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Nigeria Football Federation

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Nigeria Football Federation
Founded21 August 1933 (1945 as NFA)
FIFA affiliation1960
CAF affiliation1959
PresidentIbrahim Musa Gusau
Vice-PresidentFelix Anyansi-Agwu

The Nigeria Football Federation (known as Nigeria Football Association until 2008) is Nigeria's football governing body. It was formally launched in 1945 and formed the first Nigerian national football team in 1949. It joined CAF in 1959 and FIFA in 1960. The NFF headquarters is located in the city of Abuja.

As of 2008 it organises three leagues: The Nigerian Premier League, the Amateur League and the Women's League, and five competitions, including the Federation Cup and Women's Cup. The next Election is slated for 2022.[1][2][3][4][5]

Formation dispute[edit]

Author and Nigerian football historian Kunle Solaja has found evidence that the Nigerian Football Federation could have been formed in 1933 and not 1945 as previously thought.

Solaja cited two Nigerian Daily Times' articles dated from 21 July and 21 August 1933. The first was an article called titled "Proposed Football Association",[6] the latter was an advert invited people to attend an open meeting.

Nigerian Football Association
The inaugural meeting of the above will be held at Health Office, Broad Street, at 7 pm tonight to discuss the formation of the Association and to pass its Rules. All interested in Football are invited to attend

Nigerian Daily Times, 21 August 1933

The FA's Public Affairs Officer David Berber, revealed that the FA held evidence of the Nigerian Football Federation existing before 1945: "I can advise that the name of the Nigeria Football Association first appeared in the ‘FA Handbook’ for the season 1938–1939, in the list of our affiliated associations. The NFA Secretary at that time was F.B Mulford, with a Lagos address."

2014 dispute[edit]

On the 9th July 2014, upon the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Nigeria was suspended from FIFA, briefly,[7] According to a statement from FIFA the World soccer’s ruling body had previously sent a letter to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in which it expressed its concerns after the NFF received court proceedings which hindered its president from running the African country’s soccer affairs.[8][9]

However Nigeria was back for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.[10]

In September, another dispute risked leading to Nigeria missing qualifying for 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but problems were resolved, and Nigeria went on to the 2014 African Women's Championship. [11]

Nigeria Football Federation Bill[edit]

A Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigeria Football Association Act and endorse the Nigeria Football Federation Act ("NFF Act") has been passed by the National Assembly of Nigeria in 2019. It remains for President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent for the Bill to become law.[12][13]

Reservations on the NFF Bill[edit]

The public consensus favors the passage of the Bill, as it is believed will become what Nigeria's Football Federation require to effectively grow football in the country. However, legal opinion queried the constitutionality, based on the Constitution of Nigeria as it regards to sports and sports administration of which the National Assembly has no legislative powers to pass such laws. Further still if the Bill becomes Law by the President's assent, Nigeria Football Federation will become a statutory body which will, therefore, contravene one of the FIFA statutes for their member organizations.[14]

Corruption and Development of the NFF[edit]

Corruption is the unlawful enrichment of oneself by the use of one's workplace, whether through bribery, theft, or receipts of compensation for the execution of what should have been one's usual task. Corruption has been the bane of Nigerian public and private life for many years. Corruption has eaten so deeply into the fabric of Nigerian culture that it has been embraced as a way of life, it is an undeniable reality. In Nigeria, corruption has taken on a new sense, with only those who have been caught in the act of theft being labeled as corrupt. Corruption is perpetuated in the sports industry, especially in football, by the awarding of contracts, the hiring of coaches, the use of referees on the field of play, the election of board members, and the selection of players, among other things. Much of this revolves around the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), formerly the Nigerian Football Association (NFA), which is a federal government body under the sports ministry tasked with the creation of football in Nigeria. According to stakeholders in the football industry, corruption has wreaked havoc on the advancement of the sport in Nigeria. It has been so pervasive that former Nigerian Senate President David Mark described the Nigeria Football Federation as the most corrupt government agency in the country during one of house's sittings in 2013. No one knows exactly when football began in Nigeria, but one thing is certain: Nigerians began playing the game for fun and relaxation long before the Nigeria Football Association was established (NFA). It is commonly thought that former British colonial masters introduced football to Nigeria as early as 1914, after Lord Lugard's amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria.[15]



Current title holders[edit]

Competition Year Champions Title Runners-up Next edition
Nigerian Professional Football League 2019 Enyimba 8th Kano Pillars 2020–21
Nigeria National League
Nigeria Nationwide League
NWFL Premiership 2019 2020–21


  1. ^ https://www.kheljournal.com/archives/2016/vol3issue1/PartF/3-1-2.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "German Gernot Rohr sacked as Nigeria coach". GhanaWeb. 15 December 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Sacked Rohr expects Nigeria to have a good Afcon". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Gernot Rohr : Nigeria sack head coach a month prior to AFCON 2021". Africa Top Sports. 13 December 2021. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Rohr sacked as Nigeria coach with Eguavoen named as replacement | Goal.com". www.goal.com. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  6. ^ "The Business of Football – THISDAYLIVE Actually supposed to form in 1933 formal was 1945". www.thisdaylive.com. Retrieved 28 April 2023.
  7. ^ HD-print-international-football-by-fifa-due-to-government-interference skysports – Nigeria banned from international football by FIFA due to government interference
  8. ^ "UPDATE 1-Soccer-Nigeria suspended by FIFA over government interference". Reuters. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  9. ^ "FIFA lifts Nigeria suspension". Reuters. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  10. ^ "FIFA lifts Nigeria suspension". Reuters. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2022.
  11. ^ BBC – Fifa has confirmed that African champions Nigeria have avoided a ban from global football.
  12. ^ – Nigerian Senate passes NFF Bill.
  13. ^ – Nigerian Senate passes NFF Establishment bill.
  14. ^ – a review of the Nigeria Football Federation bill.
  15. ^ "Lord Lugard Created Nigeria 104 Years Ago". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 7 June 2022.

External links[edit]