Ex-Gov. Akpabio to set up football team soon as ‘economy improves’

Godswill Akpabio
Godswill Akpabio

The former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, says he wants to establish a football team.

Mr. Akpabio said the team would help Nigeria compete in international tournaments.

“I am very determined to have a team, not just a football team but a team in terms of athletics.

“I will like to sponsor something even if I start from my Senatorial District,” Mr. Akpabio told journalists on Friday.

He said he would commence the process as soon as there was improvement in the economy of the country, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

Mr. Akpabio, who is the Senate Minority Leader, said the bane of sporting activities in Nigeria was the lack of proper preparation.

Speaking to journalists at the Ibom Le Meridien and Golf Resort, Uyo, about the recent Olympics, Mr. Akpabio said Nigeria went to sleep immediately after each Olympic Games only to wake up three months to the next games for preparation.

“We cannot win because of lack of proper preparation. We must start early putting in money to train these people. Early to bed means early to rise,” Akpabio said.

Mr. Akpabio said he watched a film about how Serena Williams trained six hours daily for competitions.

He said that the rigorous training undertaken consistently by Williams made her flexible, agile and able to perform magic on the court even at 34 years of age.

Mr. Akpabio noted that training six hours daily for two years meant discipline and that such an athlete could not be beaten easily by opponents.

He said “our children usually suffer culture shock during international sporting fiesta because they are never exposed to international competitions and training.

“Some of our children, the first time they enter plane or go for international completion is during Olympic Games,” he said.

Mr. Akpabio said his administration built an international stadium to prevent athletes from the state from suffering culture during international competitions.

“When you suffer from culture shock, there is no way you can win, that is why we built an international stadium like the one in Spain or Sun City.

“This is a futurist stadium that will not allow our children to suffer from culture shock,” Mr. Akpabio.

Mr. Akpabio said that training was very vital to the moulding and discipline of sports men and women.

He recalled how his investment in Godswill Akpabio Scrabble International Classic led to Nigeria winning the World Scrabble competition in 2015.

The senator called on individuals and corporate organisations to invest in sports to harness indigenous grassroots talents for the betterment of the country.


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  • Arabakpura

    We cannot win much because we are not interested to win at all! There is a need to see the composition of the DNA of the Nigerian nay African to see its make-up!

    • Salamsalam

      In the western world, apart from the national pride, sports is good source ofdirect or indrect employment. It is also a very good source of frevenue earner for the government

      Just imagine the huge amount of tax revenue from football alone to the UK overnment

      • Arabakpura

        You are correct on that but we no longer go to watch our sportsmen and women! We now pay to watch foreign sports!

  • St

    If 10 states were like cross river in South-South Nigeria, GEJ would have received more praises not more issues relating terrorism.