Nigeria seeks links with Germany

Amaju Pinnick

Nigeria are seeking to forge closer links with Germany to try to revive the country's soccer fortunes and help the national team's development.

NFF president Amaju Pinnick said on the body's website: "We keenly desire to partner with the DFB (German Football Federation) and the German League.

"We are requesting support for our development programmes for women's football, referees and coaches.

"The NFF is doing a lot in the area of development of the game in Nigeria."

Pinnick added: "Germany is not only the reigning champions of the world in football, it is also a very strong economic power."

There has already been a meeting between NFF officials and and Germany's ambassador to Nigeria, Dietmar Kreusel to discuss the proposals.

Nigeria, once the powerhouse of African football, have endured a tough few years in international competition.

Ranked 10th globally in 2006, they are now 57th in the Fifa world rankings - their lowest since 1999.

In last year's World Cup they reached the round of 16 for the first time since 1998 before losing to France.

After winning the African Nations Cup in 2013, they failed to qualify for this year's finals in Equatorial Guinea.

"Our checks have shown that the Bundesliga is the top model League in the universe," NFF vice-president Shehu Dikko said.

"We have had discussions with the CEO of the Bundesliga, and our plan involves sending some of our club managers to Germany to go and see how it is done in that country."