Rivers State Government and Real Madrid Football Club have signed a ratification agreement for the development of the state government’s Real Madrid Academy, Port Harcourt, into an international football academy.
The agreement signing took place yesterday at the Presidency Reception Centre of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, which is the home of Real Madrid Football Club in Madrid, Spain.
A statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the River state Governor (Electronic Media) stated: “The signature of the ratification Protocol was executed by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, and the Executive Vice President of Real Madrid Football Club Foundation, Enrique Sanchez.”
The state government unveiled the ultramodern football academy barely one month ago, on 21 September, in its bid to empower youths through football as well as to groom local talents to meet world standard.
The governor, in an address during the signing, said that Rivers State is preparing the Real Madrid Academy Port Harcourt as a veritable pathway for the empowerment of Rivers children.
He said: “We are preparing the Real Madrid Academy as a veritable pathway for our young stars to be international football talents and for them to realise their dreams.
“We will offer them exposure, nurturing opportunities and mentorship by world renowned professionals at the Real Madrid Academy.”
He told managers of Real Madrid Football Club management that the Rivers State Government has already exhibited seriousness by developing the needed infrastructure at the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt, explaining that in establishing the Real Madrid Academy, the government took into consideration the culture and reality of the state.
“Taking the interest of our youths, the Real Madrid Academy is designed for culture and holistic programmes with a comprehensive package for the acquisition of high level knowledge in a comfortable and inspiring environment,” the governor said.
Executive Vice President of Real Madrid Football Club Foundation, Enrique Sanchez, who led other officials of the very successful and multiple award-winning European football giant for the ceremony, commended the Rivers State government for its commitment to using football as a tool to empower youths.
In the Wike-led delegation were: Rivers State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Felix Obuah; Senator Barry Mpigi (representing Rivers South-East; Rivers State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker Ehie Edison; former House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Austin Opara; Senators Olaka Nwogu; Olaja Bwogu; Sam Anyanwu; Mao Ohuabunwa; former Commissioner for Sport Boma Iyaye; former Rivers lawmaker Felix Nwaeke and a former commissioner, Marcus Nlenji.