The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday, 1st November 2017 heaped praises on the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) Football Club (FC), for returning the State to the prestigious CAF Champions League sixteen years, after a team from the State participated in the tournament.
Speaking at the Lagos House in Alausa Ikeja, Governor Ambode said, it was gratifying that a team from the state would be participating in the 2018 edition of the continental tournament after a long time. He said this while he recieved the MFM FC, in the company of top officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and ex Internationals.
The Governor goes further by pledging to assist the team with the necessary support to ensure a successful campaign at the championship.
While congratulating the team for the feat, Governor Ambode particularly acknowledged and saluted the vision of MFM General Overseer, Pastor Kayode Olukoya who founded the team ten years ago, saying that the State Government was proud to associate with his idea of meaningfully engaging the youths to contribute positively to the society.
Responding to some requests by the MFM FC, Governor Ambode donated N25milion to the footballers and officials of the club for qualifying for the CAF Champions League and another N25million to ensure hitch-free campaign, as well as adequately prepare for the tournament.
Already, the Governor said the State Sports Commission had been directed to ensure that the Agege Stadium, which is the home-ground being used by the Football Club, be put in good shape to meet up with CAF’s standard before inspection in December.
“I want to also say that we have directed our sports team and the Sports Commission to make sure that everything needed, just as earlier requested, to ensure that Agege Stadium as certified by CAF is done,” Governor Ambode said.
While speaking on other plans for sports development in the State, Governor Ambode said aside the ongoing transformation of Onikan Stadium to world class standard, a major upgrade of the Teslim Balogun Stadium would soon be carried out, while efforts were already ongoing for the Lagos Games Village located along the Lekki-Epe axis to commence in 2018.
Also, the Governor said his administration would soon invite stakeholders in the sports sector to discuss modalities for the Lagos Premier League which, according to him, would have twenty teams.
Governor Ambode charged the MFM FC to be good ambassadors of the State and be at their best at the tournament.
Earlier, MFM Director of Sports Worldwide, Mr Godwin Enakhena commended Governor Ambode and indeed the State Government for the support so far extended to the team, saying the assistance contributed to the feat achieved by the team to play at the continental level.
He recalled how the State Government released Agege Stadium to MFM FC free of charge for use, the security arrangements put in place, as well as logistics; adding that the immense support of the government was well appreciated.
Enakhena, who spoke on behalf of Pastor Olukoya, however, urged the State Government to continue to support the team, especially its financial support and also make Agege Stadium suitable for CAF Champions League, the requests which were instantly granted by the Governor.
Photo Credit: Bamigbala Adekola