By Ikenna Nwokedi, Ph.D
The Chief Executive Officer and Proprietor Mekon United FC Umunze, Ambassador Chukwuemeka Joseph Afusi has commended the management of the Anambra Independent Football League (AIFL) for the programme geared towards football growth, sustainability and development in state.
The UK Based football administrator made the comments during an interaction with reporters during the Match Day three programme of the AIFL played at the Igwebuike Sports Complex Umunze.
Afusi stated that the AIFL which has existed for a period of over six years created a viable and very formidable platform for the talented teeming youths of the state to showcase their God given talent via football where they can be discovered, nurtured and developed into world stars. He lamented that although the league is facing the challenge of getting a sponsor, it has continued to wax strong by carving a niche for itself. The football administrator disclosed that he took it upon him to ensure that the first three match days of the Season 6 would be played in Umunze in order to test its ground, see if it can withstand the pressure before more work can be done on the ground as well using the round leather game to further unite the people of Umunze.
Afusi stated that the talents he has seen in the AIFL have what it takes to play in Europe and the rest of the world but what may be lacking is the basics as some of them had a difficult beginning. The Mekon FC CEO stated that in Nigeria, a child of 14 years still face the challenge of playing with boots and on green grass unlike Europe where a child at the age of 6 owns a boot and knows their individual responsibility tactical wise, decision making and position wise.
Afusi said he is poised in ensuring that the AIFL become an acceptable brand, part of which he ensured that England based Prime View TV broadcast some matches of the AIFL for the first three match days on their website and other online platforms in order to showcase the talents of the AIFL. He further said that he is working towards bringing in coaches outside the shores via Continental Football Coaching Academy Limited (CONFCAL) to do a refresher courses and training for the coaches in a train the trainers programme that will enhance the competence of the playing personnel in the league. He also commended the clubs and their proprietors for a job well done while urging investors such as public spirited individuals and corporate organizations to help develop the beautiful game by investing in the AIFL.