Is There Anything Beneficial In NFF's Proposed Bilateral Agreement With Iraq Football Association?
NFF president Alhaji Gusau paid a courtesy visit to the Iraqi embassy this week where he held a conversation with the country's ambassador Mr. Anwer Saeed on forming closer collaboration and cooperation in football.
It is yet unknown what these 'collaboration and cooperation' will look like in practice, or if the initiative will ever see the light of day.
However, Nigeria fans have been quick to take to social media to denounce the very idea of the NFF chairman - who only recently took over from the forgettable administration of the controversial Amaju Pinnick - attempting to forge ties with a nation that is nothing to write home about in football.
Fans feel that a more headline grabbing collaboration attempts would have been with countries like Argentina, Brazil, France, South Korea or even Japan. And who would blame them, after all, to be the best, you have to play against the best.
But for me, I begrudgingly welcome this development. I believe half or quarter bread is better than none, after all, Iraq will not be the only country Nigeria will face in friendly matches even if the collaboration gets the green light from all parties.
If agreed, this so called bilateral relationship should be used as one of the avenues to prepare the Under23s for their Afcon next year and hopefully for the 2024 Olympics men football (should Nigeria qualify) . It should also be used as one of the outlets to prepare the Super Falcons for the World Cup next year.
Admittedly, none of Nigeria's national teams are currently scheduled to play a Middle Eastern team at any competitive level as far as I can see. But as practice matches to try out players, tactics, formation and to build cohesion, matches that spawn out of this bilateral whatever can be quite useful.
Come to think of it, a win is a win, so should the Super Eagles repeat their 10:0 decapitation of São Tomé and Príncipe against Iraq in a friendly next year in front of home fans in Abuja, it will still nonetheless serve as a morale booster, regardless of the opposition!
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