The Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick and his English Football Association counterpart, Greg Dyke on Tuesday agreed closer working collaboration.
The two FA chairmen met at the FA headquarters at the Wembley Stadium, London and shared ideas on how both countries can take advantage of closer ties to advance their football interest.
theeconomyng.com gathered that the Pinnick-led NFF has turned to the English FA for technical support, advice and mentorship that could help fast track sustainable football development in Nigeria. “Apart from the fact that England colonized our country, and that London remains a first stop for many of our country’s people looking to sojourn abroad, we also see English FA as ideal and perfect role models against which we would want to build our game,” Pinnick said.
He explained that Nigerians admire the culture of football in England. “While you do not have the best results at international level, the football culture here is second to none, and we want to learn from you,” he said.
The NFF boss also wants the Super Eagles to play a friendly match against the England’s ‘Three Lions’. “We believe it is time we had an England/Nigeria match at Wembley, and we have done our homework and found that you have nothing on in the FIFA window in October,” he told his English counterpart.
Though, the proposal for an England /Nigeria friendly match in October was declared not feasible by the English FA boss, he agreed to discuss with the department managing the England National Team and the manager, Roy Hodgson to make an arrangements for such fixture as soon as possible.
Mr. Dyke also expressed his interest in Africa and desire to utilize a closer relationship with a great footballing nation like Nigeria to further advance his country’s interest. “After we lost our 2018 Bid (to host the FIFA World Cup), it became apparent that we needed to build our international ties, and we need true friends, so I am very keen on this,” he said, promising to visit Nigeria soon for further engagement.
By Olisemeka Obeche