The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has expressed satisfaction at the level of preparedness of Akwa Ibom State government for the hosting of 2018 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Cameroon scheduled for September 1st 2017, at the Godswill Akpabio International Sports Stadium.
The President Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick, stated this during his visit to the State Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel at Government House, Uyo.
He announced the decision of NFF to grant the state the hosting right for other matches of Super Eagles as well as camping of the team for the world cup saying that the decision was premised on the excellent facilities available in the stadium.
He said that Nigeria is slated to lock horns with Zambia in the Nest of Champions and used the occasion to invite Governor Emmanuel to lead the NFF delegation to a similar encounter between Nigeria and Algeria scheduled for ninth of October 2017 at Algeria.
He commended the state government for the excellent facilities provided at the Nest of Champions describing the stadium as the best in Africa.
Mr Pinnick who particularly thanked Governor Emmanuel for his acceptance to host the team, expressed delight at the level of preparedness of the state for the football encounter.
The NFF President commended Governor Emmanuel for taking the state team Akwa United Football Club to greater heights saying that the team has recorded winnings due to the support of the state government and expressed optimism that the team would emerge winner of the Champions League, adding that twenty million naira has been earmarked for the winning team.
Governor Emmanuel in his response thanked the NFF delegation for the visit and expressed appreciation to Nigerians for the confidence they have on the team, explaining that the team spirit exhibited by the players has enabled the team to qualify for the world Cup.
Governor Emmanuel said that his decision to build Sports Centers in the ten federal constituencies of the state was to enable him explore talents in the field and track events, adding that he is repositioning the state to change the narrative of Nigeria with 750milion people managing a bronze at Olympics and other international competiions as against countries with 3.4 million people carting away Gold medals at such encounters.
The Governor said that the state hosted Youth Sports Festival last year to explore talents in the younger generation, and that his administration has extended the talent hunt to remote villages in order to bring out talents and groom them for international competitions where they would represent the country.
He thanked Mr Pinnick for the confidence he and the entire delegation have on the state and assured them of adequate preparedness to host the football tournament saying that the game is a must win for Nigeria.
Mr Pinnick was accompanied in the visit by the Head Technical Committee Mr Chris Green while the state Commissioner for Youth And Sports, Mr Monday Ebong Uko, Dean of Commissioners Dr Glory Edet and other members of the State Executive Council were on hand to receive the delegation.