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Some major stakeholders in grassroots football across the country were on Tuesday engaged by officials of the MerryBet 5 Stars Premier League 2023.

The stakeholders comprises football coaches, sports administrators, football clubs proprietors, government officials, FA officials, journalists among others were in attendance at the event that was held at the BON hotel Ibadan.

While speaking on the theme of the engagement, “The Rise Of Grassroots Football Development With Investment Opportunities In Nigeria and Beyond,” the Chief Operating Officer of Nation Wide League 1, Mr Olushola Ogunnowo noted that the grassroots football development is becoming increasingly important in Nigeria and across the world.

Olushola stressed that grassroots football provides a platform for young talent to be discovered and nurtured, leading to the development of future stars.

He noted that typical example is the rise of Nigeria grassroots players that are making waves across the European leagues.

He maintained that the rise of grassroots football development is a positive development for the sport, as it provides a platform for young talent to be discovered and nurtured, leading to the development of future stars.

He said, “Investment in grassroots football development can take many forms, including the establishment of football academies, the provision of training facilities and equipment and the organization of tournaments and competitions, MerryBet 5 Stars premier league come to mind here, aside from being among the leading grassroots football development organizers in the country, the league has produced stars that will make Nigeria proud in near future.”

“In Nigeria, there has been a growing focus on grassroots football development in recent years, with the government and private sector investing in initiatives aimed at identifying and developing young talent. For example, the Nigerian Football Federaton (NFF) has established a youth development program aimed at identifying and nurturing young players from across the country, the Nigeria Grassroots League is one of the largest in the world with over 400 football clubs participating in the league.”

“Private companies have also gotten involved with some sponsoring football academies and tournaments aimed at discovering and developing young talents at grassroots. Beyond Nigeria, grassroots football development is also on the rise in other parts of Africa and the world. This is partly due to the success of African football in recent years across the globe, which has led to increased interest in the sport and a growing recognition of the importance of investing in grassroots development. Many international organizations and football clubs are also investing in grassroots football development, recognizing the potential for discovering and developing talented players who may not have had the opportunity to showcase their skills otherwise.” Olushola said.

In his remark, the managing Director of 5stars football and consultancy, Olumide Aturu said, “Eight Ibadan-based teams so far have shown interest in the forthcoming Ibadan zone competition.

The names of the teams according to Olumide are Dipson FC, Futsal FC, Ballerz FC, Escola United FC, UI FC, OB 12 Global FC, Eagle Star FC, and Savage Spartan FC, he however noted that the competition is still opened for interested clubs.”

He maintained that the matches will be coming up at Lead City High School Pitch, Jericho Ibadan, and University of Ibadan Awolowo football pitch.

Also in his remarks, former Special Assistant to Governor Makinde on Youth And Sports, Hon. Kazeem Bolarinwa said Oyo State government under Seyi Makinde led administration in the last four years has witnessed a lot of turn around in sports.

He noted that the state government renovated major stadia in all the geo political zones of the state with the aim of discovering young talents.

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