Rivers State Government and Real Madrid Football Club have signed a ratification agreement for the development of Real Madrid Academy, Port Harcourt into an international football academy.
The agreement signing ceremony took place on Monday at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of Real Madrid Football Club. The signature event held at the Presidency Reception Centre of the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
The signature of the ratification Protocol was executed by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and the Executive Vice President of Real Madrid Football Club Foundation, Enrique Sanchez.
In an address, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said that the State Government is preparing the Real Madrid Academy as a veritable pathway for the empowerment of Rivers Children.
He said: “We are preparing the Real Madrid Academy as a veritable pathway for our young stars to be international football talents and for them to realise their dreams.
“We will offer them exposure, nurturing opportunities and mentorship by world-renowned professionals at the Real Madrid Academy “.
He informed the Real Madrid Football Club management that the Rivers State Government has already exhibited seriousness by developing the needed infrastructure at the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt.
He said that in establishing the Real Madrid Academy, the Rivers State Government took into consideration the culture and reality of the state.
“Taking the interest of our youths, the Real Madrid Academy is designed for culture and holistic programmes with a comprehensive package for the acquisition of high-level knowledge in a comfortable and inspiring environment “, he said.
He added that the Real Madrid Academy will also serve as an avenue to grow the economy of Rivers State, which is the second-largest in the country. Governor Wike urged officials of Real Madrid Football Club to serve as ambassadors of Rivers State to the rest of Europe.
Executive Vice President of Real Madrid Football Club Foundation, Enrique Sanchez commended the Rivers State Government for its commitment to using football as a tool to empower youths.
He assured the Rivers State Government that the Real Madrid Foundation will continue to partner with it for the training and exposure of Rivers Children.
Sanchez said that the partnership with the Rivers State Government will be expanded to include local schools in Rivers State.
The Director of Institutional Relations in Real Madrid Football Club, Mr Emilio Butragueno said that Real Madrid appreciates any authority that promotes the wellbeing of children irrespective of their background.
He thanked Governor Wike for the initiative of using football as a platform to reach out to different categories of Rivers children.
Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Ambassador Susan Aderonke praised Governor Wike for his investments in the development of football.
“This is a legacy that Governor Wike is leaving for Nigerian Children. We are happy with his investments in developing the future of our Children “, she said.
Earlier, Director of Institutional Relations in Real Madrid Football Club, Mr Emilio Butragueno took Governor Wike and his entourage on a tour of facilities at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Area Manager of Real Madrid Foundation for Africa and the Middle East, Mr Inigo Vallejo coordinated the signature event witnessed by an official of Interact Sports led by their Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jihad Saade.
On 21st September 2019, the Rivers State Government unveiled the splendid Real Madrid Football Academy constructed by the Nyesom Ezenwo Wike Administration to promote professional football.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike was accompanied by Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah,
Senator Representing Rivers South-east, Senator Barry Mpigi, Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Ehie Edison, Former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt Hon Austin Opara, Senator Olaka Nwogu, Senator Sam Anyanwu, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, Former Commissioner of Sports, Boma Iyaye, Former Rivers Lawmaker, Felix Nwaeke and Former Commissioner, Marcus Nlenji.