Omega Power Ministry (OPM) will in September and October this year bankroll the traveling of over 31 Nigerian players to three foreign countries on trial with international football clubs.
A football agent and technical director of a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based footballclub, Muhammed Mustapha, made the disclosure after a friendly match between OPM Academy players and AS Roma Academy in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, the international trial which will take place in batches will start with the movement of eight players on the first week of September.
“These players are the ones scouted last week ago we have continued to drill in trainings before this friendly game. We will play another friendly on Saturday where we will take the first set of players for International trials. We are looking at about seven to eight players. Let me announce that OPM is bankrolling the trial expenses.
“We are looking at taking them to three countries for trial. The first seven or eight will travel to UAE, where I am a technical director and shareholders of football club, LIWA. The first batch will travel first week of September.
The second batch will be travelling September 15 to Ukraine while the remaining will be taken to Greece precisely by October 10 this year,” he revealed.
On the speculation that agents are taking Nigerian players into slavery, the football agent replied: “I want to disabuse the mind of people saying that we are taking Nigerians into slavery. I am not just an agents but a technical director of a club in Abu Dhabi and as I said, the worst that can happen is to take some to my club.
“My agency, Africa Stars Agency, is visible online and currently managing over 200 players from the continent across the globe. We have never had any record of taking players into slavery. Any player we take out will sign for a club if he is good, otherwise we will bring him back to the country. In football trials, two things should be utmost in the mind, success or failure. We work on the players mentality and raise his game too,” he insisted.
Mustapha, who also spoke on the monetary involvement, said: “It comes with heavy finance involvement and that is why we say thanks to OPM’s General Overseer, Apostle Chibuzor for all the good tidings he has been doing to uplift Nigerian youths.
“After suggesting the idea to him, over 1000 youths came from every part of Nigeria for the screening before we finally selected these ones. He has promised to bankroll their trip from the international passports to other financial involvement to any country they are going to. We are looking at taking out 31 players for the foreign trial,” he announced.
Speaking on what motivated him, Apostle Chibuzor, represented by Kenneth Nwachi, said that it is part of their humanitarian gesture, emphasizing that it was sponsored by church offerings and tithes from the congregation.
“We decided to go into this sponsorship to help those talented players that have nobody to sponsor them. It is part of Apostle Chibuzor’s humanitarian engagements to better the lives of the less privileged. He is going to bear the full sponsorship from passport to flight tickets.
“It is the fund generated from offerings and payment of tithes from the congregation. He is not only doing this in sports alone but hospitality and estate,” he said.