In recognition of the potential that Nigeria has to make an impact in the sectors of Five-A-Side (Futsal) and Beach Soccer in the world, the Nigeria Football Federation has concluded arrangements to organize introductory courses for Coaches and Referees in the two specialties this week.
While the Beach Soccer course will take place at the Confluence Beach Hotel, Lokoja, the Futsal course will hold at the FIFA Technical Centre, Abuja from Wednesday, April 25 – Saturday, April 28.
Nigeria’s FIFA Instructor in beach soccer, Sunday Okayi, who is also the only African FIFA Instructor in the game, says the nation has huge potentials in the game considering the vast coastal lines available.
“With the nation’s vast coastal lines, it is the experts’ considered opinion that the development of beach soccer is imperative. Not only will its development engage our teeming youth population, taking them away from crime and other social vices, it will also serve to boost our cultural and sports tourism.
“Already, the NFF has approached world football-governing body, FIFA to conduct a high-level Coaching and Refereeing Course for us to enable us build a sound and professional capacity as we aim to kick-start the Beach Soccer League before the end of this year. We have faith that FIFA will accede to our request”, said Okayi.
The FIFA Instructor added: “It is in prelude to this high-level course that the NFF has decided to conduct this basic/introductory course for our Coaches and Referees”.
Nigeria’s track record
Nigeria finished sixth at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in 2007 and 2011 and won the African Beach Soccer Championship in 2007 and 2009 and is ranked number 11 in FIFA’s all-time list.
Invitational Tournament after trouncing four-time world champions Brazil, South Africa and England.
Next weekend, Nigeria will kick-start the race to this year’s FIFA Futsal World Cup finals in Thailand by hosting Gabon in an African qualifying fixture, first leg in Lagos. The return leg takes place in Libreville two weeks later.