INTERVIEW WITH AMB. (HON.) PRINCE OGBONNA OGBONNA: OUR TALLENT HUNT HAS TOUCHED THE LIVES OF MANY GRASSROOTS FOOTBALLERS
AMBASSADOR (HON.) PRINCE ELEAZAR ONYEWUCHI OGBONNA IS A HOUSEHOLD NAME AS FAR AS THE ROUND LEATHER GAME IS CONCERNED IN NIGERIA. as AN EX-PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYER, WHO HAS DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF IN THE COLOURS OF NIGERIAN AND ITALIAN CLUBS.PRINCE OGBONNA NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION, WITH HIS STATUS AS SPORTS AMBASSADOR OF BOTH YOUTH SOORTS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA(YSFON) SOUTH EAST AMBASSADOR AS WEL AS IMO STATE MINISTRY OF YOUTH, AMB. OGBONNA IS POISED TO CHANGE THE FACE OF GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL, IN HIS INTERVIEW WITH TOTAL FOOTBALL, HE SHARES HIS VIEWS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GRASSROOTS SECTOR, EMPHASIZES ON THE NEED TO HIRE A TASK FORCE FOR THE NATIONAL TEAMS AND EXPLAINS WHY HE LOVES TO THREAD WHERE OTHERS DARE NOT EXCERPTS.
FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW, CAN INTRODUCE YOU?
My name is Prince Ogbonna, Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (Ysfon) South East and Imo state Ministry of Youth and Sports Ambassador, an ex-professional footballer and Founder/President, Prince Ogbonna Development Foundation (Podef).
You’re currently the sports Ambassador of Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (Ysfon) and Imo State Ministry of Youth and Sports, How do you intend Contribute to the development of the game in your new status?
Firstly, we have launched the football talent hunt, which has been in place since last year. It involves players from the grassroots level. It has been very successful as we have discovered very good players from the venture presently, we have five clubs in Italy and Europe interested in these players. Some of the players were also invited to the U-17 national team if Nigeria and they're showing casing their skills there. I have been to all parts of Europe and some parts of America and Asia, Talking to agents and clubs in this regard; we are working with 125 FIFA Licensed Agents as well as Imo State Ministry of Youth and Sports to facilitate our plans. We are also going to the streets to pick youths and individuals who have no means of livelihood to empower them and turn their lives around for the better. We are spreading our tentacles to other parts of Africa. We are presently working on Talent Hunt Africa, where we will involve good players from Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mali etc.
My nephew, Angelo Obinze Ogbonna, Italy born defender, who plays for the Italian senior national team and currently Juventus FC, is also part of this. He has given his full backing and will go all the way with us.
What do you think should be done to improve football development in Nigeria?
We have to focus our attention on grassroots development, without that, we can’t go anywhere. Check out other parts of the world especially Europe and South America. They pay a very good attention to youth and grassroots and that is why they are making waves in world of football