Ekiti State FA: Bayo Olanlege, the exceptional football administrator

The famous leader of Ekiti football is the most underrated administrator in Nigeria, however, Bayo Olanlege needs no introduction or validation because his work ethic and dexterity speak volumes.


Chairman Ekiti State Football Association, Bayo Olanlege has been too quiet to be noticed, but paradoxically, too big and formidable, especially on the footballing scene, to be ignored.


Bayo Olanlege has done much more for South West Football under the able leadership of the immediate past 1st vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation and Lagos State Football Association Boss, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi.

It was even said he is an upcoming leader and I asked, how can an industrious 51-year-old super administrator be ‘upcoming’?


He is retired from the Ekiti State Ministry of Education and also holds a Master’s in Business Administration. One now wonders how such a person be ‘upcoming’.


The Ekiti State FA supremo was recognized for his painstaking hard work when the state government honoured his contributions to football development.


In terms of experience in the delivery of social services in the business of football, Olanlege has set a new bar from a place without organised football less than four years ago.


He has put Ekiti on the National Football map. His exploits dot the football landscape.


A man of virtue and simplicity, Bayo Olanlege was never lacking in ideas as he kept rolling out innovative ideas to keep football growing in Ekiti State.


Not even the Ekiti State-run football club, Ekiti United, matches his strides with the Ekiti FA – and he achieved all that without collecting a dime from the government to run the FA.


His Ekiti Football projects are one of the best in the country, Coaches and Referees training has been part of the FA yearly activities and he is unrelenting.


Stakeholders conference and the trainer’s programme are part of the capacity-building agenda that the Ekiti State instituted to enable a good football ecosystem for the state.


Under his watch, football pet projects thrived with many football academies springing up in all the local football units in the state.


Ekiti Bees, a football academy alongside the Panthers (the junior Bees) are professionally run and catered for.


Ekiti FA is one of the most transparent football FA in Nigeria with accountability for their stewardship.


A fervent football aficionado, an admirable, consummate football administrator, an epitome of gentility and moral value, Boyo as he is fondly called has combined native wisdom with education to live a life of decency, devoid of acrimony and rancour.


They called him the future of Nigeria Football but they have forgotten that the future is now.


Bayo Olanlege is ubiquitous.




Story Credit: Akinkunle Bolarinwa 


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