Nigeria’s U-20 head coach, Garba Manu, and his U-17 counterpart, Emmanuel Amuneke, are to attend two football tournaments taking place in Croatia between May 26 and June 8, 2014.
The invitation to attend the global tournaments was extended to them by Mr Didi Ndiomu on behalf of the management of Football College, Abuja, which is funded by Orlean Investment West Africa, an oil and gas company.
The gesture is in furtherance of the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the president of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari, and Captain Damir Miscovic on behalf of the chairman of Orlean Investment, Mr Gabrielle Volpi.
The Football College, Abuja, is expected to participate in the tournaments slated for two Croatian cities of Rijeka and Zagreb.
Countries that would participate in the Rijeka tournament include Nigeria, Bosnia, Italy, Croatia, Macedonia, and Montenegro, while the tournament in Zagreb would have countries like Nigeria, Croatia, Spain, Britian, Denmark and Switzerland and some that yet to confirm their participation.
The tournaments will afford the two Nigerian gaffers the opportunity to watch young Nigerian soccer lads featuring in the Croatian First and Second Division Leagues and scout for materials as they prepare their teams for the African qualifiers for the U-17 and U-20 championships coming up later in the year.
Already, the Football College, Abuja, has seven players in the U-17 camp and three in the U-20 squad, including the first choice goalkeeper, Dele Alamapasu, who graduated from the U-17 that won the 2013 FIFA World Cup at the United Arab Emirates.
It would be recalled that in the MoU signed by the NFF and Orlean Investment, which will run for a period of four years, the federation is to provide among other things a site plan for the construction of three football training pitches at its Goal Project Technical Centre located at the Package B of the National Stadium, Abuja, as well as two natural and one artificial state-of-the-art turf by the oil firm.
The federation will also furnish the firm with its programmes, matches, tournament dates for the senior women team, women U-20, U-23 men, U-20 men and U-17 boys for technical assistance and possible camping outside the country before their final FIFA-organised international tournaments.
The oil giant is expected to make available coaches by way of exchange programme from within and outside country to the NFF for all categories of the national teams mentioned above at its own expense, while the federation would be responsible for payment of their camp allowances and match bonuses.
In addition, it will facilitate a visit by the top management of the NFF to Croatia to enable it benchmark their structure and facilities towards replicating them in Nigeria and a reciprocal visit by the leadership of the Croatia Football Association at the firm’s expense.
The firm will also furnish the new secretariat of the federation named after one of Nigeria’s most successful football technocrats, the late Sunday Dankaro.