Kwara Football Academy seeks more government presence, support

Kwara State government have been urged to invest in Kwara Football Academy, and also re-position the institution structurally and administratively, to meet the modern football and youth development trends in the footballing world. 

While featuring in the maiden edition of Kwara State Sports Writers Association of Nigeria talk-show platform, Hard Talk, today August 16th, 2023, at the Conference Room of the Academy, the Administrator, Mallam Bako Oladele Ibrahim said that with good placement and support, Kwara Football Academy will boost the state’s revenue.

According to him, Mallam Bako, who is also the Director of Sports at the Kwara State Sports Commission said that there would be the need to approve budget head for the football and academic learning institution, for scouting, grooming, marketing players, especially beyond the shores of Nigeria for placements, to boost the revenue base of the Academy beyond what obtains presently.

Kwara Football Academy was established in 2005, under the name, Football College of Excellence, on a Public/Private driven initiative, to build the bridge that connects education and football, for young Nigerians.

Over the years, the operations and management of the outfit has gone through various nomenclatures and stages, which included, but not limited to the change of its name to Kwara Football Academy, and others.

Today, the Academy, which produced Nottingham Forest striker, Dennis Bonaventure and numerous other, plying their trades both at home and abroad is classified as the best in West Africa, with facilities for both football and education that sits on over 35 hectares of land, inside the Kwara State Stadium Complex. 

“We need adequate funding to develop the players, upgrade our facilities, attend as many as possible scouting programmes and also organise ours, take players to Europe with full ownership, so as to reap complete transfer fee on any player so transfered”, Mallam Bako said.

“Apart from those in school, we have players that we have granted some level of scholarship, on a short term basis, and the difficulty we encounter transferring our players through Agents is, we get lesser percentage, despite been the owners of the players, because we are not bouyant enough to foot the bills of doing so. Our chances of getting the players across is so competitive.

While taking stock after two years in charge, Mallam Bako averred that he has resuscitated the almost dead Academy he inherited, by putting things in order, despite a zero monthly subvention from the government, pointing out that there are abundant potentials that would be tapped, with more government’s support. 

Kwara Football Academy presently has over 200 students and players, in different groups, and with a definite data base and individual player’s analysis and data.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of Kwara SWAN, Ismail Ayodeji said the platform was introduced to positively engage major stakeholders and Sports managers in the state, especially on hard clarifications. 

Among those present at the gathering are the former Technical Director, Coach Paul Odey, the current Technical Director, Coach Sam Elijah, the Head of Administration, one of the teachers, Mr Ajala Shola Tajudeen and the Head of Media, Ibrahim Jatto.

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