Mr. Damilare Orimoloye, the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sports, stated on Friday that the state would henceforth take some level of responsibility for the football clubs residing in the state.
Orimoloye made this revelation in an exclusive interview while reflecting on the activities and interventions of the state in the past year, 2023, and plans for the upcoming year, 2024.
Recall that Lagos State now has one of the largest concentrations of football clubs domiciled in it, with one Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) club, six Nigeria National League (NNL) clubs, and two Nigeria Women's Football League (NWFL) clubs, among others.
Acknowledging the enormous responsibilities in supporting the teams to thrive and providing a conducive environment for their success, Orimoloye alluded that the state would take partial ownership of the clubs.
"We are ready as the state government and Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) to support all the teams residing in the state without leaving any behind.
"We all felt the pain when MFM FC was demoted from the elite league, and we don't want a repeat of that in Lagos State. In fact, we won't give room for it.
"We want to sustain the elite football league in Lagos State, so we will give every needed support, getting the mandate from our sports-loving Gov. Sanwo-Olu.
"Gov. Sanwo-Olu has declared that every football club representing Lagos State will be getting support. He is now taking ownership that these clubs are Lagos flag bearers and that they are his team," he said.
Orimoloye, who is also a board member of LSFA, emphasized that the football clubs in Lagos State would not be left to carry all the burdens of administration, as the state FA was ready to shed some of the loads off their heads.
"Our job is to deliver the mandate of the governor. We are going to support these teams in whatever capacity we can come in, and I can say that one of the female clubs has already enjoyed such a privilege.
"We are also helping some of the football clubs to get private sponsorships from investors, given the right atmosphere to achieve such.
"From henceforth, whenever any of the football clubs are going for competition, we will supply a physiotherapist and an additional trainer under the bill of the government to boost the technical crew.
"We know that 'a good for one is a good for all.' This is our commitment towards supporting football, mostly loved by Lagosians. We know that Lagos is a sports city," he said.