8th September, 2010
A special call has gone to football academies in the country to emulate the youth footballÂ development initiatives of Pepsi Football Academy (PFA).
Ex-international and former Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles, Joe Erico, who made theÂ call at the weekend in Abeokuta said PFA has answers to the dwindling fortunes of theÂ Nigerian football.
The retired national goalkeeper who was in the ancient city of Abeokuta for the on-goingÂ Pepsi 8-nation international U-17 Competition noted that Nigeria would reap a lot ofÂ benefits from the competition as many budding soccer talents will be discovered at theÂ week-long event.
â€œThis is the first time I will be watching an international tournament organised by PepsiÂ Football Academy and I was so excited by the skills displayed by the teams so far. And I amÂ not just giving this assessment for the fun of it,Â I am also involved in youth development.Â I work for Aspire, Doha so I know the value of what PFA is doing.
“If others can take a cue from PFA, Nigerian football would soon get out of the woods,â€ heÂ said.
Erico said the organisers of the Pepsi International competition were showing the rightÂ attitude to youth football development, stressing that football authorities in the countryÂ should ensure that their technical personnel come to observe the tournament in order to spotÂ new talents for the national teams.
â€œPepsi is fulfilling its obligation as a good corporate body by organising this competition.Â The ball is now in the court of our administrators. They need to send their technical staffÂ to come and see these young and fresh boys. That would really help our football grow as theÂ boys discovered wouldÂ want toÂ Â give their best, when given the opportunity to wear theÂ national coloursâ€ Eric noted.