PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: John Obi Mikel – Nigeria skipper criticised by academy founder – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Mikel at his Chinese club Tianjin Teda

Staff Reporter

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 10:00

With Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel no doubt looking forward to learning his side’s group stage opponents for the 2018 World Cup when the draw is held this coming Friday, he has been criticised by the founder of an academy he attended as a youngster.

Former Nigeria Football Federation technical director Kashimawo Laloko, who founded the Pepsi Football Academy at Agege Stadium in Lagos, believes Mikel – a product of the institution – has not done enough to give back to the youth in Nigerian football.

“Mikel was brought to limelight through our Jos centre around 1995 to 2002. We gave him the breakthrough that made Nigerians to know him,” Laloko is quoted by the Vanguard.

“He was unpolished when he came but we refined him. If not for us, maybe, he would not be where he is today but since he became a star, I have not heard that he visited the Jos centre to donate a pair of jersey to the players there. That is most unfair.

“Some former players give us money for the running of the centres but Mikel has not done such. Osaze is an example of a player who paid us because he recognised what we did for him.

“There was a time we wanted to use Mikel in a advertising campaign for the academy but he shunned us. His agent was asking us to pay a huge sum of money but Mr. Nelson could not believe it and that was how the deal fell through. I don’t think Mikel has done well for Nigerian youths.”

With Mikel currently enjoying the off season, following the completion of the Chinese Super League’s 2017 campaign earlier this month, perhaps he’ll make time to give back to those who helped his rise in the game.

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Botswana FA invite Swiss soccer academy INEOS

Staff Reporter

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 15:30

The INEOS academy has been invited to Botswana by Maclean Letshwiti, the president of the Botswana Football Association.

“INEOS academy is soccer academy that gives an opportunity for young soccer players in Africa to develop and allows the best players a chance to be based in Lausanne Switzerland to complete a further 2 years of academy training and education, with a chance at professional football.

“INEOS is planning an extension into Africa to assist the best players in the continent and their countries compete against the world and develop football. African soccer academies for 10-16 year old children, will assist players have a chance at studying and playing locally before an opportunity to play for the Lausanne based academy is presented to the top talent once they turn 17 years

“Representatives of this INEOS have visited Botswana in early March 2017 at the invitation of Botswana Football Association President Maclean C. Letshwiti to make an assessment of whether the country does need the establishment of an academy that they can work with, to have Botswana benefit from the African establishment.

“The Association wishes to share its excitement that INEOS will return to Botswana on the 24th October 2017 to 25 October 2017 for a second time after being impressed by the Associations desire to have a robust development system that will create more top class players . The representatives will make a final assessment on the ability of the Football Association to have an academy of their required standard,” a BFA statement read.

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Japan’s Honda to start Football Academy in Uganda

Samm Audu

Tuesday Jun 27, 2017. 14:30

Japan and AC Milan player Keisuke Honda has said he will start a football academy in Uganda.

“I am going to pattern with one of the top clubs here and make sure I start a project to develop young talent through an Academy. I want to see Uganda play at the World Cup,” said Honda on Saturday while concluding his two day visit to Uganda on a humanitarian mission.

Honda, who was accompanied by his good friend and former teammate at AC Milan in Italy Sulley Ali Muntari, is a UN Global Advocate for Youth across the world.

Honda has constructed some football schools in Cambodia and Japan among others.

The 31-year-old player said he wants to give opportunities to all children all over the world to have a dream.

He also condemned the racism vice which has been detrimental in seeing the game of football grow in the whole world.

Speaking about racism in football, Muntari who was at the centre this season after he was red carded by a referee for reporting a racial abuse during a game in Italy said there is need to educate people right about the dangers of racism.

Muntari hailed the special work ethic of Honda and the high level of

professionalism which many youngsters should emulate.

The two players also interacted with the President of federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa), Moses Magogo.

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