February, 14 2023.
The Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have reserved special praise for football's World Governing body, (FIFA) for paying greater attention, demonstrating interest and the commitment of funds towards sustaining the growth of women’s football, in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa.
The Executive Committee gave the thumbs up, in a communique it issued after a meeting held on Monday, at the Glass House Secretariat of the federation, at Package B of the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The NFF also expressed delight that Nigeria will be participating in the Four-Nation Revelation Cup Tournament, holding in Leon, Mexico from February 15 to 21, 2023; as the tournament would help in getting the Super Falcons prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand this summer.
The NFF Board noted with excitement that the other three participating nations: Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia are also World Cup-bound, and would give the nine time African Champions, the right competition to help Coach Randy Waldron also prepare well for another preparatory tournament in Turkey, in April; to effectively blend the team, and have the players in their best shape, before the Mundial.
The Board also exhorted Coach José Peseiro to ensure that no stone is left unturned in rebuilding of the men's Senior National Team, the Super Eagles.
Precisely, the Portuguese was charged to put together a strong team that will amass all six points from their upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against Guinea Bissau next month, as such a strong beginning would make it much easier for Nigeria to qualify for the 2023 AFCON finals, in Côte d'Ivoire.
Nigeria's subsequent qualifying matches are against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome & Principe.
Similarly, the Board charged the Under-23 men's team, otherwise called the Olympic Eagles to go all out and defeat their Guinean opponents, in their final qualification fixture for the Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament that will produce Africa’s flag bearers for the football event of next year’s Olympics in Paris.
The Board also expressed their satisfaction with the level of preparedness of the U-20 men’s team, the Flying Eagles for the upcoming Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Egypt. The team currently in Morocco, to put finishing touches to its buildup has remained unbeaten in 18 friendly matches, including games against Zambia in Abuja and Congo in Morocco.
The Board then charged the team to prioritize their qualification for the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals in Indonesia, by reaching the semi-finals in Egypt.
Like the U-20 team, the NFF Board also expressed its satisfaction with the preparations so far made by the U-17 Boys team, the Golden Eaglets, ahead of this year’s Africa U-17 Cup of Nations to be staged in Algeria from April 29 – May 19; and asserted the need for the team to be firmly focused on punching a World Cup ticket for Nigeria, while laying claim to the title.
Meanwhile, the impasse that appeared to have marred the national Federation Cup appears resolved, and AITEO the title sponsors eased out, as the NFF Board made no mention of it, while announcing that the grand finalé of this year’s competition will hold a week before the final round of matches of the ongoing Abridged Nigeria Premier Football League season.
No mention of the host city was made, but the NFF Board believes the timing will allow the winner to prepare adequately for the task of flying the country’s flag creditably in the 2024:CAF Confederation Cup.
The Board unanimously endorsed a proposal by its President, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau to utilize the residual funds from FIFA Forward 2.0 and the proposed funds from the incipient FIFA Forward 3.0 for the construction of a befitting hostel accommodation for the National Teams, and the construction of two Football Pitches (one natural turf and one synthetic turf) for use by the Teams at the Goal Project section, in Package B of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
On the proposed Guidelines for the establishment of Football Academies in the country, the Executive Committee charged the Football Associations in the 36 States and the FCT to be ready to work assiduously towards enforcing the guidelines in their various jurisdictions, once they are ready and made public.
Finally, the Board thanked the Federal Government for its continued support and encouragement to the various National Teams, and prayed for safety and security, as well as peace and tranquility to rule nationwide during the forthcoming general elections.