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Nigeria’s Sports Minister hails Soname’s vision in sports investment

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The huge investment in sports by the President of Remo Stars, Kunle Soname has received a ravishing applause from the Nigerian sports minister, Senator John Enoh. The minister on Saturday visited the state of the art facilities which Soname had put up in his home town Ikenne.

The facilities house the current Nigeria Premier League table toppers, Remo Stars as well as the women’s team and Beyond Limit Football Academy which products are excelling in both academics and in football.

Soname informed the minister that at the last West African School Certificate examination, 16 of the academy’s final year students made six credits and above. Some of the products of Beyond Limits Football Academy are making waves in top European Leagues. For instance, Ebenezer Akinsanmiro is in Inter Milan.

 

The Sports Minister inspected the facilities which include an  all-covered football stadium, lush green turfs in different forms ranging from natural grass to hybrid artificial grass, office complexes and  residential buildings with 56 rooms for junior and senior players and accommodating 112 footballers.

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The complex also has five semi-detached blocks of 10 units, two bedroom coaches accommodation, a restaurant for players and officials as well as an administrative block comprising of offices, conference room, training classroom and reception. The office block is equipped with panoramic lift to first-floor which is the table tennis centre.

Others facilities include a gym, clinic, swimming pool, hydrotherapy chamber and a 30-room hotel with panoramic lift.  Also at the model arena is a tournament pitch with 10,000 capacity covered pavilions, three training pitches, 2,000 capacity car parks and good internal road.

Impressed by what he saw, Enoh, who is the first sports minister to ever visit the facilities, expressed his admiration.

He commended the self-effacing businessman, whose airline, ValueJet ferried the Super Eagles to their last World Cup qualifying match in Rwanda.

Enoh emphasized the crucial role of private investment in the growth and sustainability of sports in the country.

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He lauded Remo Stars as a shining example of a privately-owned sports entity that is making significant strides in elevating the standards of football in Nigeria. “The government alone cannot carry the weight of sports development, and that is why we need more private investors to float outfits like Remo Stars Football Club.

“I am impressed by the commitment of Hon. Kunle Soname and his team, and I assure you that the Ministry of Sports Development will actively encourage and support private investment in sports across the nation.”

Kunle Soname expressed gratitude for the Minister’s visit and reiterated the club’s commitment to contributing to the overall development of sports in Nigeria.

“Our facilities are open to junior national teams for camping of players any time the football federation feel we can be of help.” It will be recalled that in the past, the Super Eagles spent so much dollars and euros paying for similar facilities at Papendal in The Netherlands and Hôtel Sol Béni in Cote d’Ivoire.

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.