President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick has assured world football-governing body, FIFA that the country is ready and willing to host any major football programme, on or off the field.
The NFF boss made this known on Tuesday, at the press conference that followed immediately on the heels of the FIFA Executive Football Summit held at the Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Pinnick said, “We have the capacity and we have demonstrated this on several occasions, and we have a Government that is doing everything possible to encourage and enable the blossoming of sport as a key industry. Just as the FIFA President himself said at the Aiteo/NFF Awards, football is life in Nigeria.
“On behalf of the Nigerian Football fraternity, I want to commend FIFA for their strong support for our football and for African Football at large. Mr. Gianni Infantino visited Nigeria for the first time in his tenure in July 2016, and after he left, we witnessed a turn-around in the fortunes of our football. I believe that after he leaves this time, our football will soar even higher, with great possibilities of dazzling the world at the FIFA World Cup in Russia.”
The Summit, which was one of 12 FIFA Executive Football Summits planned for November 2017 and March 2018 and one of the major programmes of President Infantino, was attended as well by CAF President Ahmad, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, FIFA Council members Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana and Sonia Bien Aime from Turks and Caicos Islands, alongside presidents of 17 Member Associations of FIFA: Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Somalia, South Sudan, Swaziland, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Turks and Caicos Islands, Denmark, FYR Macedonia, Lithuania, San Marino, Sweden and host country Nigeria.
Only two other cities in Africa – Nouakchott in Mauritania and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania – are in the mix of the 12 cities worldwide hosting the FIFA Executive Football Summits. Dar es Salaam takes its turn on Thursday this week while the curtain will be drawn on the meetings in Lima, Peru next week.