Football is a universal language spoken all over the world. The most popular sport in the whole world. The beautiful game. Nearly all the young boys and even many young girls dream of being superstars in football especially in Africa, our motherland and Nigeria, our country.
And when the biggest football clubs are talked about, you hear the likes of Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Arsenal, Juventus etc.
The football stars our young athletes look up to are also popular names from these foreign clubs who are in truth really talented and doing amazing things.
Every young footballer wants to be a Messi, or a Christiano Ronaldo or a Torres. They want to play in the European Premiere League, The Champions League and in La Liga.
But what about our local leagues? What about our local clubs? What about our local stars? With a population of about 200 million citizens, with over 80% of that population interested in football and with a participation rate of 65%, Nigeria is a huge market for Sports.
Nigerians are the biggest consumers of foreign sports content in Africa, and we can also be the greatest producers of sports content in Africa.
So why aren’t our local leagues getting the desired attention from our people and why aren’t we generating revenue from Sports?
Why aren’t our young players interested in our local clubs and our local Sports Stars? How do we build a culture of love and faith in our local football?
The Anambra State Football Association is poised to answer those questions in no time following the inauguration of Dr Emeka Okeke as Caretaker Committee Chairman. Anambra State Football Association has set up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
With clubs such as FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Udala FC, Ogene FC, Aspire FC Adazi-Ani and talented players like Sunday Adams, John Bassey and Olive Mario all in Anambra State, there is really no reason why our young ones ought to look far for inspiration.
Football has changed lives, football has saved families, and football is a gateway out of poverty. Anambra state is home to amazing talents and an aggressive lineup of local clubs who have the potential to attract foreign investments and even spectators with the right projection.
But we must first invest in ourselves and our young talents. The time has come for us to tell our own stories, build our teams and celebrate our own sports stars.
We need to put the right infrastructure in place, secure the right partnerships and strategically project our local talents to the world. With the vision and zeal of the new shot-callers in Anambra FA, Anambra State is well on its way to becoming the Football Capital of the Nation.