Real Madrid Academy: NFF, Rivers to camp youth teams there

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has expressed its readiness to partner with the Rivers State government for the camping of Nigeria youth teams at the Real Madrid Academy based in Port Harcourt and built and the government.

NFF President, Amaju Pinnick stated this shortly after inspecting the camp facility. He did the inspection alongside the Special Adviser to the Governor on the Real Madrid Academy, Chris Green, the Rivers Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, and Permanent Secretary, Honour Sirawoo.

According to a report by Nigerian daily, The Leadership, Pinnick said the facilities at the academy was top-notch and comparable to any of the best football academies across the world.

Pinnick said: “This is incredibly impressive. I was here two years ago when the foundation was being laid and when you lay the foundation stone, you become sceptical about the reality, but this is beyond our comprehension.

“I have seen academies in other parts of the world; as the president of NFF, I have been opportune to go round the world. What I have seen here is super and super impressive. The beauty of the academy is that it has world-class facilities like the hostel, laboratory, gym and dining; the finishing is superb.

“On behalf of NFF, we want to commend the Rivers State government led by Governor Wike. When he said two years ago he was going to complete this in record time, there were some doubting Thomas, but I am here to say that we have seen it. We will be coming here in the next few months with very tall football personalities to commission this project.”

Pinnick stressed further that the NFF would soon be knocking on the door of the state government for the use of the facility to camp the junior national teams.

“The NFF will partner Rivers State government in many ways you know; we have our youth teams, we can also get them to come and camp here; because we have a relationship as it will cost us little or nothing. The camp is world-class and when you hear players go camping, it’s not a tent, it’s a hotel and this one is beyond the hotel, this one is purpose-built for football, quite really impressive.”

The Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, while commending the NFF president for inspecting the facility, assured him that the state would be willing to have junior national teams camp at the facility.

Iyaye said, “We are very interested, Rivers State will always partner the NFF and we have always partnered at various levels because we have a loving governor, someone who believes that the youth are the future of the country.”