Shola Akinlade, co-founder of payment solutions platform, Paystack, has founded a football club named Sporting Lagos, to “incubate the next generation of talents” in Nigeria.
Akinlade made the announcement in a couple of tweets posted on his official Twitter handle (@shollsman).
“I’m excited to introduce a community project that a group of friends and I have been working on: Sporting Lagos Football Club @SportingLagos. We’re creating a modern football club to incubate the next generation of Nigeria’s sporting talent. And we need your help.
“We know we can’t do it alone. We need the creativity and energy of an entire community to make this a success. This is why I’m inviting you to become a Founding Member of @SportingLagos. See the full announcement and learn more about member benefits.
“We’re playing in the 2nd division NNL with ambitions to break into the 1st division NPFL. Come watch our first game!
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“While I helped get it started, Sporting Lagos will be led by a strong team including @genakhena, @ColinUdoh & @folasanwo I remain fully focused on @paystack & building payments systems for Africa
“We’re starting with a club but we have big ambitions. Can we build an academy? Can we build arenas that feel safe, fun & inclusive? Can we build something that lasts generations? And creates opportunity for millions? I think we can, Let’s do this.
“The Sporting Lagos team will be led by veteran journalist and Director of Football for the MFM FC of Lagos, Godwin Enakhena, former Super Eagles media officer and ESPN journalist, Colin Udoh alongside Tech entrepreneur, Fola Olatunji-David.
According to Shola Akinlade, he was inspired by the heroics of Rashidi Yekini at the USA ’94 World Cup and the U-23 Eagles at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
Watch the video below.
According to Akinlade, the Sporting Lagos team will make its debut in the Nigerian National League (NNL) where it will play its first match as a football team at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos State on Saturday, 12th February 2022.
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Reacting to the post by Shola Akinlade, Twitter users were psyched by the announcement of Sporting Lagos, with some hailing and looking forward to the actualisation of the team’s vision.
Here are some reactions towards the estbalishment of Sporting Lagos football club of Lagos state.
@femilonge Bro, I’m in. I had a conversation on something like this with @genakhena years ago facilitated by @olywal. Great to see it come to life. I’m becoming a founding member sharp sharp
@adetolaov Congratulations @shollsman exciting to see how far this has gone since you started incubating it. Can’t wait to see the impact!
@KylianUkobasi Wow! Finally somebody innovative has remembered us young talents. This is a welcome progress. Sir please let your club also consider young players outside Lagos too. Please hold trials everywhere sir. I’m a footballer and some of us don’t get the chance to attend Lagos trials
@ecevarist Was watching one of your 1on1s , you spoke about how you wanted to play soccer before the whole startup thing, but didnt move forward because of talent and all, just great to see you still found a way to make impact in that space.
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@jibolaowo This is bold. I like this… Sports is another goldmine yet to be fully tapped into by Nigerians and we have the raw materials in abundance.
@OsaGz Great initiative! I’m ready to volunteer
@oviosu this is so awesome, Shola! Congrats – it is here!! Looking forward to @SportingLagos games
@shawnifee This is something I’ve always been genuinely passionate about, and I’m glad you and the team has brought this to life I’m definitely joining in as a founding member right away!
@TheDigitalMay This is amazing!!!