FIFA President, Gianni Infantino (left) and Valentine Ozigbo at the dinner organised by the NFF…recentlyThe South East is about the biggest contributor of sportsmen and women to Nigeria’s national teams, yet, sports in the zone is among the least developed in the country. And to change the narrative, Valentine Ozigbo, who is Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) flag-bearer in the 2021 Anambra governorship election, has promised to make football a lucrative venture in the zone, especially Anambra State, if elected as governor.
Speaking at a recent dinner organised by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in honour of International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) President, Gianni Infantino, at Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos, Ozigbo, who acknowledged that Nigeria is on the right track to return to its glory days of football, promised to continue to play a significant role in promoting the game in Africa and his home state, Anambra.x
Among important political and sports personalities at the dinner were Africa’s richest man, president and Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; Chief Allen Onyema, the Chairman of Air Peace; Edo State Deputy Governor, Philips Shuaibu; Mrs. Ebele Obiano, the first lady of Anambra State and Nigeria’s sports minister, Sunday Dare.
Infantino was on a working visit to Nigeria to attend the just-concluded Aisha Buhari Women Invitational Football Tournament. Also in his entourage were presidents of football federations in Africa, led by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe. Ozigbo, founder and chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, the biggest promoter of freestyle football in Africa, paid homage to the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, for consistently breaking new grounds with football in Nigeria.x
He said: “My good friend, Amaju Pinnick, has proven to be a visionary football administrator, and I am proud of the giant strides he has made so far.
“I am in the race to be governor of Anambra State, and I am looking forward to partnering with the NFF to ensure that football becomes lucrative in my home state.
“Football is like a religion in Nigeria. Unfortunately, we have not harnessed its huge commercial potential, especially in Anambra State. I am committed to ensuring that Anambra becomes a viable ground for football development in the country.”x