BENIN – England-based footballer, Osaze Odemwingie, on Saturday in Benin said Nigeria’s quest to excel in sports development would continue to be a mirage without the support of individuals and private organisations.
The Stoke City FC player said this while donating football kits to Bendel Insurance Football Club on Saturday in Benin.
Represented by one of his associates, Austin Uwagboe, Odemwingie said it was clear that government alone cannot develop sports in the country.
He then challenged sports personalities, individuals and organisations to contribute their quota to the development of the sector.
The former Super Eagles star forward said his decision to empower the Benin club was to complement the state government’s efforts in developing football and other sporting activities in the state.
“My decision to assist was not all about donating, but in appreciation of where I am coming from. We must all support the government to develop sports in the country,” he said.
Odemwingie, therefore, called for private sector partnership with the government.
The Secretary to the Edo Government, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, who commended the player on the donation, promised the state government’s support in encouraging him in his football career.
Ihonvbere however regretted that many sports men and women who had benefitted from the government to become successful hardly remembered to give back to the society.
“It is very interesting to note that Osaze (Odemwingie) played for Insurance FC before he left for a professional career abroad.
“The Edo government has continued to monitor his exploits at club level and will do whatever is needed to keep encouraging him,” he said.
Odemwingie donated items such as training kits, jerseys for home and away matches, football boots and hoses, and track suits, among others.
On hand to witness the handing over of the kits to the government was the coach of Bendel Insurance FC, Austin Eguavoen, and a former Super Eagles coach, Amodu Shuaibu.(NAN)