The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has stated its readiness to partner with the Rivers state government for the camping of Nigeria youth teams at the Real Madrid Academy based in Port Harcourt.
NFF’s President, Amaju Pinnick stated this shortly after inspecting the camp facility, alongside the special adviser to the Governor on Real Madrid Academy, Chris Green, Rivers Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, and permanent secretary, Sir Honour Sirawoo.
According to Pinnick, the facilities at the academy was top-notch and comparable to any of the best football academies across the world
Pinnick said: “This is incredibly impressive. I was here two years ago when the foundation was being laid and when you lay the foundation stone, you become skeptical about the reality, but this is beyond our comprehension”.
“I have seen academies in other parts of the world; as the president of NFF, I have been opportuned to go round the world, what I have seen here is super and super impressive. The beauty of the academy is that it has world-class facilities like the hostel, laboratory, gym and dining; the finishing is superb”.
‘’On behalf of NFF, we want to commend the Rivers State government led by Governor Wike. When he said two years ago he was going to complete this in record time, there were some doubting Thomases, but I am here to say we that we have seen it. We will be coming here in the next few months with very tall football personalities to commission this project.”
Pinnick stressed further that the NFF would soon be knocking on the door of the Rivers State government for the use of the facility to camp the junior national teams.
“The NFF will partner Rivers State government in many ways you know; we have our youth teams, we can also get them to come and camp here; because we have a relationship as it will cost us little or nothing. The camp is world-class and when you hear players go camping, it’s not a tent, it’s a hotel and this one is beyond the hotel, this one is purpose-built for football, quite really impressive”.
“I came here with Fanny Amun and you know his technical prowess. We will give Rivers State government all the necessary certification to support youth development programme because they are the future of the country and we need to take them off the streets and creeks,” he stated.
Rivers Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, while commending the NFF president for inspecting the facility, assured that the state would be willing to have junior national teams camp at the facility.
According to Iyaye, “We are very interested, Rivers state will always partner the NFF and we have always partnered at various levels because we have a loving governor, someone who believes that the youth are the future of the country.”