Chairman of Nath Boys Yemi Idowu has asked the leadership of state Football Associations to revive grassroots football to help age-grade football development in the country.
Following the non-qualification of Nigerian teams for age-grade competitions within and outside Africa, Idowu, a Director of the Lagos Junior League, believes there must be spontaneous efforts by the governing body of football to provide enough attention to youth football.
He said, “The Nigeria Football Federation has done a good job so far with the senior national teams but we need the states to meet up with their obligations. After we won the 2013 U-17 World Cup, we had the players from the tournament coming through to the senior national teams and we are excited about the team’s qualification for the World Cup. But we must not relax and believe that all is well.”
Idowu, a former Chairman, National Academicals Sports Committee,said the NFF has to build the junior teams despite the country’s inability to make it to age-grade CAF and FIFA competitions this year.
“We don’t have to relax hoping that we will assemble teams when we have competitions. Rather, we must start building now so that some of these players can make the senior national teams in three to five years time. If we don’t do this, it is another disaster waiting to happen,” he said.
Idowu lamented the delay in commencing the Lagos Junior League, adding that the league has become a good platform to discover quality players for the national teams.
He said with the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Dele Alampasu and Wilfred Ndidi coming through the league, more players would be discovered for the country.