Abuja - The Nigeria Professional Football League has entered
a partnership deal with La Liga on developing the soccer league in the West
A delegation of Spanish Premier League board, the La Liga
led by its President, Javier Tebas arrived Nigeria early hours of Monday to a
warm welcome by representatives of the Nigerian and Spanish governments who
separately remarked that the technical partnership initiated by La Liga and the
League Management Company (LMC) holds a huge prospect of deepening sporting,
cultural and commercial ties between the two nations.
Tesba and his team were led by the top hierarchy of
Nigeria's football governing body including President Amaju Pinnick and LMC
Chairman, Mallam Shehu Dikko to the office of Nigeria’s Youth and Sports
Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung and later to the Residence of the Ambassador
of Spain to Nigeria, Alfonso Barnuevo Sebastián de Erice.
Dalung in his welcome remarks reaffirmed the commitment of
the Nigerian government towards making Nigeria investment friendly by providing
the enabling environment for such partnership between the LMC and the La Liga
Barrister Dalung commended the LMC for keying into the
policy thrust of government for the development of the elite league which provides
jobs for thousands of youths through the 20 clubs and stimulating business
activities within the areas matches are played.
"The league in Nigeria is indeed a major tool for
social cohesion. Government is committed to putting in place, enabling
administrative and legal frameworks for international business
According to the Minister, government will work with and
support the managers of football in the country for meaningful projects like
the international collaboration with Spain.
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"It is of significance that the NPFL and La Liga are
entering into an understanding that will improve the business aspects of the
league in Nigeria. Such areas will boost the earnings of football which will in
turn impact positively on the welfare of the players while creating new
frontiers for business" Dalung said.
Ambassador Barnuevo while receiving the delegation of LMC
and La Liga noted that the partnership will strengthen the already strong
cultural and trade ties between his country and Nigeria, stating that “at the
moment, Spain is the third biggest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil”.
On the occasion, the Chairman LMC, Shehu Dikko said
discussions that led to the partnership that will be signed on Tuesday was
initiated at that inaugural World Leagues Forum meeting in London in 2015.
"Our objective is to be able to move with the times. We
need to get our league to conform to international standards and best
practices. La Liga is one of the best leagues in the world. They have some of
the richest clubs in the world and they have a system which is very attractive
to us. The structure and management of their clubs is fantastic as well as the
way the government and the clubs relate. They also have legislation by the
government to ensure that the league is developed. We need to learn how they're
doing", Dikko said.
Tebas, the La Liga President expressed delight at the
prospects of sharing experiences with the NPFL, noting that while they will be
providing technical assistance to the LMC in the administration of the league,
they also will in turn learn something from Nigeria.
"We are here not only to teach but to share experience
and we are sure we can also learn from the Nigerian Professional Football
League. This exchange of experience will
help us to grow and we'll ratify this in Nigeria during this visit with a
Memorandum of Understanding. Football is not only a commercial issue but also
an example of values especially for youths in any country and the La Liga will
like to help develop these values for the Nigerian youths. We want to use the
names of our stars to transmit the values of the sport. We will also offer our
expertise not only to football but to the Nigerian government" Tebas
Amaju Melvin Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football
Federation (NFF) was at the head of the Nigerian team during the visit to the
Minister alongside the LMC Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Nduka Irabor, NFF
Executive Board member, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau and Chairman of Club Owners and
Managers of the NPFL, Barrister Isaac Danladi.
Accompanying the La Liga President were Melcior Soler, the
Director of Audiovisual Affairs, Fernando Sanz, International Projects Director
and Antonio Baradas, Manager, African Affairs.For
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