Lagos - A new, epochal chapter was open in Nigeria football
on Monday when the federation and Zenith Bank announced a partnership for youth
football development and capacity building programs.
NFF President Amaju Pinnick led top hierarchy of his team to
the brief but colourful event at Zenith Bank’s headquarters in Lagos, where the
topmost financial institution’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive
Officer, Peter Amangbo emphasized that “we are ready to empower the new crop of
young and accountable administrators at the NFF to reach lofty heights.”
The partnership announcement began with a presentation by
NFF 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi, who in his capacity as Chairman of the
Youth Football Committee, regaled the gathering with NFF’s comprehensive youth
development program, including but not limited to grassroots, U-13, U-15
sub-heads, which will be in the framework of what he called The Next Eagles
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“We have a holistic Future Generation Plan, which is aimed
at engendering a pool of talented young men and women for all categories of the
National Teams at all times. Today, everybody talks about the Senior National
Team. That should not be so. We want to create a situation whereby people will
also talk about grassroots and youth competitions.
“The NFF is committed to working hand-in-hand with every
organ that has something to do with the youth, in order to realize our
objectives. In the next two weeks, we will unveil our detailed program at a
world press conference.”
NFF President Amaju Pinnick stated that apart from capacity
building programs for all workers in football, the youth development program is
the next big commitment of the present NFF administration.
“The impact of our capacity building program for referees
has been immediate, with the improvement in the League. Now, it is time for a
comprehensive youth development program that will see to the constant feeding
of all the National Teams.
“We cannot thank Zenith Bank PLC, a financial institution
with impeccable records and with a solid reputation, enough for their support
for this program. They have indeed opened the way for real development of
Pinnick highlighted that the kernel of the partnership is
for the Nigeria Football Federation to invoice Zenith Bank PLC for the various
youth development programs, as well as for capacity building of administrators
(Chairmen of State Football Associations) and the salary of Super Eagles’ Head
Coach, Sunday Oliseh.
Amangbo declared that Zenith Bank sees the partnership as a
worthwhile Corporate Social Responsibility cause, and that the coming of a crop
of young, passionate, intelligent and transparent persons to the helm of
affairs at the NFF was indeed pleasing.
“This is a crop of people you see doing things and
benchmarking them against global best practices. For a very long time, we have
not seen this in Nigeria football administration.
“The quality of people leading the NFF has spurred us to
commit to giving them support. We are ready and happy to empower them to reach
the lofty heights they have set for themselves.”For
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