Nigeria seal five-year partnership deal with La Liga

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday recorded a landmark achievement by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a five-year technical and commercial partnership with the Spanish League Board (LFP).

A five-man Spanish delegation led by La Liga President, Javier Tebas, arrived Abuja on Monday with a view of sealing a deal with the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) led by Shehu Dikko.

The deal, which was spearheaded by the League Management Company (LMC), will focus on key areas of capacity development, training for coaches and club administrators; inter club exchanges and commercial activities including joint marketing.

While Dikko, chairman of the LMC signed for the NPFL, Tebas did same for the Spanish League in the presence of Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Alfonso Barnuevo Sebastian de Erice, embattled NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, and ex-Nigeria internationals who had stints in the Spanish top flight.

While Dalung described the relationship as “a new page in the history of football administration in Nigeria, Barnuevo offered assurances that the partnership will produce “a win-win outcome” for both Nigeria and Spain.

For Dikko who is also the NFF’s second vice-president, the partnership marks the beginning of “a journey through a new road hitherto not travelled in an effort to deliver on our mandate to improve the quality and fortunes of the football league in Nigeria along international best practices.”

He added: “We are pleased to be leading reforms and to achieve that, we decided to align with global best practices by emulating those doing things well and right. We have a lot to learn and benefit from the La Liga and we believe that the La Liga also has some things to learn from us.”

His Spanish counterpart believes the Spanish League “will through the partnership provide assistance to the NPFL in the areas of training of coaches, club administrators and exchange of playing tours by La Liga and NPFL Clubs.”

He also revealed that “For us at La Liga, if through this partnership, the NPFL is developed, it is of benefit for La Liga.

“We would also be assisting Nigerian players where possible to get chances to play for La Liga clubs”.