This Day (Lagos)

31 December 2012

Nigeria: Maigari Confident of Magnificent Year for Football

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari on Monday reflected on a sweet Year 2012 for Nigeria football, while expressing confidence that the New Year (2013) will be even greater in terms of results on-field and accomplishments off it.

"The year 2012 was a happy one for Nigeria football, but I have conviction that the year 2013 would be even better. We are looking forward to great performances in a number of tournaments, and qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup among other objectives.

"It was not easy but hard work and perseverance ensured that we can look back on the year 2012 with broad smiles," Maigari said on Monday.

The NFF supremo was elated by an outgoing year in which the Super Eagles qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in South Africa in January 2013; the Flying Eagles qualified for the African Youth Championship Algeria 2013 and; the Golden Eaglets are in the finals of the 2013 African U-17 Championship to be hosted by Morocco.

The Super Eagles also presently lead their pool in the Africa series for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, with two of six matches played in the four-team arrangement with Kenya, Namibia and Malawi.

At championship finals, the U-20 girls reached the semi finals of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan; the U-17 girls got to the quarter finals of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan, though the Super Falcons surrendered their African crown in Equatorial Guinea.

"Not only did we do well on the field, we made giant strides off the field and we have the Federal Government, particularly President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR and the entire Nigeria football family to thank for these strides," added Maigari.

Off the field, the NFF even upped the tempo of activities in the area of administration, refereeing and coaching courses, with elite programmes including a first-ever FIFA Women Football Coaching Seminar, while the Federation was also able to initiate new FIFA Goal Projects, with Bauchi State to be the first beneficiary of a three state-programme that will also include Anambra and Lagos.

Maigari said further: "Above all, through the creditable efforts of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON) and the Honourable Minister/Chairman, NSC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, and the maturity of the NFF Executive Committee, peace was restored to the Nigeria football family.

"We were also able to restore sanity and vibrancy to the Nigeria Premier League, with the inauguration of a Management Committee for the 2012/2013 season. With peace in the family and the zeal and patriotic fervour of our players and officials, the year 2013 promises to be even better for Nigeria football."

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