Lagos, Jan. 6, 2021 ) Edema Fuludu, a member of Super Eagles’ 1994 AFCON-winning squad, says partnership between the public and private sector is crucial to grassroots football development in the country.
Fuludu told newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos it was important for government to provide the necessary infrastructure before private investors could get involved.
He said this was necessary because “government alone cannot achieve the right level of development the football sector craves for’’.
“Make facilities available and give some incentives for interested corporate organisation. I have said it times without number, that government can’t be in charge of everything,’’ Fuludu said.
He added that there would not be any notable achievement at the senior level of football in Nigeria without deliberate efforts to groom talents at the grassroots.
“Any country that is serious about the success of football and any other sport should pay attention to the grassroots. We need to put in place the right mechanism.
“I strongly believe that if we are deliberate and focused, we will have a solid structure that will stand the test of time. Look around you, those in Europe see football as a business.
“In other climes, a holistic approach is taken to ensure uniformity around the country. So, it doesn’t matter where you are in the country. As long as you have talent, the system will locate you,’’ the former midfielder said.
He urged clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to make conscious efforts towards developing their feeder teams.
“Clubs in developed countries have feeder teams. Great footballers of all times are being discovered through this means. They train talents and groom them.
“But do we have such over here? What every club is looking for are finished products. They don’t want to go through the process, yet we say we need results.
“Since we are not ready to put in the work, we can’t get the desired result. Countries that are thriving in football business don’t leave any stone unturned.
“It’s a pyramid chain, take care of the grassroots and the result is tremendous,’’ Fuludu said.