The Chairman of Ekiti State Football Association, Mr Bayo Olanlege has revealed the inspiration and motivation behind the giant strides that are currently being made by his administration.
Olanlege in an exclusive interview with Sportflames Radio on T.G.I.F Freestyle Show noted that the liberal approach to governance of the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi had formed the driving force for his administration as he advocated the need for football to take its course as a Non-governmental organisation.
“I personally don’t believe that football should be run by government. I think football should be a non-governmental organisation as it’s been structured at the FIFA level” said the helsman
The football administrator believes that while it’s been taunted that government should not interfere in to the politics of football ,they shouldn’t have cause in funding the game but could only provide infrastructure and enabling environment.
He noted among many other initiatives to change the face of football is the recently concluded Oba Ajakaiye U-13 football competition and the ongoing Professor Akin Oyebode Male and Female U-15 tournament.
The tournaments according to him are meant to encourage the footballers and also remind them of the ethics and values of the Ekiti people which but not limited to hard-work and integrity.
Tackling Age Cheat
The phenomenon of age cheat has eaten deep in the fabric of football dispensation most expecially in Africa ,but Ekiti FA under Bayo Olanlege have decided to reduce its manifestation by organising age grades competition.
Bayo who is also a committee member of the NFF said the effort at eradicating age cheat will help to build “a total kid” with the purpose of making the best out of their careers.
The Media’s Influence
The Chairman in the interview acknowledged the role of the media in evangelising the agenda of football in the state and appreciate how the industry has seen through their vision and helps them build the feasibility and the credibility of the FA.
Apart from the Ekiti State Bet9ja league that holds financial reward, Olanlege revealed that the FA under him would always prioritise reward for excellence with ‘capacity development’
He explained that the FA catchment area and unique selling promises includes giving scholarship to exceptional players and also exposing coaches who proved excellence through various competitions to advance training.
While adding that 15 male teams and 6 female clubs are currently participating in the ongoing twin- packed Professor Oyebode Football Tournament,he noted the FA is also planning to organise National U-17 tournament in honour of Dr.John Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State.