By: Gyang Dakwo and Niyi Lawal

Nigeria has expressed its willingness to collaborate with the Republic of Hungary on grassroots football development by ensuring a successful hosting of the Dreamland Embassy of Hungary Football Tournament scheduled to take place in Abuja from November 14 to 20, 2022.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, gave the assurance when he received the Hungarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Sandor Beer, who was in his office on a working visit.

The Ambassador brief the Minister on the preparedness of the Tournament as well as solicit the Ministry’s support towards the success of the competition.

According to him, the game was an opportunity for Nigeria to highlight its budding football talents at the grassroots with a view to harnessing them for international competitions

Dare assured of the Ministry’s readiness to collaborate with the Republic of Hungary in ensuring the success of the tournament.

He explained that Nigeria, being a football-loving nation, had many football talents at the grassroots, who can be encouraged into taking the game as a career.

The Sports Minister, therefore, urged the Hungarian Government to furnish the Ministry with a database of Nigerians, who are playing football at a professional level in Hungary for the purposes of documentation and statistics.

His words: “We need the contact information of these young ones so that we can stay in touch with them, and celebrate them as ambassadors on our website, in our speeches, and in the media; they can become role models for our teeming youth. We will bring our Coaches to share ideas and rub minds with the Coaches from your clubs with a view to developing a robust domestic grassroots football league in Nigeria.”

Earlier, the Hungarian Ambassador disclosed that Scouts from Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, and Romania will be visiting the country during the event, to see prospective Nigerian footballers, who can be recruited into their various clubs.

Amb. Beer added that the 7-day Tournament is to feature 16 Nigerian teams from Lagos, Abia, and other States across Nigeria.

President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engineer Habu Gumel, who was part of the visit, thanked the Minister for warmly receiving Ambassador Beer and providing a conducive environment for such grassroots partnerships, and collaborations to thrive in the country.