Wednesday’s international friendly between the Super Eagles and Scotland’s Tartan Army was the 24th played by the Senior National Team of Nigeria during the present NFF administration headed by Alhaji Aminu Maigari.
Showered with plaudits worldwide for being, undisputedly, the most successful administration in the history of the game in Nigeria, Maigari’s team has also taken the cake for being the best in preparing all National Teams for international engagements.
Apart from the 26 friendly matches that the Super Eagles must have played under the administration heading into the 20th FIFA World Cup finals (as they also play Greece and USA in the United States of America early June), the other National Teams have also played several international friendlies.
It is the best record for any administration in the history of the supreme authority for the game in Nigeria.
The Eagles have played against Korea Republic (Seoul), Sierra Leone (Lagos), Kenya (Abuja), Argentina (Abuja and Dhaka), Ghana (London), Botswana (Benin City), Zambia (Kaduna), Angola (Abuja), Liberia (Monrovia), Egypt (Dubai), Peru (Lima), Niger Republic (Niamey), Venezuela (Miami, USA), Catalonia (Barcelona), Cape Verde (Faro, Portugal), Mexico (Houston, USA), South Africa (Durban), Burkina Faso (Kaduna), Jordan (Amman), Italy (London), Ethiopia (Abuja), Mexico (Atlanta, USA) and Scotland (London). They play Greece in Philadelphia on June 3 and USA in Jacksonville, Florida on June 7.
The Senior Women Team, Super Falcons have played the likes of Czech Republic, Slovakia, South Africa, Japan and Cameroon while the U-20 boys, Flying Eagles have clashed with Benin Republic, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, and featured regularly in the Cape Town U-20 Tournament. They also played in the Toulon International Tournament in France for the first time ever, last year.
The U-17 Boys, Golden Eaglets, have played, among others, Rwanda, Botswana and Qatar and taken part in the WAFU B U-17 Tournament while the Beach Soccer Team has featured in the Samsung Intercontinental Tournament and regularly competed in the COPA Lagos Invitational Tournament.
Maigari explained: “Our philosophy is that those who fail to prepare actually prepare to fail. For a team to do well at major competitions, it has to prepare adequately. That is why we have always endeavoured to, within our limited resources; prepare all our National Teams adequately for international engagements.”