The
Rivers State sports commissioner, Boma Iyaye has explained that there
is a difference between the
ir
football academy in
conjunction with Real Madrid Football Club and the existing Football
School of Excellence in the state.

With
the recent announcement that the agreed academy in partnership with
Real Madrid will be sited within the premises of the Yakubu Gowon
Stadium, Iyaye noted that it will not be a duplication of
functions considering that the state is
already building a Football School of Excellence at Etche.

The
football academy is
completely different from the Football School of Excellence as this
one is affiliated directly to Real Madrid.

The
standards are not the same. Madrid is giving us their standard. You
want to affiliate with us, we give you our standards which are
different from that of the Football College,” Iyaye said.

The
Football College was conceived many years ago, but this is purely
Madrid style and we cannot toy with it.”

The
newly inaugurated sports commissioner also explained that Real Madrid
gave some conditions as regards the siting of the academy.

They
insisted it must be in the City. We actually took them to Etche where
the Football College was being built but it did not meet their
standards.

We
went to Greater Port Harcourt where land was provided and it still
did not meet their standards. So we finally got two sites within the
premises
of the Yakubu Gowon Stadium which they accepted and the academy will
be built there,” Iyaye said.

According
to the commissioner, the
consultants from Spain want the academy located in the heart of the
city.

They
say they want it in the heart of the city, a walking distance from
people’s homes. They do not want parents and children traveling
long
distances
just to play football.
Boma Iyaye

We
have surveyed the land and are working on the final agreement with
the Real Madrid consultants and when that is done, work will start
earnestly.”

The
idea of the Academy is to build and train the next generation of
footballers the right way.

It
is an opportunity for us to groom footballers from a young age so
when they get into professional
football, they would have all the rudiments of football training.

These
are the things we have planned for the next six months to one year
and I must tell you, the governor is very passionate about this
project because it involves kids,” the commissioner said.

The
football academy that will be established by the Rivers State
government is in conjunction with the Real Madrid Foundation Campus
Experience which is affiliated to the Football Club.

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