BARCELONA COULD PLAY IN NIGERIA – LA LIGA PRESIDENT
Well,first let me say if this should really happen, its gonna be one of the best sporting event in Nigeria. Imagine sitting at the National stadium to watch stars you’ve only seen on TV. The likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Iniesta, believe me, I will pay any price to get that ticket.
Well, the real story is that President of Spanish La Liga, Javier Tebas, has hinted that the partnership entered between LaLiga and the Nigeria Professional Football League could see FC Barcelona play friendly games in Nigeria.
Tebas said this in a media conference at the official opening of the La Liga office in Nigeria on Friday inside the Corporate Headquarters of the League Management Company in Abuja.
Tebas recalled that he led a delegation of LaLiga officials to Nigeria in April to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the LMC.
He said the benefits of the partnership would be attained in phases, citing the coming tour of Spain by a select All-Star team of NPFL players.
“We are here today (Friday) to open a La Liga Office in Nigeria in furtherance of that understanding,” Tebas said.
“We have made good progress in the three months of the understanding signed between us and Nigeria football league and in a few weeks, an All-Star team from Nigeria will tour LaLiga and we are taking care of the travel and accommodation of 40 members of the team.
“During this tour, the team will play three matches in Spain and will be watched by the directors of top LaLiga clubs who make decisions and this may result in some Nigeria League players being invited to the clubs.
“We also will be sending experts to interact with NPFL Club Managers and share knowledge and also send coaches to work at the grassroot academies for development of youth football.
“La Liga clubs would also visit Nigeria to play friendly matches…yes, Barcelona can come to Nigeria and that will mean that the NPFL is a big league.
“I am sure that by the time the first five years of the partnership ends, LaLiga and NPFL will be bigger.”
Chairman of LMC Shehu Dikko expressed appreciation to the La Liga partners and took time to list some of the breakthroughs the LMC has made in recent months, citing a letter of commendation from FIFA on the league’s governance structure.
“We are delighted by some of the modest achievements we have attained and want to thank LaLiga for the partnership and their decision to open an office here. More importantly, we believe more can be achieved with the support of all stakeholders.”