The Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Deji Tinubu, on Tuesday said the government would ensure the smooth operation of FC Barcelona Academy in Nigeria by supporting its plans for youths.
Tinubu made the promise at the unveiling of the academy, named “FCBESCOLA’’, which is to be sited temporarily at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
He said that football, one of the cardinal programmes the government wanted to use to encourage youth engagement in the economy would continue to get the desired attention.
“The FC Barcelona Academy in Lagos is the first of its kind in Africa and this tells us that when people talk about football in Lagos they are talking about Barcelona.
On the vision, mission and the model which the academy will adopt in its operation, the academy’s Sport Director in Nigeria, Lesile Oghomienor, said it would be a world standard.
“We are planning to have a 7,000 capacity academy stadium with all the sports facilities such as gyms offices and training pitches.
“The academy will also admit children from ages six to 18 that are good for grassroots development. We hope to do that within the next two years.
“We hope that in the next few years, products of our academy will win the U-17 World Cup for Nigeria.
The Project Manager for FC Barcelona in Europe and Africa Football Schools, Inaki Gonzallo, said the academy would adopt the same curriculum used to train the successful products of the academy in Nigeria.
FCBESCOLA will open on Sept. 17 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium as temporary site.