By Goodluck Ikiebe
In order to ensure fairness in the Sports ecosystem, the Federal Government has pledged to work towards addressing some general practices in the sector to ensure that ethical standards are imbibed so as to provide equal opportunities for young talents to excel in their various sporting endeavours.
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan-Enoh, gave the assurance in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, when a delegation from the Prestige Football Academy, led by its President, Mr. Uchendu Stephen, paid him a courtesy call.
The Minister, who was responding to the delegation’s proposal submitted to him, stated that government was committed to fostering a conducive environment for the growth and development of Sports in the country and as such, the Ministry under his watch will review the proposal aimed at regulating the scouting system within Nigeria’s Sports landscape.
He stated that Nigeria’s sports talent pool makes it a hotbed for all forms of Sports scouting activities, adding that scouting plays a critical role in nurturing and harnessing the nation’s sports potential which makes it a destination of choice for scouts from all around the world.
Senator Owan-Enoh, who informed that most people in the sector are concerned about the subject of the scouting process of young men and women, observed that *when our Sports men and women go out of the shores of Nigeria, and breakforth, the support they send to their families and the laurels that they win are of benefit to the country*
He however added that the manner in which some of our Sports men and women leave need to be addressed.
Senator Owan-Enoh assured that the Ministry will continue to create an enabling environment for the development of Sports in the country,
in line with the policy thrust of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration that scouting forms the bedrock of identifying and nurturing future Sports stars and that there was the need for the stakeholders in the industry to recognize the value of an organized scouting system that fosters fairness, transparency, and professionalism.
He noted that the Ministry will review the appropriateness of the proposal, as it remains resolute in its dedication to uplifting the ethics of scouting.
According to him, “Sports is a universal matter which is promoted globally, and as such Nigeria will ensure its commitment to enhancing Football Scouting Regulations in line with global best practices”.
“Nigeria will work to facilitate a process that integrates fair play, integrity, professionalism and equal opportunities for all sports talents, especially footballers”, he added.
Speaking earlier, the President, Prestige Football Academy, Mr Uchendu Stephen, thanked the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan-Enoh for granting them audience inspite of his busy schedules.
He expressed optimism that if the proposal submitted to government was adopted after a thorough review, the reforms would be pivotal in transforming the scouting landscape as well as would ensure that deserving talents receive the attention and opportunities they merit.