Magnus Rex Danquah, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Ghana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, has called on Nigeria to consider teaming up with Ghana or Cote D’ Ivoire to co-host the 2030 World Cup to serve as a tool for economic boom for the hosts as well as the sub-region.
“Sports business holds the key of the future towards the re-emergence of Nigeria to recapture its rightful place globally, including proper stratification of roles and positions.
“Personally, I think it is about time for Africa and Nigeria policymakers and public institutions to re-think their attitudes and mentality towards the role of football in driving economic development”.
Speaking at the 2nd International Football Expo in Nigeria, Rex Danquah said “Football is very important not only as a driving force in creating positive change in the areas of development and peace; but for today’s youth, even more so when unemployment is their single most troublesome dilemma.
“It is again the single most influential contributor to building leadership skills among the youth, as it empowers them, gives them a healthy alternative to potentially dangerous, harmful ways of life like streetism”.
Mr Rex Danquah said stakeholders must accept a holistic vision to re-define the new role of football in driving Nigeria’s economic development, to enable them fashion a new legal framework for the facilitation, promotion, development, growth and administration for a better private sector driven football economy.
According Rex Danquah, there is the need to appreciate the role of football in driving Nigeria’s economic development, hence it will be prudent for an economic impact assessment to be carried out on football and football events not only to determine its contribution to the national economy but also quantify its strategic importance for national development planning and its use as economic indicator.
“Once we know the impact of all the monies that the Central Government spends on all the national teams for various international assignments, the number of people employed in the football industry, their contribution to the development of the informal sector, its multiplier effect on the general economy, our general perceptions on the state of our football will definitely change”. He stated.
The Chief Operating Officer said “If we are able to quantify what we lose as a nation for not qualifying for various events like the World Cup and Olympic Games in real terms and not the emotional cost, then we can appreciate better such impacts.
“With the results of such an assessment, we might begin to crave for greater private sector participation and lesser central government involvement”. Rex Danquah noted.
He said over the past years all manner of people, including politicians and football administrators in Africa and more especially Nigeria, have described football as a big business; and yet the facts on the ground does not support the claim.
Rex Danquah said any industry, whether manufacturing, mining, energy, oil and gas, medicine and medicare and construction, should be an organized economic activity, connected with the production or delivery of a particular product or range of products or services.
The former COO said what the continent is witnessing is a thriving but disorganized football business as an economic activity of various sub-activities and linkages from the footballer to the managers to the broadcasting / events rights, merchandising and licensing to their supporting staff and services, with various professionals to boot without the requisite standardization, even as it has become excessively commercialized.
He said football as an emerging industry holds great potential of new career paths and professions adding that there is the need for a change in attitudes and mentalities to realize these potentials.
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