Abuja – Makanjuola Nureni, a FIFA Player’s Agent, on Thursday said that Nigeria was losing its athletes, especially footballers, to other countries due to poor training facilities.
Nureni made the observation in Abuja while speaking to newsmen at the unveiling of 13-year-old Makanjuola Habib, a National U-13 player with Chelsea FC of England Academy.
The FIFA Player’s agent said Habib, who is one of the two Nigerian wiz-kids in the academy, signed for the academy because of poor football development structures in the country.
He claimed that the country was losing its athletes because the government was paying more attention to politics rather than concentrating on harnessing the country’s abundant talents.
Nureni said that Pastor Enoch Adeboye was party to Habib’s success story in England.
“Habib performed at the Redeemed Christian Church of God Redemption Camp in 2010 and he won a scholarship to England from the General Overseer,’’ he said.
He noted that top European clubs like Barcelona, Lyon, Manchester City and Arsenal had made efforts to sign on Habib, but he (Habib) preferred Chelsea because of the facilities they have on ground.
Habib,who was grabbed by Chelsea in April, said the love he has for Michael Emenalo, Chelsea’s Technical Director, also influenced his decision to sign for the club’s academy.
He told NAN that the academy had created the platform for him “to excel and become a world class player in the near future’’.
“I am with the Cambry School in London and my club allows me the time to attend classes and my school gives me time to train with my club,’’ Habib explained.
Habib’s father, Makanjuola Adegboye was elated about his son’s success, saying that his son’s progression in life was a sign of good upbringing.
“I don’t have much to say. I will only be remembering him in my prayers and I thank our daddy who made his journey to London possible,’’ Adegboye said.
Habib nicknamed “football wizard’’, won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award at the 2009 U-13 International Football Tournament in the United Arab Emirate (UAE).
He is also the first Nigerian to participate in the World Final Juggling Tournament in South Africa in 2010. (NAN)
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