The most decorated Nigerian footballer ever is still giving back to the country and has opened an academy to groom raw talents in the country.
African football great, Nwankwo Kanu stepped back into the spotlight as he unveiled an international football academy in Lagos on Wednesday.
The game has given the king of Nigerian football so much, and the 42-year-old continues to give back.
Kanu International Football Academy has been set up with the aim of supporting talented young footballers hoping to emulate the Arsenal legend himself.
KIFA – with over 20 centres across Nigeria, will not limit its work to what takes place on the football pitch, but, with programmes in place to educate the kids academically and morally.
Addressing the media during the event, KIFA founder and chairman Kanu disclosed that the platform offers the Nigerian kids the chance to achieve their career targets without stress.
“Years back, we had grassroots competitions to discover talents for the country but that has changed, because today the emphasis on the league and the national teams,” he said.
“Back in those days, we had all sorts of grassroots football programmes such as street tournaments, community matches and particularly, YSFON competitions.
“Today, the grassroots have been neglected and to make matters worse, if you don’t play abroad you are not seen as a good footballer. I was discovered in Nigeria before moving outside the country where I made a name for myself.
“KIFA is not just here for football but also to enhance these kids’ education through EFootPlus because, without the right knowledge and morals, they won’t be able to achieve their football goals.”
In the same vein, national coordinator Prince Dapo Ajibade also spoke of the project’s ambition.
”What King Kanu is doing with KIFA, is indeed, revolutionary,” he added.
“It is coming with a special kits brand, a television sports channel and of course, a collaboration with a schools’ association that would breed a generation of gifted but equally educated footballers.
“KIFA’s parent company Kanu International Football Agency, is into partnership with Kanu Heart Foundation and other key stakeholders in the football industry, to take the management and promotions of football to the next level.”