$1m Scholarships for aspiring young Nigerian footballers

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

In an effort at raising complete student-athletes studying and playing football overseas successfully, the African-USA College Soccer (AUSA) Recruitment tour has facilitated over $1 million scholarships for young brilliant Nigerian footballers.

Abdul Oganla, Programmes Director of AUSA, stated this when presenting 19-year-old Master Michael Adedokun, 2020 beneficiary of the initiative to journalists in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the initiative was to raise complete student-athletes, who would study abroad and also play football successfully.

Young Adedokun won a full scholarship to study Physical and Health Education at the Dayton College, Ohio, USA, and would also play football through the AUSA in partnership with Baawa Initiative.

It was gathered the football trial was organised by Baawa Initiative in partnership with AUSA to develop young football talents between the ages 15 and 25 years.

Oganla revealed that over 1,000 young players came for the trial, out of which 34 players were shortlisted by some foreign coaches who came from America.

The Programmes Director noted that Adedokun, a graduate of Segun Odegbami International College and Sports Academy, was the only successful candidate, after he passed the SAT examination, hence the award of full scholarship.

He as well “in the past 18 months, we have facilitated over a $1 million in scholarships for kids like Adedokun Michael.

“We have facilitated full scholarships for five young players to study in America and to also play football.

“We are here to show the world, Africans that you can play soccer and also pursue academic excellence. He will be traveling to the U.S. by next year January.”

Some of their beneficiaries have been drafted into the first 11 best players in the US, as one of them will be going professional in the MLS League, stated Oganla.

Dr. Dimeji Oganla, Convener of Baawa Initiative, however, lamented that Nigeria lacked infrastructure and technical disposition to develop young talents in sports.

He attributed age falsification in sports to lack of opportunity for youths to develop their talents.

Dr. Oganla said: “Age falsification in football is in effect because there is no development from the background for football.

“A player might have the first opportunity to feature when he is 21 years old and that is not a fantastic age for global standards.

“We lack that technical disposition to support young brilliant players in Nigeria. So that is why a lot of players are traveling out of the country to get exposure, to better themselves, to better their education, and to better the way they think.”

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