File photo: Agencies
Africa's soccer development is set for a new era following a joint partnership between Integral, the leading African sport management company, and Family & Football, one of the most prominent global soccer agencies.
The partnership is focused on augmenting the level of soccer talent identification, development and management on the African continent.
The joint venture partnership is a landmark achievement for Integral's football division and the experience of Family & Football will assist the company in providing quality, first class representation to the flood of soccer talent dotted all over Africa.
Family & Football was founded by Dr. Erkut Sogut, a lawyer and registered soccer agent intermediary, and has a foothold in many locations across the globe.
The agency came into prominence by negotiating one of the most lucrative player contracts in Premiere League history for Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, whom it also represents.
Earlier in the year, Integral hosted Sogut when he visited Nigeria with his close friend and associate Misha Sher, vice-president of sport and entertainment at Mediacom, who played a crucial role in forming the relationship between both companies.
Sogut said Nigeria, Africa and Integral are strategic partners and that they believe in their potential.
"With Integral, we will showcase African footballers in a different way because they deserve it. The continent deserves it. It has some of the best talents I have ever seen, like Jay – Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and many more," Sogut said.
"But our ties extend beyond football. I am passionate about education and I see the quality of people here; desirous of learning, of leaving a positive impact on the world. So together we will support them with our work."
Abimbola Ilo, Integral's managing director, said they are excited to be working fully now with Erkut and his team, joining forces together to become an even more dominant force in football representation, management and player trading.
"Importantly, the scope of the joint venture extends beyond just the representation side of things and involves education and charity too, which are equally important to us," Ilo said.