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News Agency of Nigeria

NFF mulls Sand Eagles return, pledges support for League

“You will recall Nigeria was doing well in beach soccer, but all of a sudden we started dwindling and the problem was traced to lack of a functional league.

By Muhyideen Jimoh

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says plans are underway to reinstate and assemble a formidable Super Sand Eagles team that can compete globally.

NFF General-Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, said this on Tuesday at the official commissioning of the African Beach Soccer Union (ABSU) office situated within the former NFF headquarters popularly called “glass house’ in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that that the NFF had in December 2019 disbanded the Super Sand Eagles and put a hold to the team’s participation in international tournament.

This was sequel to the abysmal outing of the team at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay where the team lost all its three group stage matches.

An elated Sanusi on Tuesday, while commissioning the ABSU headquarters, said the development was good for the growth of the fast-rising sport in Africa.

He noted that with the commencement of the BSN league, the Super Sand Eagles will soon return to the international fold.

“You will recall Nigeria was doing well in beach soccer, but all of a sudden we started dwindling and the problem was traced to lack of a functional league.

“That was why we put a hold to our participation in African Beach Soccer and said we must start our local league.

“With a functional local league now, I can assure you that we will go and sit down at our level (NFF) to review our stand (on Super Sand Eagles) so that we can start participation in international beach soccer again,” he said.

The NFF scribe pledged to work more closely with the Nigeria Beach Soccer Association and the ABSU to promote the game in Nigeria and Africa.

Earlier, ABSU President Mahmud Hadejia, said the aim of the continental association was to promote and develop a strong beach soccer culture and league across Africa.

He maintained that the commissioning of the headquarters in Abuja would go a long way to fast track the development of the game.

“Today is historic for us in ABSU, because we have been pushing for a functional headquarters for a long time as this will help facilitate stronger beach side culture in Africa,” he said.

Chairman, Nigeria Beach Soccer Association, Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, in his remarks, said the association would continue to work round the clock to improve the beach soccer league in Nigeria.

NAN reports that the maiden edition of the Nigeria Beach Soccer League, which was staggered into three phases and a super four, was won by Kebbi Beach Soccer Club.(NAN)