The Media Officer to Nigeria’s senior national soccer team has pleaded with billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, to reconsider his decision to buy English Premier League club, Arsenal. Dangote, whose first move at buying the Gunners in 2010 was rejected, had last week revealed fresh efforts by him at buying the team. But Toying Ibitoye thinks Dangote should focus his energies on improving football in Africa, rather than pumping cash into one of the world’s superpowers.
“Maybe it is the right business decision for him, that is left for him to decide, but we can only appeal to him that while planning and strategising on what he wants to do in terms of buying Arsenal in the future, he could also look inwards as well to help develop our domestic game to the level where the English Premier League is at the moment,” Ibitoye told Daily Mirror.
“I mean, what we have lacked in Nigeria is a proper business structure for our clubs, a proper business plan for our clubs. And if a man of Aliko’s calibre is interested in setting a structure in place for Nigerian football, that could just be the turnaround that we’ve been waiting for.” He added: “We know that Nigeria at the moment, we have a lot of challenges.
Infrastructural challenges, power, no power, a lot of these challenges are here in Nigeria but it has not stopped Aliko Dangote from making a success of his cement business, of his sugar business, of his other businesses.
“The same thing can happen in our sports, in our football. The environment may not be perfect at the moment, but somebody like Aliko Dangote coming in, setting a structure around his own interest in football can begin to draw a road map that other billionaires.”