Football enthusiasts expressed their displeasure after farmers took over the abandoned site for the FIFA Goal Project football turf in Bauchi State to cultivate agricultural products.
Recall that the Bauchi State FIFA Goal Project is one of the Regional Technical Centres, which was expected to be composed of a FIFA football turf and a hostel, as similar projects were also planned for Anambra and Lagos States which were commissioned in 2013 under the Alhaji Aminu Maigari-led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Ten years down the line, the Goal Projects have reportedly been abandoned with no football turf, however, the hostel was completed.
Football enthusiasts who took turns speaking to newsmen during the Gusau and Ahlan pre-season tournament in Bauchi recently appealed to the newly elected NFF president Ibrahim Musa Gusau to ensure that contractors return to the site.
According to Musa Ibrahim, “This project has been abandoned for ten years now, and the farmer has taken over. We know that FIFA allocated a lot of money for this project, and we want the new board to ensure that the project is completed before embarking on any similar projects in the country,” he said.
Yakubu Mohammed stated that, upon completion of the project, it would go a long way in discovering a lot of sports talents and would promote sporting activities in the North-East geo-political zone.
“The hostel is in good condition, but the football pitch was never constructed. We know that Bauchi State and the North-East region have a lot of talents, and the facilities would become a breeding ground to nurture future players to stardom”.
While reacting to the pleading, the Bauchi State Football Association chairman, Patrick Pascal, said plans are in motion with the NFF to ensure that the project has been completed.
“We have started deliberating with the leadership of the NFF to ensure that the FIFA Goal Project football turf sees the light of day, and I have confidence in the present board of the NFF to achieve the task because we are aware of the importance of the project to our young ones and the North-East in general”.