Chairman of Diamond Football Academy, Mr. Martin Ikechukwu Apugo has revealed that his outfit would soon complete its 3,000 sitter-capacity stadium in Umuahia.
He said he embarked on the project as his contribution to sports development in Abia State, saying it would aid in nurturing budding talents to ‘super stars on the world Stage.’
Apugo revealed how he was instrumental to the emergence of some young players, including Kelechi Nwakali, who captained Nigeria’s U-17 team to win the 2015 Cadet World Cup in Chile, and Samuel Chukwueze, who won the Adidas Bronze Boot for scoring the fastest goal in the same championship.
Apugo, who was the immediate past General Manager of Abia State Environmental Sanitation Agency, added that Nwakali and Chukwueze were later signed by Arsenal Football Club of England and Villarreal of Spain respectively.
He said the Diamond Stadium had already hosted the 2018 edition of the annual Diamond Youth Soccer Tournament that attracted “notable personalities like the president of Portuguese side, Nacional Madeira, Mr. Macedo Alvarez Rui Antonio, Madeira Vice President, Mr. Deadreu Federico Augusto and top scouts like Paulo Andrade Faria (Portugal), PSG scouts Rolland Merci and Didier Sitou (France).
He believes that his election into the National Assembly would position him to advance football and sporting activities beyond the state, adding, “As a pathfinder and trailblazer, I have founded and championed various successful organisations and initiatives that strive to foster civic engagement and promote social cohesion and equality.”