FIFA president: In Nigeria, football is more than religion, love

FIFA President Gianni Infantino says Nigeria is a country with unquantifiable passion and love for football.

According to Infantino, “football is life” in Nigeria.

NAN reports that Infantino spoke on Monday at the maiden edition of the AITEO-NFF Awards, which was organised by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The FIFA president said: “I was told that in Nigeria football is passion, but it is a lie because it is more than that. In Nigeria I was told that football is love, but it is a lie it is more than that.

“In Nigeria, I was told that football is a religion, but it is a lie. It is more than that. In Nigeria, football is life.”

Also at the event, Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos state governor, pledged his administration’s continued support to football and sports in general.

“We will continue to give our unrelenting support to football and sports in general, I want to assure the President of FIFA that whenever he is coming back, Lagos will be considered to host a FIFA tournament,” he said.

Amaju Pinnick, NFF president, said the awards night was to celebrate Nigerian legends for their contributions to the development of football in the country.

He said football administration was a journey and not a destination, adding that “therefore, there must be a conscious effort to minimise errors for fear of losing the opportunity.

“In Nigeria, football is a way of life and everybody is a coach. So, we need to be very careful. Football teaches us ethics and how to live a normal life”.

Victor Moses was named player of the year for his stellar performances for the Super Eagles en route their qualification for Russia 2018.

He was an integral part of the side during the historic qualification matches where he played in four of the six matches scoring three goals in the process.

Moses also helped his Chelsea side reclaim the English Premier League title in the 2016/2017 season where he featured in 40 games.

To win the AITEO-NFF award, he beat competition from Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi and Lobi Stars’ Anthony Okpotu.