FROM ROMANUS UGWU, ABUJA
TOP representatives of the governments of Nigeria and Spain were on hand to witness the landmark signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a five-year technical and commercial partnership between the League Management Company of Nigeria (LMC) and the Spanish League Board (LFP) yesterday at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
While Shehu Dikko, Chairman of the LMC singed for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the President of LaLiga, Javier Tebas signed for the Spanish League with Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, and the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Alfonso Barnuevo Sebastian de Erice counter-signing as witnesses for their respective national leagues.
Highlighting the long standing sporting relationship between the two leagues was the presence of some former Nigerian international players who at some stages in the past played for LaLiga clubs. These include Victor Ikpeba who played for Real Betis, Mutui Adepoju who played for Racing Santander and Real Sociedad, Gbenga Okunowo and Haruna Babangida, both of whom played for Barcelona clubs.
LMC chairman, Dikko, said the partnership marks the beginning of “a journey through a new road hitherto not travelled in an effort to deliver on our mandate to improve the quality and fortunes of the football league in Nigeria along international best practices.”