Nigeria and real madrid football club foundation to collaborate in the establishment of sports academies in nigeria.

On Monday, 27th January, 2014, Her Excellency, Mrs. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, met with the President of Real Madrid Football Club, Mr. Florentino Perez and some members of the Real Madrid FC Foundation, in Madrid, Spain. She was accompanied to the meeting by the Director-General of National Sports Commission (NSC), Hon. GbengaElegbeleye, Mr. Yakmut Al-Hassan Saleh, Director, Grassroots Sports Development, Mrs. Bola Akinwale, Legal Adviser, NSC, and some officials of the Embassy of Nigeria, Madrid, Spain.

2. Ambassador Odumegwu-Ojukwu informed Mr. Perez that Nigeria is desirous of establishing a strong partnership with Real Madrid Football Club in the development of young Nigerian footballers through the establishment of football academies in Nigeria, where core values and morals will be part of the curriculum. She stated that the government of Nigeria was keen in promoting sports development as a veritable means of youth empowerment and poverty reduction and notedthat the academy will engender strong ties with Real Madrid Football Club on the one hand and the Spanish government on the other hand.

3. The Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Hon. GbengaElegbeleyeremarked that the Federal Ministry of Sports was ready to partner with Real Madrid FC Foundation with a view to establishing at least two academies in the first instance, in order to harness and develop talents that abound in the country. He noted that the social academy will focus on education, moral training, and financial management etc of footballers while the technical academy will focus solely on developing technical skills of the players.

In his remarks, the President of Real Madrid Football club, Mr. Perez thanked Her Excellency and the delegation for the interest in partnering with Real Madrid Football club in the area of establishing Sports Academies in Nigeria and stated that the Club will be delighted to partner with the Federal Ministry of Sportsand the Embassy of Nigeria to establish the academies as Nigeria he noted, is an important country in the world and a great football nation.

He stressed that the establishment of the academies will be an important step in Spainís relations with Nigeria, where interest in football, is phenomenal. He noted that the collaboration will contribute to raising the level of football in Nigeria and will inculcate all the values in sports. The Foundation's main goal he stated, was to promote values inherent in sport, and to use it as an educational tool, both in Spain and the rest of the world. He promised to visit Nigeria soon in order to actualize the projects.
Ambassador Odumegwu-Ojukwu appreciated the willingness of the club and the foundation to collaborate in this project in order to improve and advance football in Nigeria, and pointed out that the project would also strengthen the Nigeria-Spain relations. Meanwhile, a Memorandum of Understanding is to be signed between the Club and the Federal Ministry of Sports in the coming months.

If the academies are established, Nigeria stands to gain, as it will provide Nigerian children and youths the opportunity to benefit from the modern technical skills in the game and the core values that are inherent in Sports.

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