FC Barcelona has concluded plans to establish its football academy in Lagos, making it first Barcelona Academy in Africa.
Director of Social Area, Pau Vilanova, said yesterday during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode at the State House, Alausa.
Leader of the delegation, Vilanova explained that the club had special interest in the city considering its population and other laudable achievement recorded by the State.
Head of the Barcelona Academy, Oscar Grao, said they wanted to be in the city because of its status as the fastest growing megacity, saying “We have 17 football Academies across the world. We have in America, China Canada and others. But there was none in Africa.”
“For us, it is an honour to be here. The establishment of such school in this part of Africa is very important. I think we have a special philosophy about the game that is how we defend and attack.
Responding to the team’s plan on the academy, Ambode expressed readiness of the state to collaborate with the club to kick off the academy. “This visit by FC Barcelona is coming at a point where I believe strongly that we have nothing else to say than to say we are committed into this partnership because we know the partnership will give us the first FCBEscola in Africa,”
He said. “I was made to understand that this is the first of its kind in Africa and so Lagos is priding itself as a major receptor of the next academy to be established in Africa. “I know that this will create a very good platform for youth development, grassroots empowerment and also for the value of sportsmanship.
“We share the same values with FC Barcelona which are respect, courage, humility, social integration and community service. So, I just want to say that you have our blessing; you have our go-ahead. Whatever it is that we need to do to ensure that this project takes off as quick as possible as a government, we are hundred percent ready to support you in the interest of all of us.”
The governor added that he believes “sports, entertainment and arts can actually contribute together to lift Lagos and Nigeria away from the problem of unemployment”.
Source: Guardian Nigeria; TheCableNG