The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission, DAWN and South-West Football Forum on Thursday in Ibadan said they had agreed to work together to create opportunities for young footballers in the zone.
During an event where a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by both parties, the 1st vice-president of the Nigeria Football Federation, who is also the chairman SFF, Seyi Akinwunmi, and the Acting Director General of the commission, Seye Oyeleye, urged the zone to focus on sports.
Oyeleye said the six governors in the zone backed the move during their last meeting in Abeokuta.
He said, “DAWN Commission, in collaboration with SFF, is set to reclaim the glory of the zone not only in football but also in general sports development. The South-West in the past was proud of seasoned sports men and women and in fact, the national team was dominated by players from the zone.
“But today the reverse is the case. It is against this background that the two parties would be embarking on football and sports revival to keep the youths engaged and integrate them. We are starting with football, which is the most popular sport. It is the process of reclaiming our lost glory as a region and we won’t look back.”
Akinwunmi said the partnership could lead to the establishment of a new league to be called Odu’a League as well as a school tournament like the Western Nigeria Governors’ Cup.
A member of the forum and former Secretary-General of the NFF, Taiwo Ogunjobi, who is also a member of the SFF, lauded the initiative, while the Oyo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Yomi Oke, said the state had always played the leading role in grassroots sports development, promising that it would support the initiative to ensure its success.