President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that football remains the number one sport in Nigeria and a national asset, therefore his administration will resist any attempt to undermine its development.

The President made the pledge while receiving the 10-year Football Development Masterplan submitted by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.

President Buhari, who used the occasion to spell out his expectations from the two-volume report, directed the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to commence its implementation in phases, within the fine lines of relevant sections of the Nigerian laws on sports development and the statutes of the world soccer governing body, FIFA.

Reviewing the state of the round leather game in the country, President Buhari expressed concern that in the past years, football development has gradually stunted due to the neglect of the core orientation of football administration.

In the forthcoming NFF executive election, President Buhari reiterated his earlier communication to the body on the need for a more equitable and democratic representation in the Congress of the NFF.

In his remarks, the Sports Minister announced that the Buhari administration has disbursed over N15 billion to NFF through budgetary appropriations and Presidential interventions in the last seven years.

Commending the President for the attention to football development in the country and laying a solid foundation for the growth of the game, the Minister described the 10-year Masterplan, which took the Ibrahim Galadima led 16-member Committee six months to prepare, as a world class document.

The Masterplan is envisioned to encapsulate functional strategies that would outlast the current administration and firmly place Nigerian football on the path to sustainable growth and development.​

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