We want players, coaches, referees busy throughout the year–Osun FA boss

In June 2023, Mr Sola Fanowopo emerged, through a credible poll, chairman of the Osun State Football Association. His tenure seems to be a departure from the slumbered past. In this interview with TheTabloid.net, Fanowopo sheds light on the journey so far. Excerpts

What’s the update about your association in the past 10 months, in terms of changes so far achieved?

I was voted as Chairman of Osun Football Association 10 months ago.. precisely June 13, 2023 and to God be the glory, our roads have been tough. The new board that I head promised to run an FA that is inclusive and expensive. Inclusive in the sense that we pledged that Osun FA, as the guardian of the World’s most popular game in Osun State, will be responsible for efficiently governing and developing the local community game and strive to positively influence participation for all in football, regardless of age, ability, gender, tribe, religion, and socio-economic status. We also pledged that under our care, all the major stakeholders in our game such as coaches, referees, administrators and players would have opportunity to be recognized, respected and rewarded for their involvement in football. In addition, we pledged an expensive football calendar for all our stakeholders such that they will be busy all years round. We have started with our premium competition, the SmartCity Osun Football League. 32 teams are participating in the youth league, divided into four conferences. We play 16 matches every Sunday. Eight teams have also registered for Osun Women’s Football League which will commence after the Youth League. We are also planning for Osun state Corporate Football League as well as Osogbo Street Soccer Challenge before the end of the year. We are also working to bring back the Headmasters’ and Principal’s Cups before the end of the year. This is how expensive our dreams are for Osun Football

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How can you rate the devotion of your members to the course?

Osun FA is lucky to have committed stakeholders. We have over 450 grassroots football clubs, 13 referees societies and over 500 grassroots coaches, of which some of them have done their badges. What we lack in infrastructure and strong support from government, we have in the commitment of the stakeholders. The responses we have recorded for all our programmes and agenda are tremendous. We can only hope for them to continue to have faith in the FA to provide the required support to help them achieve their objectives.

What’s the role of the state government?

Government anywhere in the world is the largest stakeholders in sports and football in particular. We expect Osun State government to align and support our programmes and agenda because we are the most organized youth platform in the state. Our agenda is in consonance with the Osun State government’s quest to positively and productively engage the young people of the state. We will continue to engage the government to provide the infrastructure needed for the development and growth of sports and football in our state.

What’s the proposed female championship all about?

Osun Women’s Football League is an integral part our inclusive projects. We want our women to compete and build careers in football. Eight teams that registered for Osun Women’s Football League are: Osun Babes FC Osogbo; Igbajo United Ladies; Ijesa Queens FC; Akeju Segun Queen, Osogbo; Oyeladeniran Babes Iresi; Ila Orangun Babes; Ijesa Warrioress FC and Hamzanaib Ladies

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