Following the fruitful meeting between the President of Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick and his counterpart in England, Greg Dyke, it has been revealed that a formal document cementing and formalizing the relationship between the two National Associations could be in the offing.
Shedding more light on the meeting which took place at The FA offices inside Wembley Stadium, London on Tuesday, Pinnick revealed that the FA is keen to work with loyal friends, and will do what they can to help.
“Greg Dyke was visibly interested in the goings-on in Nigeria. He was asking lots of questions and seemed satisfied with our answers, especially regarding the direction we are taking Nigerian football,” Pinnick said.
“I made it very clear to him that we look up to England, not with envy but with awe at their organizational ability and we want to learn from them.”
The NFF boss, who returns to Nigeria next week, disclosed further: “I have requested that the FA should consider formalizing our relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding, and have detailed our Special Envoy to explore ways of getting that formal document in place, subject to the FA’s approval; capturing areas through which we will benefit from their expertise, and present it to them, so that we can have a formal signing soon”.
Pinnick noted that the FA has been of immense help to the Federation thus far, assisting in the training and capacity building of two batches of Nigerian referees since he came to office, and this has been yielding dividends.
“From the group that has visited England on capacity building, our referees have been invited to officiate in the African U-17 Championship, the African Youth Championship and the African Beach Soccer Championships.
“You can also see that in our League, the integrity of our referees have improved and you can see that teams are going away to win matches in our Premier League with no fuss.”
Amaju Pinnick also used the opportunity to stress on the upcoming Leadership Summit, involving all stakeholders of Nigerian football (Chairmen of State FAs and others), scheduled for London in August and said that an invitation has been proffered to Greg Dyke to come and give a leadership talk at the event.
The Leadership Retreat will hold early in August, climaxing with a mass attendance of the FA Community Shield match which will hold on 9 August at Wembley between Premier League champions Chelsea and eventual FA Cup winners (Arsenal or Aston Villa).