President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Musa Gusau, has outlined his plan for Nigerian football. Gusau revealed this during the NFF Stakeholder Workshop through the support of the FIFA Talent Development Scheme which was held in Abuja on Thursday and attended by states’ FA chairmen, coaches, administrators and others.
According to Gusau, the program which is grassroots-focused aimed at building and strengthening the various national teams with players who can stand shoulder to shoulder with their counterparts around the world, bring laurels and trophies and make Nigeria proud.
He said the NFF wants to see players who will combine education with their careers and will not be exploited or cheated by anybody wherever they may find themselves.
He, however, assured of the Federation’s support for state FAs and academies who are ready to key into the vision to develop the country’s football.
“This program should be the beginning of change as far as Nigerian football is concerned. Because as we said we are starting from the grassroots. Then by the year 2030, we expect to see the products of what we start today in our various national teams from the U17 to the Super Eagles.
“From today to 2030, we have seven years. If you have a 16 or a 17 year old he will be 23 or 24 by 2030 and from age 23 you can play for the Super Eagles. We want to see them in the U17, U20 and the Super Eagles. It’s not just about telling to come for this program today, we are going to follow this program to the latter. This will be from the state to the national level. We have to do what we have to do before we can get any support from FIFA and they will help us to achieve our target.
“For the state FAs, we are going to empower you to make sure that you do your job, for the Academies, we are going to guide you professionally. We want every child playing football to be educated. We don’t want any child to serve as a slave. We want everything to go on professionally and FIFA is ready to support us. We realised that most of the kids do not possess the education to play football.
“I want to advise those of you with academies not to focus on boys alone but also the girls. We need to empower the girl-child to be part of our football. You will agree that women’s football is coming up. A lot of young girls are aspiring to be footballers they only want opportunity and the conducive environment to do so,” Gusau stated.
FIFA High-performance Specialist, Abdul Faisal Chibsah, who represented the world football governing body at the event assured the NFF of support and also called on every stakeholder in Nigeria to do so.
“We have made commitment to the Federation (NFF) and assured that this will materialise and if we all contribute like the president said, surely we will get to the top.”
Dignitaries and stakeholders included a representative of the Sports Development Minister, Director General of the National Institute for Sports, Professor Olawale Morounkola; Member of the House Committee on Sports, Aminu Balele Kurfi; NFF’s vice presidents Chief Felix Anyansi Agwu and Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye; Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa; former NFF Board Member, High Chief Emeka Inyama, secretaries of the State FAs and former Nigeria international players including former Green Eagles captain, Chief Segun Odegbami.
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