On Sunday February 11, 2024, I was in Abidjan with the Nigerian Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, distinguished colleagues and other notable personalities to support our Super Eagles at the final match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Even though they lost to Cote d’Ivoire, I commend them for doing their best to reach the finals. Football is a game of love and in every match or tournament, a winner must emerge.
The event afforded me the opportunity to meet with old friends and international football officials, which made me reflect on what we can do as public officials to develop our football industry and sports sector. I am confident that our nation’s executive and legislative arms will work together to invest more in these critical sectors. Building and renovating more stadiums, training facilities and youth development centres will attract more talents and provide better training opportunities for our players.
I also believe that the result of the match will motivate government and relevant stakeholders to invest more in youth academies and grassroots football programs. By identifying and nurturing young talent from a young age, we can ensure a steady supply of skilled players for our national teams. This also includes providing coaching and education programs to develop not only their football skills but also their personal and academic growth.
We should also prioritize the development of coaching and refereeing. By providing training and certification programs for coaches and referees, we can improve the overall quality of our football matches. This will also help in the development of local talent and ensure fair play in our leagues.
In the spirit of sportsmanship, I would like to once again congratulate Cote d’Ivoire for emerging as the African Champion. Our Super Eagles should remain focused, especially as they prepare for their next World Cup qualifier, which will be played in South Africa in June. The future will be brighter.
Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Ubah, CON
Anambra South Senatorial District
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