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Ex-Sterling bank director Yemi Idowu warns of grassroot football decline

Yemi Idowu Mr. Yemi Idowu, a former director of Sterling Bank PLC and a well-known sports philanthropist and grassroot sports enthusiast, ha...


Yemi Idowu
Mr. Yemi Idowu, a former director of Sterling Bank PLC and a well-known sports philanthropist and grassroot sports enthusiast, has warned of a fall in grassroot sports development, notably in football. This comes on the aftermath of Nigeria's failure to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

To address this decline, President Buhari approved a 16-man committee led by former president of the Nigerian Football Association (NFA), Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, to develop a 10-year football development Masterplan that will show the direction that the country's football will take.

As the committee’s Vice Chairman Yemi Idowu, a director on the board of the Lagos Junior League and Chairman of Nath Boys Sports Academy, feels that stakeholders in charge of football must make intentional efforts to devote enough attention to grassroots football, which would deliver quality players to senior national teams in the future.

In a telephone interview with sports journalists covering the annual grassroots season commencement, Idowu advised subnational football associations to support private sector grassroot football initiatives. “ The 10 yearmaster plan is like an architectural drawing of the house we want to build”. 

“The short-term strategy is to start with what we have. Let us see how we can reallocate resources to make it a bit more efficient and effective,”.  “I feel that a collaborative effort by all stakeholders is required for the effective execution of the plan.” Idowu said.

The committee was set up by the ministry of youth and sports under Sunday Dare and recently endorsed by President Mohammadu Buhari.

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