NFF, Govt of Maryland agree to collaborate on development programmes

NFF, Govt of Maryland agree to collaborate on development programmes

The Nigeria Football Federation and the Government of Maryland have
highlighted and agreed on a number of co-operation programmes designed
to enhance the development of football in the country Nigeria and the
State of Maryland, an important mid-Atlantic State in the United
States of America.

At a meeting in Baltimore, Maryland on Wednesday, 30th June 2021,
President of the NFF and a Member of the FIFA Council, Mr Amaju Melvin
Pinnick and the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Boyd Rutherford
agreed on a number of collaborative areas including but not limited to
minimum of one friendly match with Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Super
Falcons in FIFA window opportunities; utilization of the platform to
create a symbiotic economic relationship in broader areas of economic
development; leveraging of the Baltimore-Maryland 2026 platform/assets
to create added value for NFF Sponsors for broader activations; focus
on youth development programmes and; the development of a formal
sister city relations to cover football development and stadium

Baltimore, the largest city in the State of Maryland, is a candidate
city for hosting of matches of the 48 –team 2026 FIFA World Cup
finals, which has already been awarded to the triumvirate of USA,
Mexico and Canada.

Pinnick, who was in Baltimore on a specific invitation by the
Government of Maryland, said he was enthusiastic about the agreement
and wished Baltimore-Maryland good luck in its desire to be a Host
City for the 2026 FIFA World Cup finals. The invite was premised on
the enormous respect that the Government of Maryland has for Nigeria
as a nation and the NFF as an institution. Lieutenant Governor
Rutherford confessed to being a great fan of the Super Eagles, who
dazzled the world in an impressive debut at the FIFA World Cup in the
USA 27 years ago, while the Nigeria U23 squad (with many players of
the same Super Eagles’ team), spectacularly won Africa’s first Olympic
football gold also in the USA two years later.

The meeting was foregrounded by the Super Falcons’ debut in the
popular USWNT Summer Series with matches in the State of Texas, where
the nine-time African champions squared up to four-time world
champions and four-time Olympic champions USA for the first time in a
friendly match, and actually mounted a spirited fight despite losing
0-2. It also came three days before the Nigeria National Team’s clash
with Mexico’s Senior Team in another friendly in the State of

The occasion equally held against the background of the fact that in a
post-pandemic world, strategic partnerships, collaborations and
symbiotic relationships will rule the roost. Both Pinnick and
Rutherford were sanguine about the incipient relationship fanning out
to the wider canvass of concrete economic and infrastructural

Also present at the meeting were Terry Hasseltine (President of
Baltimore-Maryland 2026 World Cup Host Candidate City); Bunmi Jinadu
(Special Advisor, Baltimore-Maryland 2026); Mark Newgent (Deputy Chief
of Staff to Maryland Lt. Governor); Al Hutchinson (President, Visit
Baltimore); Ted Carter (Baltimore City’s Deputy Mayor for Community
and Economic Development); Michael Huber (Chief of Staff to Baltimore
Mayor Brandon Scott); Graham Whaples (Media Relations,
Baltimore-Maryland 2026); Michael J. Frenz (Executive Director,
Maryland Stadium Authority) and; Roy Sommerhof (Senior Vice President,
Stadium Operations).

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