The NFL opens the way for African players with a development camp in Ghana. Following this past camp…
The NFL opens the way for African players with a development camp in Ghana.
Following the camp this past weekend with Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owasu-Kuramawa, who is of Ghanaian descent, the league announced that the three-day camp will be held in Accra’s capital in June. It will show players who had previously participated in regional events led by Osi Umenyiora, the defending end of the Super Bowl winning twice with the New York Giants.
Specific dates for the camp have been set in June and a fan event has not been set, but the camp received the endorsement of Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahmoud Bomia last weekend.
“Bringing the NFL into Africa has been a long nightmare for me,” said Ominyara, whose parents are from Nigeria. “Today, that dream is a reality. The opportunities that will come are unknown to many Africans, and we are grateful for them. We can’t wait to show the world what we can do.
Umenyiora has set up a football program in Aprez, Nigeria, and has held regional camps in South Africa and Ghana, with upcoming camps in Nigeria. Players who impress on three camps will be invited to NFL camps in Accra. The idea is to further identify and develop talent in Africa.
Three Nigerian players – Kehindi Hassan Oguni, Chagbo Roi Mbaeteka and Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi – got the chance to participate in the NFL’s International Combine in London last October through Umenyiora and The Uprise. They were then selected to train in the United States as part of the International Player Pathway program.
“We look forward to hosting our first camp in Ghana and will be active in Nigeria and other African countries in the future,” said Demani Leach, NFL Chief Operating Officer for International Events. “We want to provide an opportunity for the next generation of African prospects … to showcase their talent. As we continue to look for ways to strengthen the pipeline of international players in the NFL, we hope This camp, and future camps, will provide a way forward for aspiring players from across the continent.
“We are passionate about international combinations, the International Player Pathways program, and the ability to identify talent for players ages 16 to 19 with the opportunity to attend NFL Academy in London.”
As the NFL discovers potential players globally, it has held international meetings in the UK, Australia, and Germany. This season, in addition to four regular season games in London, the NFL will play for the first time in Munich in the regular season.
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