiloye


*Sports Minister Pledges FG Support For Oro Football Project

More than 40 Percent of current Super Eagles players, including most that may be on parade at the 2023 AFCON in  Cote d’Ivoire in January are products of private sector venture into soccer development, says Kumbi Titiloye, Chairman, Kwara United Football Club, and a man many scouting agents say is a critical player in Nigeria’s football players marketing.

Titiloye made this observation yesterday Friday December 29, 2023, in Oro, at the site of the ongoing construction of what may eventually be West Africa’s biggest Football House and Soccer Academy, when Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, paid a visit.

Kumbi was making a case for government support for private initiatives in soccer development in the country before the Minister in Oro.

The Kwara United boss said that majority of the current crop of players in the national team were groomed by soccer academies sponsored by private investors.

In the past decades of Nigerian soccer, government sponsored academicals, football clubs contributed largely to the pool of players in all national teams.

“This is no longer the case as private investors now take the lead in player grooming and marketing,” he said.

Titiloye now insists that government must not be on the sidelines as this trend continues.

“Government should support our project. Only then can the efforts be channeled gainfully for our national teams,” Titiloye added.

“I was the Principal Manager of that Academy in Abuja which groomed players for the country’s U-17 between 2013 and 2015.

“Most of the players now play for the senior national team and I am proud to say that I was part of their formative years,” Kumbi said.

Speaking further, the soccer club manager listed Sadiq Umar, Taiwo Awoniyi among many others as part of those he groomed.

Titiloye, while working as Administrator of the Kwara Football Academy (KFA), groomed and marketed Dennis Bonaventure, a Super Eagles player whose transfer has yielded as much as N40 million into the cuffers of the state government.

He noted with regrets, though that private initiatives into soccer is not always sustainable.

“Investors in the Abuja project that produced these players are mostly offshore.

They have since moved on, hence the need to start a more aboriginal project in the Oro football project,” he told the Minister.

Aside Titiloye, Adeboye Adeyinka, the Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to the Minister of Sports, is one of the initiators of the project.

Also, Oro indigens contributed land and other resources to the project.

When completed, the project will have a soccer academy that will not devote itself to soccer only.

“We intend to have facilities to train for other sports peculiar to the North Central,” explained Titiloye.

He also added that the facility has farms where athletes can be trained in farming vocations since not all of them can be successful in football.

Speaking on the project, Senator Enoh expressed optimism, saying that these are the kind of projects government is willing to support.

While not making specific promises, he stated that the Oro project has piqued his interest.

“We intend to support projects like this. I am here at the begining. I will be here at the completion,” he promised.


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