Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has thrown his support for “Africa’s Next Football Superstar”, a talent-hunt programme initiated by the Mikel Obi Foundation.
Africa’s Next Football Superstar is an off-shoot of Nigeria’s Next Football Superstar conceived by Mikel.
The political giant and APC national leader gave his support to the project at a short ceremony in his Ikoyi, Lagos home on Monday.
The programme, an initiative of Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, is for kids across Africa aged 12 to 16.
“To hear of your programme, through your foundation to help the kids to achieve their talents in football is commendable. I will commit myself to supporting you in any way you seek.
“We regard you as a family member of this house. I support initiatives like yours in art, culture, music and other areas. So, I will commit myself to this, for you to even inspire the nation more. I’m proud of you,” Tinubu stated.
Also speaking at the event, Mikel said having tasted life on the streets, the essence of the project was to use football to take kids off the streets and help them realise their dreams as world-class footballers.
“I’m so grateful to be the captain of the Nigerian football team, so this is for me now to give back to the kids. This is why the Mikel Obi Foundation and Africa’s Next Football Superstar, we want to make sure we help kids achieve their goals to become the next superstars. And this is why I have come to get your (Tinubu’s) blessings for this project,” the former Chelsea midfielder, who now plays in the Chinese Super League, said.
The event will take place in three countries namely Nigeria, South Africa and Algeria, with each country holding three different trials in three cities.
In Nigeria, the trials will take place in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. Each country will have five winners, with the 15 reduced to nine players, who will be given an opportunity to have trials with a top English club.