By Olanrewaju Akojede
Lagos – The Vice-President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Seyi Akinwunmi, on Thursday in Lagos said that lack of policy had stunted youth football development.
Akinwunmi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigeria often missed out of the age grade football tournaments because of lack of deliberate plan.
“Nigeria has failed in some age grade football tournaments in the past because of our hit and miss policy over the years. Some have argued against it but that is the truth.
“There has been no consensus plan or policy for youth football in Nigeria. If we don’t plan for something and we miss, we don’t need to cry because it is not our right.
“We did not plan for age grade football enough, so sometimes we lose and sometimes we win because we did not agree on what to do and how to prosecute it.
“We need to have a deliberate plan of action in our development process for age-grade football to achieve lasting success,’’ he said.
Akinwunmi said that the football house was already working toward correcting the past wrongs by having a working plan for football developmental in the country.
“What we want to do now is to design where we can grow our kids in succession; get their data, follow up on them and use them to form a development policy.
“Now that the country is blessed with many developmental youth tournaments like the Channels Kids Cup and Principals Cup among others, we will leverage on them.
“We have also been following-up on the states to toe the line of Lagos State and they have been responding. Kano, Enugu and others are doing well.
“As time gets by, we will get it right as far as age grade football in Nigeria is concerned and people will appreciate our development efforts,’’ he said.