Victor Agali, ex-Super Eagles player, tutors Loral students on professional football, calls for its incorporation into school curriculum
By Sam Otti
Former Super Eagles player, Victor Okechukwu Agali, took to the classroom recently to educate students on the career opportunities offered by football. He said football remains one of the biggest businesses in the world, with millions of pounds spent in signing new players.
Agali, who was a guest speaker at this year’s career day of the Loral International Secondary School, FESTAC Town, Lagos, said despite this huge potential, Nigerian government has not fully incorporated football into the formal education system that would groom younger ones on professional soccer career.
He described football as a gold mine that has come to stay in the world. He said football offers employment to thousands of people, who as professional footballers with different clubs or national teams make good livelihood.
“Football is one of the biggest businesses in the world,” he said. “It is a multi-million dollar business. Under FIFA, we have various football federations and other UEFA, there are various football federations. In Nigeria, we have state football federations, and lots of football clubs. Football as a career is highly demanding.” .
Agali, who holds HND certificate in Accountancy, noted that football doesn’t stop anyone from going to school or acquiring higher academic certificates. He faulted the wrong impression people had about footballers in the early days as dumb fellows who could not make it in academics. To repudiate such thinking, he cited the case of Segun Odegbanmi, a graduate of mathematics, who made his mark in professional football.
He said European countries are working hard to manage their football academies and schools together and urged Nigerian government to take similar step. He said football doesn’t require special talent, but skills that could be improved upon through proper training and coaching. According to him, football is quite demanding like studies, since it also involves the use of brain.
Agali said football continues to support players, even after they had left the pitch. He buttressed his point by citing example with players that played for Nigeria in FIFA organised tournaments but who would continue to receive their pension for life. “Football as a career is great; it is essential that it should be fully incorporated into school activities,” he advised.
Aside Agali, the Principal of the school, Elder Ben Uzoukwu, said they also invited a dentist, a beautician, as well as the popular Nollywood actor, Jude Orhorha, who featured in Checkmate, Fuji House of Commotion, Half of a Yellow Sun film, among others. He said the programmes gave students a robust platform to ask relevant questions that would help them make informed choices of their future career.