By Bida Elly David
The president of South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) has slammed the government and oil companies for failing to invest in football sector depositing much attention to the oil sector and urged them to prioritize venture in football to improve joy and prosperity of the people.
He raised this concern during the second day of the power and gas conference held in Juba to analyze the status of the gas and power in the Country.
Speaking during the event, Augustino Maduot Parek, the SSFA president said that investing in South Sudan Football would boost absolute moral of the national players and the young generation to put much efforts in joining sports with high interest.
“We need to explore football or sports rather than exploring oil and power. We also need to connect football into oil and power. South Sudan has got power of sports and you can recognize when we won in basketball that all of us were having joy. Therefore, when you invest in oil and power, the results is to have prosperity. Why are we not continuing to invest in football so that we increase the joy and prosperity of our people? When we want to invest in youth and employ youth, there are a lot of talents that football can realize. Football can bring people together and can go across our ethnicity.”
He said that SSFA has been impeded by lack of football pitches across the country where there is only one major pitch with bit of improvement and the only operational pitch in the Country is at Buluk.
“For operators and the investors who are investing in oil, do we have improved pitch in Palouch, Melut and Renk? What are you doing to these young men? Young men want to play and I hope very many of you here were footballers or sport people. Now we have a FIFA calendar that is supposed to be played but people are not playing in Malakal, Palouch where you have oil, in Renk and Bentiu and this is where we have oil. You investors need to invest in youth since this is where prosperity can come and where you can show that you are real investors.”
Maduot revealed that South Sudan children are facing high rate of desperation due to shortage of funding to the football sector being one of the major elements in sports and challenged the oil companies to extend their hands towards investing in football.
“Can’t our investors invest in our football? We have TOTAL Energy being the sponsor of AFCON, of African football. Which oil company in South Sudan is investing in football or in sports? I want to bring attention to the attendants of this conference that we are suffering and our children are suffering. South Sudan football stadium is the only field we have in South Sudan,” he said.
In continuation, he added that the field in Juba was only benefiting players in Juba but most areas in the oil fields have no pitch to promote football activities and he appealed to all the oil industries to seriously invest in sports since the Country has got kids with talents.