Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has explained that his administration has put in place, an organisation that will independently run Real Madrid Academy to achieve the objectives of establishing the institution.
In an interview yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said the framework that his administration worked out was satisfactory to Real Madrid FC.
He said: “We were able to assure Real Madrid that we have put in place an organisation, that though government will fund it, the organisation is totally independent to run it, so that there will be no interference from Government.
“We had in-house sceptics, who didn’t believe that Real Madrid will agree to open an Academy here in Port Harcourt. We also had the challenge of the location of the school. We thereafter resolved to site it at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium.
“We are committed to achieving results as far as the Real Madrid Academy is concerned. What is important is identifying what we want to do and going ahead to do it.”
Governor Wike expressed optimism that the Academy will outlive his tenure because the goals are youth-centred and the necessary steps already taken to ensure sustenance.
“My prayer is that whoever will succeed me should not allow the dream to die. It will be quite unfortunate killing the dream of youths. It will not be taken lightly. The youths will never forgive such a person. What is important, don’t kill the dream of youths.
“God will pick someone who will continue with this dream to allow the children, who want to excel to have the opportunity. Football is the in thing today. Every weekend, midweek, most of us don’t go out, because we want to watch matches as football has taken a central role in the unity of nations, in the economy of nations and therefore, I don’t think any development conscious person would want to kill this dream.
“Real Madrid Academy is a project anyone would want to continue with and probably expand on”, the Rivers State governor noted.
He charged Rivers’ Youths to take advantage of the academy to grow their football careers.
Governor Wike said: “Let me advise our youths to use the opportunity available to excel in life. What is important in life is taking advantage of opportunities. Tomorrow, you maybe a Ronaldo, you may be Messi , you maybe Adokiye Amiesimaka, you maybe Richard Owobokiri, you never can tell,” he admonished.