Mr. Amaju Pinnick, a FIFA Executive Council Member and former Chairman of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), has underscored the importance of strengthening football in secondary schools to provide more opportunities for budding talents.
Pinnick emphasized that giving more attention to secondary school football would not only boost the sport in rural areas but also contribute to infrastructural growth, ultimately enhancing the quality of education nationwide.
He made these remarks during a meeting in Lagos on Monday when he received the Technical Board of Kalidon Ventures Limited.
Kalidon Ventures recently entered into a 10-year lease agreement with the University of Lagos to construct a modern Astro turf facility. Astro turf is an artificial fiber used instead of grass on some sports fields. The Lagos University facility is set to include a state-of-the-art Lounge, Game Arcades, and a multi-dimensional viewing system.
Pinnick highlighted that the ongoing football construction project at Hussey College in Warri would serve as a model for developing football programs in secondary schools to produce soccer stars for local and international leagues. He is overseeing the Warri project himself.
He further explained, "When football facilities are developed, they could bring the much-needed extra revenue to fund the schools. They could also impact infrastructure and engender very credible technical partnerships between the schools and well-regarded international stakeholders."
Recognized as an influential international football administrator, Pinnick praised the decision of the Kalidon Venture Technical Team to build world-class Astro turfs that would benefit the football community. He also accepted an advisory role with the firm.
Omotayo Oyewome, Managing Director of Kalidon Ventures, shared that the Lagos facility would serve as a pilot project, with plans to rapidly expand to the six geographical centers of the country, including Lagos, Ogun, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Abuja, and Kaduna.
Hamilton and George, a prominent investment banking franchise, have been appointed as Financial Advisers for the project.
Other members of the Kalidon Ventures team present during the meeting included Oyewole Olaoluwa Ajayi, Oluwaseyi Atinaro, and Joseph Edgar.