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Nigerian Football

Six Nigeria’s GOAL Projects for Commissioning

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The Nigeria Football Federation will soon embark on a nationwide developmental project for the football associations of the various states, in the form of mini Secretariats, NFF President Amaju Pinnick, told a gathering at the Lagos State Football Association’s Ekofootball Review Public Presentation on Wednesday.
He said the project, to be financed by a major partner of the NFF, will see six such projects completed in Jigawa, Osun, Bayelsa, Borno, Kwara and Abia States before the end of this year.
“We are working real hard to see that the focus returns to the grassroots. The states are closer to the grassroots and we have a responsibility to encourage them in that area, while we also work very hard to see that we qualify for the World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations championships.
“Football administration is never a journey, but a destination. Each administration will do its best and the next one takes it from there.
“But one thing our administration is determined to achieve is to ensure the NFF attains financial independence before our tenure is over. In this regard, the recent passage of the NFF Bill is a welcome development.
“Lagos State is really setting the pace. We commend their initiatives and encourage other States to emulate their style and engagement.”
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association/NFF Senior Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, declared that grassroots football is the lifeblood of the game.
“Our administration realized this immediately we came into office. And our achievements in this area testify to the work we have put into it.
“Today, we have 64,000 kids in our U15 Future Stars’ data –base and over 36,000 in the U13 team. Position is temporary; posterity will judge you based on what you are able to achieve.
“Our vision is to be the best football association in Africa. Ekofootball is our philosophy for re-defining the style and standard of football and of football administration in Lagos State.”
Players like Super Eagles’ Dele Alampasu and Wilfred Ndidi, and Super Falcons ace Asisat Oshoala passed through Ekofootball’s developmental furnace.
The presentation revolved around Lagos FA’s well –structured developmental programme, the new Ekofootball academy, its corporate social responsibility and great rapport with Corporate Nigeria.
At the occasion, leading football diarist, Kunle Solaja, spoke about the history of football in Lagos and Nigeria and pointed out the error in the “Founded 1945” tag the NFF has in its emblem.
With documented evidences, he told the gathering that the NFF was founded much earlier, and that 1933 was the correct date.
Another foremost journalist and sports marketer, Ejiro Omonode, made a presentation on using football as a marketing tool.
Akinwunmi disclosed at the end that the much –talked about ‘game changer’ is a plan the LSFA has put in place to start a profit –based Super League in the state in a few months, with the focus on having community –based clubs, which is already drawing enthusiasm from various individuals and groups.

Also at the occasion were a representative of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission Deji Tinubu, Hon. Adedamola Kasumu, NFF Executive Committee members Otunba Sunday Dele-Ajayi and Ibrahim Gusau, NNL chairman Chidi Okenwa and NWFL chairman Aisha Falode.
Some states’ FA chairmen were also in attendance. They included Ganiyu Majekodunmi, James Odeniran and Ayo Alabi and Lagos FA vice chairman.
Also present were the NRA president Tade Azeez, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo, Mutiu Adepoju, representatives of Spanish La Liga, Peter Rufai, Tilewa Adebajo, Obi Asika, Opeyemi Okunoren, Deji Okoya-Thomas, Mitchel Obi, Harry Iwuala, Dr. Isaac Ayodele, SWAN President Honour Sirawoo, Yomi Kuku, Bolaji Yusuf, Mrs Koiki of Greensprings International School, Barr. Dudu-Orumen, leading sports editors/managers and other football stakeholders.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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