Monday, November 16, 2009

Gateway FC Still In Talks With Okocha

Abeokuta-based Globacom Premier League club, Gateway Football Club, has continued to hold talks with former Super Eagles’ captain, Austin Okocha, on the possibility of teaming up with the side in the current campaign of Nigeria’s top-flight division.
Ogun State sports commissioner, Bukola Olopade, who also doubles as chairman of the club, told on Sunday that discussions with Okocha are still ongoing and an agreement is yet to be reached.
But Olopade did not disclose the level at which his club and the former Bolton Wanderers and Paris Saint Germain midfielder are pegged on.
He, however, sounded optimistic that there is a chance that the 37-year-old ex-Nigeria captain could end up signing up for the Rock City Boys for this season.
“We are still in talks with Okocha about joining us. Sincerely I can’t go further than the fact that we are still talking to him. I just want you to know that in every discussion such as this there is always a window of opportunity,” Olopade said in an interview with
The Ogun sports commissioner also explained that the move to bring Okocha to the club is beyond winning silverware, as the former Fenerbahce man still has a lot to impart to upcoming players and believes that players at Gateway FC would have the chance to benefit from.
He also joked that Gateway FC’s discussion with Okocha is not wholly centred on financial terms, as the Abeokuta side is not capable of paying the former player huge wages like what he earned while playing for Bolton, Paris St. Germain or Fenerbahce.
Olopade added that if Okocha eventually joins Gateway FC it could open new doors to some of our players abroad to return home and feature in the Nigerian league like their Brazilian counterparts.
He also pointed to Garba Lawal as example of a player that returned to the country and agreed to join Lobi Stars.
“I think Okocha’s presence in the league would be of immense help to the growth of the game and especially bringing fans to the stadia once again. At least we have seen Garba Lawal with Lobi Stars, and I believe that it can work. I just hope that our other national team players after retirement would decide to come back home and play for one club or the other in the league and share what they have learnt abroad,” he said.

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