By Abubakar Hassan


Chairman Niger state football association and board member Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Comrade Ahmed Yusuf Fresh has identified lack of facilities as the main challenges facing the development of sports at the grassroots.

Comrade Yusuf spoke in Rijau, the headquarter of Rijau Local Government Council of the state, shortly after inspecting the ongoing construction work at Rijau 5,000 capacity mini stadium being constructed by the House of Representative member, representing Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency, Hon. Shehu Saleh.

The NFF Board member stated that until adequate attention is paid to the development of sports facilities at the local level, our sports, especially football will continue to decline, stressing that “I wonder what we can achieve in our desire to develop the game if football at the grassroots was without facilities?”

Comrade Yusuf Fresh, the Chairman Referees Appointment Committee of NFF, who was in Rijau for the finals of this year’s Rijau FA football competition, pointed out that there should be some deliberate efforts by government, individuals and other stakeholders towards addressing the many challenges facing sports development at the grassroots.

“You see I am a grassroots man, and I strongly believed that all our efforts towards the development of the game of football must start from the grass root. That is the foundation, that is the base and we must get it right from that level if not our football will continue to witness decline in the country”.

Yusuf who was full of praises for the House member for embarking on the stadium project right in his local government as part of his contribution to the development of sports in the area, said that such gesture should be emulated by our political leaders and other stakeholders.

“What I have seen here today is highly encouraging and I am quite impressed. I must appeal to our political leaders and other stakeholders to emulate this kind of gesture.”

Earlier, the Sports Secretary of Rijau Local Government, Bashir Labbo Rijau told the NFF executive board member that the youths of Rijau were sports loving and this motivated the house of representative member to provide them with a befitting stadium.

The sports secretary observed that the stadium when completed will aid the development of sports, especially football in the area, explaining that the new Rijau township Stadium will have full facilities including modern dressing room.