Football in Nigeria
Nigeria are one of the leading lights in African football. They have reached three FIFA World Cup final competitions (1994, 1998, 2002) but despite impressing many with their football, they have never progressed beyond the round of 16. Nigerian football celebrated its greatest success on foreign shores, with the Nigerian Olympic team securing the Gold medal at the Olympic Football Tournament in Atlanta in 1996. They have also participated at 12 African Cups of Nations, claiming the title twice (1980 and 1994). An impressive list of honours is completed by triumphs at the FIFA U-17 World Youth Championship in 1985 and 1993, but the U-20 team has also given the country great pleasure. Nigeria hosted the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1999, while the country has also been a pioneer for women's football in Africa. The Nigerian ladies' team won the African Women Championship in 1998, 2000 and 2002, and participated in the FIFA Women's World Cup finals in 1991, 1995 and 1999. Countless top players have emerged from Nigeria. Rashid Yekini (1993 African Player of the Year), Jay-Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu (1996/1999 African Player of the Year) are just three of the players who have taken Nigerian football to the world. All three players have been crucial to their club's fortunes, whether in Portugal, Germany, England, Italy, France or the Netherlands.
The Goal Project
On 15 October 2003, the Goal Bureau approved a project to build a technical centre in Abuja. The association intends to concentrate on youth football and intensify its efforts in this particular area. There are undoubtedly many talented players in Nigeria, but many remain undetected because the system in place is unfortunately inadequate. The country's Goal project should change that, with regional centres being established to provide a base for the best players in the various age categories. Before these centres can be put in place, coaches must be educated in preparation for their role as talent scouts. Women's football will also benefit from the Goal project and regional superiority in women's football should therefore be confirmed. However, this will only be possible if talented girls are discovered and receive the appropriate coaching.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
National technical centre in Abuja
Project approved
15 October 2003
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 470,010 Total cost USD 870,010