Fashola Hosts African Football Star, Emmanuel Adebayor
…Restates commitment to development of youth football
Jun 1, 2010 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday hosted ace African football export to England, Mr Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor, pledging to assist the members of the BRF Football Academy (Cadet) to be exposed to the best training facilities available round the world.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja stressed that the individual talent of the average African to play soccer is not in doubt saying: "what is needed in African football now is exposure, technical discipline and new methods for achieving greatness".
The Governor said the occasion represented a convergence to commemorate a milestone in the realization of a dream of his which is about his passion for football.
Said he: "It is no longer a secret that I am passionate about football and I know many of the opportunities that I have missed by not playing at the highest level. That has challenged me to want to look back and see young men and women who have that same kind of passion that I have".
This is what led to the idea of an academy to expose them very early to the technique, discipline and teamwork that is necessary to make it to the top.
Governor Fashola added that there is no doubt that in the country alone talk less of the African continent several players could be picked who could defeat any team from wherever they were put together in the world.
The Governor charged the Togolese International to reconsider his reported decision by making sure that he participates at the next Nations Cup and World Cup in 2014, adding that all Nigerians regard Sheyi Adebayor as one of them because the name 'Sheyi' is indigenous to a particular people in Nigeria.
Earlier while speaking, Mr Sheyi Adebayor who is in Lagos as part of activities to mentor members of the BRF Foootball Academy expressed his happiness at being back in Nigeria which he described as home and lauded the very warm reception accorded him on arrival.
Sheyi Adebayor said he is delighted to be part of the programme as he has not only been like the members of the academy at one point in his life but because it represents an opportunity for him to give something back to the African Continent and country.
Said he: "I want to be part of this programme. We are all Africans, I have been like you at some point before and today I want you to realize that if you work very hard you can be somebody tomorrow".
"We have a good father (Governor Fashola) who is ready to work hard for the youth and give them everything that they want", Sheyi Adebayor added.
Prominent among those who witnessed the event were members of the State Executive Council including Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Prince Ademola Adeniji Adele, some Local Government Chairmen and members of the BRF Youth Academy (The Cadet) as well as patrons of the Club.