FC Midtjylland of Denmark winger, Riliwan Hassan has come under fire from several of his childhood colleagues and mentors, after donating a haul of sports kits to a football academy in Ikorodu, Lagos State.
While other footballers are praised for making similar gestures to youth programmes in encouragement of developing talents, a stark reverse is the case for Hassan, as a cross-section of former companions allege he has forgotten those who nurtured him.
Such was the number of scolding comments that trailed a post on social media, which was actually intended to portray the former FC Ebedie of Sagamu winger in good light, as a foreign-based player who is giving something back to the communities at home in Nigeria.
However, in contrast of the initial post by a youthful coach, who had apparently arranged for the donations to be made to the academy in Ikorodu, but Hassan unexpectedly got an avalanche of flak alongside earlier congratulatory message that trailed the original post.
One of those who admonished Hassan was a Surulere, Lagos-based youth football coach, Jamiu Issah, who disclosed that he was the one that called the FC Midtjylland star on phone to report to camp for the match that eventually led to the lad’s breakthrough at Ebedie.
However, Issah, who had been Hassan’s colleague at Community Action Through Sports (CATS), which was sponsored by The British Council, as well as his senior at National Grassroots Dream Team, both based in the Surulere axis ogf Lagos, said the FC Midtjylland winger has not kept in touch nor thought of donating any material to either of the two projects.
Although Hassan followed up his initial donation in Ikorodu with similar gestures to other academies in Surulere and Agege, Issah, who spent some years in England before returning home to take up a job of training youths at Lagos National Stadium, hinted that charity begins at home.
Issah stated in reaction to the first scathing post at Hassan: “Bros you are absolutely right. The boy forget his root and where he started from.”