According to Yakubu Sarma, the Chairman of the Gombe State Football Association (FA), plans are underway to organize a football competition for youths in the state.
The competition will focus on youths under 19 years of age from all 24 constituencies in the state.
Sarma made this announcement during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Thursday. Sarma was recently re-elected for another four-year term as the FA chairman.
“We have already started discussing with partners because the competition needs funding.
“It will be intra-state constituencies and since we have 24 constituencies in the state, we will have one club from each constituency,“he said.
He said that the competition would hold between July and September, adding that it will guide the youths against drugs and crimes.”
The chairman said that the initiative would help the state FA to harness the huge football talents in the state as a means to empower them.
He said the competition was also part of the association’s contribution to combat restiveness and drug abuse among youths in the state.
“The competition amongst others that will follow is one of the opportunities for the youths of the state to explore, achieve their potentials and come into limelight.
“We are passionate about using football to unlock the doors for discovering budding talents and serve as a catalyst for the development of the local league,”he said.
He said that more football activities in schools, communities and the emirates would be initiated and sustained to discover talents for recruitment into the national team.
Sarma said there were ongoing discussions between the association and some international scouts and agents towards having periodic scouting activities in the state.
He said if it worked out, some of the talented young footballers could be taken to Europe to ply their trade.
“That is our target, because having one or two players in some of the good leagues in Europe will impact on the state’s economy,“he said
Sarma appealed to private investors to leverage on football as a means of empowering the youths while assuring them of judicious use of their investments.