Omega Power Ministry (OPM) says it is planning to send 31 ‘talented’ football players abroad for trials between September and October 2021.
The General Overseer of the Church, Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere, disclosed this on Wednesday after the players played their first friendly match with AS Roma Academy at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
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The General Overseer, who was represented by Keneth Nwanchi at the friendly match, said the gesture is one of the Church’s projects to help to empower youths in the country.
“When you look at Nigeria, you will realise that many people have talents but they can’t go anywhere because they lack sponsorship.
“That is where Apostle Chinyere comes into the picture. He is well known for his humanitarian engagement and he has vowed to take up the bills of their travels abroad. This is from the offerings and tithes from the church,” he said.
On his part, Muhammed Mustapha, a football agent from Dynamic African Stars Agency, told journalists that the boys were selected after being scouted for about a week.
“We did three days scouting event with more than 1300 players participating. They came from different states of the country and on the fourth day, we selected the players you are seeing here,” he said.
Mustapha, who said he is a technical director and shareholder at LIWA FC in Abu Dhabi, UAE, added that: “I’m looking at taking seven to eight players first. Today, I have identified some of them and when they play the next game, I will decide.
“I have three countries I am planning to take them to. The first seven or eight will go to UAE.
“The first batch will travel in the first week of September. The second batch is from 15th to 20th September. They are going to Ukraine. Then the last batch of 10 or 15 will go to Greece on October 10.”
He allayed the fears of the players ending up signing “slave contracts” in the name of playing abroad.
He claimed his agency manages over 200 players in Africa with none of them on any slave contract abroad.