The executive committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has directed all relevant officials and bodies to immediately commence preparations for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
This was part of the committee’s resolutions at the end of their meeting on Tuesday at Hampton Hotel, Asaba, Delta State, during which they also gave kudos to the Super Eagles for qualifying early for the competition.
After deliberating extensively on what they regarded as important issues in Nigerian football, the committee also gave directives on development of the lower division, Nigerian National League (NNL) and advocated for renewed efforts in youth football.
A communique after the meeting stated in part: “The Executive Committee commended the players and officials of the Senior Men National Team, Super Eagles, for Nigeria’s qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals with a match in hand, following a 1-1 draw with South Africa in Johannesburg on 17th November 2018.
“Members praised the heartwarming support and encouragement of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and the Federal Government at large, to all the National Teams, the Nigeria Football Federation and Nigerian Football generally.
“Committee resolved that preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations must start immediately, with the Super Eagles’ technical crew headed by Mr. Gernot Rohr mandated to submit a programme of preparation within a couple of weeks.
“Available windows for friendly matches before the championship would be fully utilized.
“Following a presentation by the Chairman of the Nigeria National League, Hon. Chidi Ofo Okenwa, and a response by Mallam Shehu Dikko to the effect that the issue of Relegation/Promotion between NNL and NPFL was a matter for the Clubs to propose, it was resolved that the NNL Board should be encouraged to hold a meeting with all NNL Clubs, after which an expanded meeting involving the NPFL and some NFF members (to be chaired by the NFF 1st Vice President) would take place.
“To determine the way forward for the promotion/relegation of teams in the NNL for the year. Board empowered the President to approve whatever propositions/decisions are reached at the expanded meeting for a way forward for the League.
“Board re-inforced an earlier resolution that youth competitions are developmental, and that only qualification bonus would be paid to players and officials of age –grade National Teams.
“In addition, the Board resolved to closely monitor the age –grade National Teams (U15, U17 & U20) in order to ensure that the coaches follow the Board’s mandate to have players graduating from the NFF/Zenith Bank Future Eagles Program, and in that wise resolved to closely monitor the current U20 squad.”