February 19th, 2012
NewsRescue- Nigerians are known for their soccer fanaticism, especially when it comes to the British Premiere League. In honoring the passion for soccer among Nigerians, and support for their football club, Arsenal will be visiting Nigeria in July 2012. It is expected to be a ‘crazy’ affair with fans of Arsenal and ‘foes’ alike going ballistic. Angus Kinnear, Arsenal’s marketing director said on BBC, January:
“Everything is right on track. Nigeria will happen. We had a successful meeting and covered a lot of ground.
“It’s very important to get the right message across to the fans in West Africa and the entire continent.
“There is a strong desire to connect with our fans in Africa and the first step starts in Nigeria.”
Arsenal is expected to make a trip to Nigeria for a preseason tour next year. A delegation from the English Premier League club arrived Nigeria on Monday to inspect facilities and speak with federation officials ahead of the visit planned for July 2012.
Nigeria is home to a great number of Arsenal fans and this will enable the supporters to see their favorite stars such as Gunners captain Robin van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen, Alexandre Song and Theo Walcott.
“Arsenal will tour Nigeria ahead of the 2012-13 season and will play against some selected Nigerian clubs,” FIFA match agent David Omigie told MTNFootball.com.
The trip is expected to include discussions on how Nigeria will benefit from the visit of the Gunners. Arsenal’s media department confirmed the trip to Goal.com, stating that the club had decided to consider its options for preseason activities next year.
Reports suggest that managing director Angus Kinnear, club secretary Mark Ellis and head of security and logistics Paul Johnson form part of the Arsenal delegation.
Musa Amadu, NFF acting secretary general said in a statement, “This visit, I want to observe, will definitely provide a strong platform for a much better relationship between the English Premier League and the Nigeria Premier League. Incidentally, the NPL is just returning firmly to its feet after protracted crisis and will welcome tips and suggestions on how to re-position powerfully for the upcoming season.
“It is also important that I mention that some of our football clubs, particularly those in the Premier League, would welcome some form of technical partnership with Arsenal Football Club”, said Amadu.
Fellow EPL teams Manchester United and Portsmouth visited the country three years ago and played against Nigeria Premier League club sides Enyimba and Kano Pillars.