Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad laid the foundation for Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt on Monday.
This was performed during the foundation laying ceremony of the Academy at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium.
“I commend you for the initiative because this project is not only for Port Harcourt, Nigeria but for Africa. I pray God to make this dream a reality so that you can achieve your target,” Ahmad said.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike commended the partnership with Madrid and described it as a dream come true.
“We are indeed happy that it has come to reality. We once travelled to Madrid some time ago so we can have a partnership with the club and afterwards, many people felt it was never going to happen. But I want to let you all know that everything has a process which should be followed.
“I am grateful to Madrid for partnering with us. The Memorandum of understanding is signed in a way it can’t be scrapped even if another government comes into power, because it will be difficult. This initiative involves the youth and it will engage them properly.
Governor Wike revealed that the academy will be for children between the ages of 8 and 16 of Rivers State indigenes. He however said non-indigenes who reside in Port Harcourt will also be considered.
In his response, ambassador Real Madrid CF, Spain Ricardo Gallego appreciated the Rivers State Government for partnering with the academy.