Football remains the most common and accepted sports in Nigeria with a history which eclipses the independence of the country. Nigeria Football news have it that the sports have produced notable footballers such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Rashidi Yekini, Finidi George, Joseph Yobo and John Obi Mikel and is considered by many to be one of the unifying factors for the diverse West African nation.
Nigeria’s passion for football is demonstrated by the presence of football fields, academy and clubs which litter all over the country. Nigeria currently has a football federation and national football team which covers the scope for the beautiful game. The country’s football team according to Nigeria Football news is grouped into the U-17 team (Golden Eaglet), U-20 team (Flying Eagles) and Nigerian team (Super Eagles) which further has home-based and foreign-based teams.
The actual date of introduction of football to the country have been a myth as no proven record, source or archive could justify that. However, the sport according to Nigeria Football news was introduced to the African country by its colonial masters but the category of colonial masters were not stated. The African country then participated in amateur competitions with foreign sides such as South Liverpool, Bishop Auckland and Bromley during the colonial times. No date however have been released as the official date for the formation of the country’s football association but two school of thought have postulated two possible date for the nations football association. A school of thought have postulated 1945 as its official date while another school of thought believes the association was formed in 1933.
The country reportedly joined the African football association in 1959 and joined the World football governing body a year later. Nigeria despite her passion and devotion to the beautiful game had to wait for more than 2 decade to attain its height in the game particularly in the continental level. The first success came at the came at the African games with the country grabbing gold medal in the second edition of the continental game. The team’s first success in a wholly football tournament arrived in the 1976 African cup nations tournament where the finished in third place. The country had to settle for third position in the subsequent edition of the AFCON tournament. Nigeria finally reached the “Promised Land” in 1980 as the football nation hosted and lifted the continental trophy in Lagos. The Super eagle’s despite being in their period of domination in the continental stages lost two straight finals to Cameroun. The nation lift their second continental trophy in 1994 before waiting for another 19yrs to grab the third in the 2013 edition.
Nigeria despite her football exploits in the continental stages have failed to scale pass the round of 16 stages in the FIFA World cup. The nation football team under the Clemens Westerhoff reach the World cup stages for the first time in the 1994 World cup. The Super eagles despite possession of quality players failed to advance passed the round of 16 as Italy’s Roberto Baggio scored twice in a space of 120 minutes to condemn the team to a 2-1 defeat after Amuneke drew first blood for the West African team. The African team came back four years later only to be hammered 4-1 by Denmark in the same round. The country since then have made 4 appearance out of 5 in the football’s global showpiece with round of 16 elimination from the France in 2014 as their best outing so far.
Nigeria football will not have gotten to its current height without the involvement of the media. The media have continued to market Nigeria football with live match coverage, grassroots development and Nigeria related information. According to reports Nigeria Football Federation has an active deal with companies such as AIT, Ray Power radio, Bein Sport and Supersport. The Nigeria international friendly are regularly scheduled in the UK through independent organizer. Online football newspapers such as Completesportnigeria.com, Goal.com, Espn.com as well as local media platforms have continued to project the image of Nigeria football to the global market. The media according to reports have been influential in the selection of players in the past especially for players plying their trade in low profile leagues, In the past the foreign based player as well as local based footballer’s were observed from media and this trend have been the other of day at the current.