Nigeria, the most populous Africa country and current champion in Africa cup of nation, is often referred to as ‘The Giant of Africa’. She is one of the most popular and successful countries in African football. In spite of youth unemployment and poverty, Nigerians embrace football as a comforter and a great gift of humanity. Youth soccer varies in categories, levels and stages, starting from street soccer which is now gaining a lot of stance and sponsorship. It brings youth from various streets in a local government together to play for medals and trophies.
The schools also contribute to youth football by organizing inter-school competitions such as the Principals’ Cup Competition which cuts across various states of the Federation. Generally, in the Nigerian football history, the youth soccer has been particularly more successful considering the fact that Nigeria performs better in these categories (both male and female) over the years. Nigeria youth soccer has however been constrained with some difficulties such as poverty, age fraud and illiteracy. Most youth footballers are school drop-outs who cannot afford tuition fees or age fraudsters who want a longer career span while some consider education a burden. Also, there is a very low level of sponsorship resulting into inadequate facilities and equipment needed for the game. The government and non-government organizations are trying to curb these problems by trying to support both financially and morally.
According to World Bank statistics released in 2007, 70 million Nigerians are unemployed of which majority are youths; and, in another report by World Bank and DFID, unemployment amongst youths between the ages of 15-29 years of age is above 60%. A recent report suggests that 65% of the total Nigerian population is between the ages 0 – 25; therefore any commercial pursuit aimed at this segment of the population will surely ‘hit the mark’ provided it is well planned and projected.