Kebbi State Football Association in collaboration with a consortium from Portugal and Sweden has commenced selection process of Nigerian players to play for European clubs. Alhaji Abubakar Chika-Ladan, Kebbi State FA Chairman, made the disclosure on Wednesday shortly after the inauguration of the exercise at Haliru Abdu Stadium in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital. The […]
Kebbi State Football Association in collaboration with a consortium from Portugal and Sweden has commenced selection process of Nigerian players to play for European clubs. Alhaji Abubakar Chika-Ladan, Kebbi State FA Chairman, made the disclosure on Wednesday shortly after the inauguration of the exercise at Haliru Abdu Stadium in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
The five-day screening is being carried out by a Consortium of Coaches from Portugal representing a number of clubs together with a Sweden based Nigerian who owns a Football Academy in Sweden. Chika-Ladan said: “We invited some foreign scouts under our programme which we called Sen. Atiku Bagudu Football Talents Identification Programme. “We invited them because we believe we have some talented footballers who are capable of playing at any level both internationally, nationally and locally“.
This can be testified by the player taken by a club in Portugal but after some time he was recruited by FC Porto, one of the biggest clubs in the world today, by name Zaidu Saidu from Jega. “Zaidu, after playing in the international circle for a year, was invited to play for Super Eagles and I believe he has played for about five, six years now”. The FA Chairman added that in view of the achievements of Zaidu, the state government decided to explore more talents in order to expose them to bigger opportunities.
“Secondly, we believe that Football is one of the means of empowerment in the world, it is no longer just a game or leisure, it is now an economic venture where those who are good in football are actually empowered“. Once you are selected by any of the teams or leagues in the world you automatically become a millionaire and that’s why we say we should give a chance to our young talents across the state. “Football is the only game that gives that opportunity for young talents to graduate from zero Kobo to millionaires,” he noted.
On why the FA choose to invite Portugal first, Chika-Ladan said the country was already aware of Kebbi’s ability, adding that Zaidu was able to gain a permanent jersey in the first 11 of his club in just six months. He explained that the consortium comprised four Portuguese and a Sweden based Nigerian who would oversee the selection process. The Chairman said they invited about 200 players but screened 120 from Kebbi and neighbouring Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna and Kwara States.
He said that by the end of the exercise, selected players would be marketed while successful ones would be fixed to European clubs and formally transferred from Nigeria to join their prospective clubs. Chika-Ladan noted with satisfaction that the exercise was just a starting process, assuring that by August, the FA was expecting a team of Spanish coming for a similar exercise in Kebbi State. “The Spanish team of consortium is a bigger organisation than this one, they need about 300 talented players”. That one is a clearer house of football activities representing interests of about 300 European Clubs and that’s why they need a larger number of players to select from,” he said.