By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
Efforts to make more robust the cordial relationship between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco in the game of football has commenced with a positive and purposeful meeting in Abuja between the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau and the Ambassador of Morocco to Nigeria, His Excellency, Moha Ou Ali Tagma.
Gusau, in company with NFF 1st Vice President, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu and Board Members Rt. Hon. Margaret Icheen and Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, informed His Excellency Tagma that the visit was both in appreciation of the co-operation that the NFF and Nigeria Football teams have received from the embassy in the past and in recognition of the great role that Morocco is playing in African football at the moment.
“We have just come in as new Board of the NFF, and having served on the previous Board and fully aware of the co-operation that Your Excellency and Mission Staff have afforded the NFF and Nigeria Football over the years, and the need to foster stronger ties with Morocco, we have decided to come and explore the possibility of excellent partnership agreements that could benefit both countries in the long run.
“The accomplishments of Morocco in the area of infrastructure and organizational capacity cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone fully involved in African Football will appreciate the role that Morocco is playing at the present. As we speak, our Bayelsa Queens are playing in the CAF Women Champions League ongoing in Morocco. Our Super Falcons played in the Women AFCON there a few months ago and the Super Eagles played an AFCON qualifier there in June.”
“The FA President, Mr. Fouzi Lekjaa is a friend and brother, and very passionate about the African game. The NFF will seek ties with Morocco that will ultimately benefit Nigeria Football in the area of development.”
His Excellency Tagma congratulated Gusau and the new NFF Board, while underscoring the existing excellent relationship between the two countries, particularly in football. “Nigeria has a strong pedigree in football in Africa and the world. Names like (Jay Jay) Okocha ring bells everywhere. They have placed Nigeria’s name on a high pedestal globally.
“It is a pity Nigeria did not qualify for Qatar 2022, but you are up there among the strongest and most revered. We are inviting you to visit Morocco to talk to the Football Federation on how our two countries can have an even stronger relationship.
“Someone once told me that only two things can draw a crowd of 100,000 and above: religion and football.”
Also present at the occasion were Mr. E. C. Kadiri (NFF’s Director of Finance and Administration); Mr. Ademola Olajire (Director of Media and Communications); Mr. Barnabas Joro (Head of Protocol) and; Mr. Emmanuel Ayanbunmi (Chief Protocol Officer).