Nigeria gains ground with Artificial pitches built in Kebbi and Delta States supported by the FIFA Forward Program
The FIFA Forward Programme (https://www.FIFA.com) is funding the construction of an artificial pitch in Kebbi, a state in northwest Nigeria, and another in Ugborodo, Delta State.
“I used to play football for fun before it became a career.” My primary occupation was farming. Before I could go play football, I had to finish my chores on the farm. My primary ambition in life was to possess my own farm
According to the Nigerian press, those are the remarks of Porto and Nigeria full-back Zaidu Sanusi, who is from Kebbi state. They may, however, belong to any of the young people who dwell in this northwestern region of Nigeria, which has a population of 4.4 million people and borders Niger and Benin. It is a corner of the world where football is secondary to other concerns, but brilliant players like Sanusi are plenty.
It’s no surprise, then, that Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi’s capital, was chosen in 2020 as the site for the construction of an artificial football pitch, which is now open to young boys and girls. Meanwhile, a second pitch is being built in Ugborodo, which is located further south. These two ambitious projects, undertaken by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), have received approximately USD 2 million in funding from FIFA under its Forward Programme.
The fundamental goal of the program, which is now in its third cycle, is the global expansion of football. Forward 3.0 (https://apo-opa.info/3VWIiPy) provides the opportunity for the game’s global governing body to redouble its efforts and establish even more strong foundations for fostering this expansion, with facility construction serving as an important lever in supporting the entire process.
The goal is simply to develop football in the region,” stated Alhadji Abubakar Ladan, NFF representative for Kebbi state. “Of the seven states in Nigeria’s northwestern region [there are 36 in total], Kebbi has the most amateur teams.” Nonetheless, there is little doubt that it has fewer football facilities than the others. The NFF is aware of the efforts being made to improve football in the country, but these efforts are hampered by a lack of infrastructure. This fabricated pitch is a boost and a shove in the correct direction.
It has undoubtedly served as a source of inspiration and delight for local young footballers, who have made it their second home as they hone the abilities that will one day propel them to the ranks of the Super Falcons and Super Eagles. A one-of-a-kind pitch flanked by a dedicated fan base, it is now the site of friendlies, competitive matches, and training sessions.
Football used to be only a street activity for us, so we’re overjoyed to be able to play on this fantastic ground,” said Zeynup Dauda, a Birnin Kebbi kid. “This is a very important sport to me.” I get bored easily at home, but it’s wonderful when I’m on the field. Everything is lost to me. My ultimate goal is to play for a large team in a big stadium on a big field. I want to see the world and play. “I want to play for the entire country
Zaidu Sanusi has paved the road for his home region, demonstrating that nothing is impossible, that there are paths leading from the street to the football field, between farms and the world’s most prestigious stadiums, and between dreams and reality.