Uplifting Grassroot Football in Nigeria


When soccer/football is mentioned anywhere on the surface of the earth, names of several legends of the game pop up in one’s mind. Names like Pele, Maradona, Delima Ronaldo, George Weah, Zidane, Kanu Nwankwo, Jay Jay Okocha, Beckham, Henry to mention but a few.

Due to the height and magnanimity attained in the game of soccer/football, lots of people would think they just came out of the womb like that, blessed with soccer as a birthright. Gifted as they may, all the legends and stars of soccer started from the grassroot……..

Photo: Animated collection of soccer legends

If you run a background check on them, you will discover that they all came out from a small club which hardly is in the spotlight and their game always began from the street.

Now in Nigeria, we all know that it’s very difficult to grow in this field of soccer here.

I went out with some football players to have fun some time ago at Owerri  town and as a footballer, and someone conversant with football terms, I conversed well with them.

A grassroot footballer was like, “Guy I would love to play for Enugu Rangers “.
And the response he got from the Enugu Rangers player was, “My dear you need to have a God father”.

Even in chasing your dreams as a footballer you’ll need to have a God father?

This is something that really needs to looked into and discussed about.

We all hear stories of Kidnaps in which the parents of footballers in Nigeria and even coaches are victims. 

Why Nigerians? Why not other African countries?

It all boils down to this hypothesis. When most Nigerian footballer find it difficult to proceed to the next level in football as a career but eventually proceed, they find it difficult to show love or to pay back to the ones in the street, where the ones that started the journey with them are……..
Due to that things then tend to go the other way.

So many people will want to know what the “Next level” means in football, my dear readers it means taking your football career to the next level, like been called to play for Enugu Rangers.

Photo: Bobby Clement of Rangers Football Club, Enugu

Let’s look at the other African countries like Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameron and Egypt.

It’s hardly heard that any family member or relative of other African countries’ football player has been kidnapped.

Why Nigeria? 

A football player like Yaya Toure and his brother Kolo Toure can walk freely in their country without any problem, but Mikel can’t  walk freely in his  country Nigeria, without having the fear of being kidnapped. 

Photo: Yaya and Kolo Toure, during a national match

Nigeria, and her senior-level footballers, should try as much as possible to render helping hands to the grassroot of its football game.

The grassroot player really need help.
If much is not been done about our educational system, then football as a career can be a way to help the youths off crimes and other vices.

Article by Abraham Charles 
(Founder fabxclusiveblog.blogspot.com, Footballer, Video Vixen, Football/Soccer Analyst)

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