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France wants closer ties with Nigeria football

23 June 2016, 11:04

Lagos The Ambassador of France to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Denys Gauer has expressed the keen desire of France to forge closer ties with Nigeria football as it has done in the areas of trade, security and politics.

Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday, during a courtesy visit by the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation, led by president Amaju Pinnick, Gauer noted that football is an important tool for unity and integration in Nigeria, and praised the feats of Nigeria’s various National Teams in global competitions over the decades.

“Presently, Nigeria is France’s number one trading partner in Africa. We have also made good progress with regards to collaboration in the political and security areas.

“We are keen for stronger ties in football. We know football is a major factor in Nigeria and personally, I have a good idea of the power of football because I spent time in Iraq and the only time the Shiites, Sunni and Kurds groups came together as one was whenever there was a football match.”

Also read: We will settle Amodu's outstanding monies, says NFF

Pinnick thanked Gauer for his personal intervention that saw Super Eagles backroom staff being issued visas eventually for two friendly matches in Europe last month.

“We cannot thank you enough for your kind intervention, and we are determined to build a relationship with your mission and France as a country.

“The present NFF administration is committed to making positive changes in the Nigeria game. Our people are passionate about the game and it is a potent tool for integration, for national regeneration and for unity and peace. Our vision is to develop Nigeria football to the highest level possible.”

Pinnick also recalled how the Super Eagles defeated France’s senior team in a friendly in Saint Etienne in June 2009, and said the NFF would work with the FFF towards another high –profile friendly between the two countries.   

News24 report that the NFF clarified that a certain Aneke Atta reportedly asking players to pay for a place in the U-17 National Team has no relationship or connection whatsoever with one of its licensed intermediaries, Emefie Atta Aneke.  

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- News24 Nigeria


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