NFF President Gusau (L) and Gen. Secretary Dr. Sanusi (R) presenting the Nigeria jersey to the Iraqi Envoy, H.E. Anwer Saeed during the visit.

By Ed Malik, A | December 22, 2022

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Iraqi Football Association are poised to meet in January 2023, ostensibly to explore avenues for greater cooperation and collaboration in the game of football between both countries.

President of the NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau disclosed this while speaking in Abuja on Wednesday during a courtesy visit to the Ambassador of Iraq to Nigeria, His Excellency Mr. Anwer Saeed, saying that the NFF is open to collaborating with countries with demonstrable commitment to support the game and ensure grassroot growth for the game in Nigeria.

According to Gusau, he said that, “Our country has a solid pedigree in the game of football as well as over 200 million passionate football followers and stakeholders. We are aware of the fact that the people of Iraq are also very passionate about the game of football. It is important to seize the opportunity to explore areas of cooperation and collaboration that will benefit our two nations.

Continuing, he said; “Football is that big unifying factor that keeps getting bigger and stronger in holding the world together, and assuming a greater role in international relations. It is also a soft power with a booming economy, and collaboration is needed to accomplish great things and attain higher levels.”

Iraq’s senior men team, nicknamed the Lions of Mesopotamia, won the Asian Cup in 2007 and have won the Arab Cup four times, and the country of 44 million people is known for its passion and enthusiastic support for its football teams and clubs.

Responding, His Excellency Saeed congratulated the NFF President on his victory in the elections and assured him that the Iraqi Football Association would be delighted by the offer to explore ways of greater collaboration, given Nigeria’s accomplishments in the game globally. He also mentioned the fact that a number of Nigerian footballers are presently plying their trade in the Iraqi league.

At the courtesy visit were the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi; Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire; Director of Competitions, Ruth David; Chief Protocol Officer, Emmanuel Ayanbunmi and; special assistant to NFF President, Abubakar Barde. Mr. Ibrahim Al-Badri (Consul/Administrative Manager) and Mrs Sakina Al-Khalifa (Secretary to Head of Mission) were with HE Saeed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *