A group of former footballers of the famous University of Ibadan has called on the Federal Ministry of Sports and that of Education to form a synergy to save sports especially football in the country.
In their monthly discussion program held on their official WhatsApp platform, the group insisted that the present downward trend in Nigeria football may not be totally unconnected with the neglect of inter collegiate football by the appropriate authorities.
According to the ex-University footballers, some of whom also played professionally, the problem that many of the ex-footballers are facing after their careers is their inability to combine football effectively with education.
They said the situation is made worse by the national educational system that did not encourage sports and education to thrive side by side.
The group said if the two government agencies worked effectively and in unity, modalities can be worked out where players can combine their careers effectively and seamlessly.
The ex-University players also said many of the former football stars who combined education and football are excelling now after their footballing careers.
They cited good examples of Edith Agoye, who graduated from UI, played in Nigeria and abroad and currently coaches 3SC of Ibadan and Peter Rufai, ex Super Eagles captain who combined education with football while playing in Europe in the 90s, amongst others.
The group opined further that the partnership between the two ministries should go down to the primary and secondary schools which are areas where the foundation is formed.
They submitted that many are relying on the academy system but most of the academies are nothing to write home about.