The city of Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State has come alive in a big way with the arrival in town of delegates and invited guests for the 68th Annual General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation taking place on Thursday, 13th December.
On Wednesday, NFF President Aminu Maigari confirmed that the big gathering will take place at the Banquet Hall of upscale Hotel Presidential in the Garden City, starting from 10am.
The Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Governors' Forum of Nigeria and the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the Super Eagles' Qualification for 2010 FIFA World Cup, will be the chief host.
Members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management started arriving in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, with the rest flying into town on Wednesday.
Chairmen and Secretaries of the Football Associations of the 36 States and the FCT, as well as Chairmen and Secretaries of the Leagues, Coaches Association, Referees Association and Players' Union, have also arrived.
The NFF confirmed on Wednesday that the Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, a former President of the Nigeria Referees Association and Board Member, will be conferred with honorary membership of the Executive Committee, while 80-year old former Secretary General of then NFA, Pa Herbert Omokhaye, will receive an award for meritorious service to the Nigerian game.
A 90-minute opening ceremony will be followed by the General Assembly's deliberations on various issues, which will be followed by the reading of the communiqué.
Officials of the Rivers State government confirmed on Wednesday that a novelty football match between the Governor's Office and NFF Executive Committee/Management will precede this year's Charity Shield game, between League winner Kano Pillars and Federation Cup champions Heartland FC. The match will start at 4pm at the Sharks Stadium.
Meanwhile, Chinwendu Ihezuo and Halimat Ayinde, two members of the Nigeria U-17 Women National Team, Flamingos to this year's FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan, will be the cynosure of all eyes at the opening ceremony of this year's Annual General Assembly of Nigeria Football Federation.
The two players will be presented with their Silver and Bronze Boots respectively from the tournament, for finishing as 1st Runner-up and 2nd Runner-up in the Top Scorers' race.
NFF's General Secretary, Musa Amadu explained: "The Nigeria team was eliminated in the quarter final stage of the competition on penalties, by France, and had to depart the tournament before the final day. As a result of this, the players could not receive their awards and there was no member of the Nigerian delegation to receive it for them.
"The NFF promptly contacted FIFA to send the special boots to us, which FIFA did. So, we will be presenting the boots to the players at the opening ceremony of Annual General Assembly."
Ihezuo, who plays for Pelican Stars of Calabar, finished the tournament with six goals and four assists while Ayinde, of Delta Queens, had four goals and two assists.