From Seun Akioye, Abuja
Former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and founder of Nigeria’s foremost football academy Fosla Academy, Alhaji Sanni Lulu has urged Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote to invest in home grown teams in order to grow the nation’s football.
Dangote, a fan of English Premier League club, Arsenal had made known his desire to buy the underperforming London club.
Sanni Lulu was speaking at a reception organised for Fosla Academy football team by the Emir of Karshi- a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja- Alhaji Muhammed Ismaila MFR.
It will be recalled that the Academy won the inaugural National Principals Cup when it defeated Christ Comprehensive School Kaduna by 2-0 at the Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja.
“We are encouraged that we have a base that should be supported,” Lulu said at the reception ceremony.
” We all know the news that Dangote wants to buy Arsenal FC at the international level, yes, there is no problem about that but I want to assure Nigerians that with great men like Dangote, if they can come to invest in the club like FOSLA, I am very sure we are going to do far better than the Arsenal or any team in the world. If they invest in our schools, based on my passion, vision, collective support of Nigerians, Nigeria will be a place where people will come to fish for players,” he said.
Lulu said there were many discouraging events during the competition but his players stayed focused to win the trophy.
Lulu: “It was a great feat, getting to this point we had several challenges and issues that naturally would have frustrated us out of the system but we are dogged and remained focused, this is the reward of patience and hard work.
“I don’t have up to 150 students in the school but they were playing against schools that have more than 4000 students but we are really working hard to put a sporting curriculum.”
The principal of the school, Mrs Ebhodaghe Josephine in her opening remarks traced the history of the academy as well as achievements recorded till date.
While thanking His Royal Highness, Sarkin karshi for the honour done the Academy and immense support the community as well as the paramount ruler has given them, she added that Fosla Academy was established to bridge the gap among Nigerian youths who want to achieve football career with education.
Noting that apart from doing wonderfully well in football, the students have also been exceptional in their academic activities. She said over the years, the first graduates of the school who are now in their penultimate University years at Nasarawa State University, Keffi had distinctions in their senior Secondary School examinations such as WAEC and NECO.
She noted that subsequent graduates have performed better than the pioneer graduates in external examinations.
The Emir of Karshi thanked the management of Fosla Academy for bringing the name of the community into national limelight.
“I am very proud of FOSLA Academy and I will continue to support the school because it has put our small village on the map of the sporting world.
“The boys have been able to achieve this feat as the first team to win the maiden edition of the National Principal’s Cup and we do hope that most of them will go to play in the national team and one day find themselves playing abroad.
He also called on the federal government and FCT administration to not only host and celebrate the school for the feat achieved but to also fulfill all promises made during the competition.
“We also hope that FCT authorities and the federal government should support this school so that these boys can replicate this feat in many other places in the future,” he said.
FOSLA Academy, the Nigerian Premier independent Football Secondary School founded in 2011 Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President 2006-2010.
The vision of the school is to establish a unique and foremost secondary school that will help talented but indigent Nigerian youths develop their football skills while receiving comprehensive world-class secondary education.