BY KUNLE SOLAJA
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has announced a partnership agreement with Morocco.
According to a media release, the agreement is anchored on the need for a more robust and cordial relationship between the Nigeria and Kingdom of Morocco.
It was the aftermath of a meeting in Abuja between the President of the NFF, Ibrahim Musa Gusau and the Ambassador of Morocco to Nigeria, Moha Ou Ali Tagma.
Sports Village Square recalls that similar agreement was signed on 26 May 2017 in Morocco between the NFF and the Federation Royale Marocaine de Football in Rabat.
Another leg of the agreement was signed by Shehu Dikko of the now defunct LMC and Said Naciri of
Ligue Nationale de Football Professionnel (LNFP).
The implementation of the agreement was never seen just like an older one signed in Ibadan in 1984 between the managment of the then IICC Shooting Stars and Magreb Fez of Morocco when both met in the quarter-finals of the then African Cup of Champions Clubs.
It was signed in the Ibadan house of Late Chief Lekan Salami. The agreement which was to see the two clubs exchange visits annually, was never implemented.
Accompanying the NFF boss to the signing of the latest agreement were NFF 1st Vice President, Felix Anyansi-Agwu and board members Margaret Icheen and Sharif Rabiu Inuwa.
According to the release, Gusau informed the Moroccan ambassador, Tagma that the visit was both in appreciation of the co-operation that the NFF and Nigeria Football teams have received from the embassy in the past and in recognition of the great role that Morocco is playing in African football at the moment.
“We have just come in as new board of the NFF, and having served on the previous board and fully aware of the co-operation that Your Excellency and Mission Staff have afforded the NFF and Nigeria Football over the years, and the need to foster stronger ties with Morocco, we have decided to come and explore the possibility of excellent partnership agreements that could benefit both countries in the long run.
“The accomplishments of Morocco in the area of infrastructure and organizational capacity cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone fully involved in African Football will appreciate the role that Morocco is playing at the present. As we speak, our Bayelsa Queens are playing in the CAF Women Champions League ongoing in Morocco.
“Our Super Falcons played in the Women AFCON there a few months ago and the Super Eagles played an AFCON qualifier there in June.”
“The FA President, Mr. Fouzi Lekjaa is a friend and brother, and very passionate about the African game. The NFF will seek ties with Morocco that will ultimately benefit Nigeria Football in the area of development.”
The Moroccan ambassador, Tagma congratulated Gusau and the new NFF Board, while underscoring the existing excellent relationship between the two countries, particularly in football.
“Nigeria has a strong pedigree in football in Africa and the world. Names like (Jay Jay) Okocha ring bells everywhere. They have placed Nigeria’s name on a high pedestal globally.
“It is a pity Nigeria did not qualify for Qatar 2022, but you are up there among the strongest and most revered. We are inviting you to visit Morocco to talk to the Football Federation on how our two countries can have an even stronger relationship.
“Someone once told me that only two things can draw a crowd of 100,000 and above: religion and football.”