The Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to Nigeria, His Excellency Alejandro Herrero has advocated the strengthening of footballing ties between his country and Nigeria.
Speaking on Monday during a courtesy call on the President of the Nigeria Football Federation and FIFA Council Member, Amaju Pinnick, Herrero observed that there are compelling commonalities between the two countries in the game of football.
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The Ambassador also recalled several instances of on-pitch skirmishes between the two countries, saying that “Nigeria and Argentina always clash at the FIFA World Cup with narrow wins for Argentina but you have won one Olympic gold medal at our expense and we have won one at your expense.”
Herrero, therefore, said he would be delighted to see regular games between nine –time African champions, Super Falcons and the Argentina Women A team, as well as exchange programmes and meaningful collaboration between the Football Federations and clubs of both countries.
Responding, Pinnick said he was excited by the possibility of closer collaboration and stronger footballing ties between Nigeria and Argentina, as he said it would benefit the NFF in its drive to accomplish its mission of building a sustainable football culture for Nigeria.
“Our mission is to build a sustainable football culture for our country, and eventually have a robust football industry that will not only sustain itself but also contribute significantly to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Argentina is a country where the football culture is fully entrenched. Our teams clash all the time at the FIFA World Cup, at the Olympics, at youth tournaments and in friendly matches, and both have had their victories.
“We have immense respect for what Argentina has been able to do in football, but you will agree with me that Nigeria has also made immense impact in world football, from youth tournaments to the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Now, we seek to buoy our football industry to become the big business that it should be,” said Pinnick.