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In the words of the President of the World Minifootball Federation, WMF, Filip Juda, “It’s undoubtedly a progressively growing sport that brings people together and gives them a sense of belonging.” Indeed, it is a stunning story that has engulfed over 144 countries spread across six continents of the world within 5years of its official global existence. A beautiful game that has the potential of being the most talked about amateur sport in the world.

Welcome to the world of Minifootball, a sport that resonates with everyone regardless of age, colour, racial and cultural background. With minifootball, you have the benefit of not just admiring stars but also being able to participate and win. It is compact, enjoyable yet less-expensive to manage.

I am delighted that minifootball has finally taken off in Nigeria and it’s my utmost joy to see it grow, especially among our youths who are so passionate about football. I have continually focused my eyes on the enviable heights Minifootball is poised to attain in the nearest future and how beautiful it will be for all of us to be part of that success story around the world and in Nigeria in particular.

With Nigeria being a member of the Africa Minifootball Confederation, AMC and World Minifootball Federation, WMF, our youths now have options with great opportunities to reach the zenith of their football careers. This is particularly very delightful and indeed encouraging.

For a lot of people, there are different reasons for being involved with minifootball. But for me, and probably many out there, it’s an opportunity for service to humanity. It’s really unimaginable how many soccer talents have had to give up their promising careers due to inability to make it into the regular 11-aside football. Well, the number is staggering and probably running into millions, but with minifootball, there is now hope of a better tomorrow for a great number of these youths.

So, the good news is, for example, a young, local and economically disadvantaged boy in Ogoja community of Cross-Rivers state, who, though endowed with the natural football skill, but due to several factors, including limited opportunities, can’t make it into the 11-aside, now suddenly has his dreams and hopes rekindled. His community can afford a minifootball pitch and a minifootball club obviously because they are affordable. Therefore, he can play State competitions with the opportunity of representing Nigeria at the world stage. That to me is the true Minifootball success story, and the whole essence of my involvement! 

The building process has begun. WMF has continued to expand its frontiers to reach all countries of the world with the sport, and the reception has been nothing short of very impressive. Since 2015, it has hosted two world cups with the next one in Australia or karastan in 2019. Also, the women world cup and the under 21 world cup have been added while the first world’s continental champions cup is set for December 2018 and the world Champions club cup to beginning by 2020.

In the last one year, the sport has grown tremendously in Africa under the auspices of the AMF, led by a very vibrant and committed President, Mr. Achraf Ben Salha and ably supported by other members of the executive committee, AMF successfully hosted the second edition of the Minifootball World Cup in the beautiful city of Tunis, Tunisa. And since then, Minifootball has continued to dominate the world of amateur sports.

AMF also recently hosted the 1st edition of the African Minifootball Nations Cup in Libya. The prestigious tournament, which held from 5th-12th, May, 2018 had eight countries, including Libya, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Somalia, Tunisia and Nigeria in attendance. In very exciting and exhilarating matches, lvory Coast became the first African Champion. And at the end of the tournament, four countries, including Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tunisia and Libya, and the fifth best, Nigeria, qualified for the next world cup taking place in Australia in October, 2019.  But beyond the gains of a world cup ticket, the exposure and experience for the young players who represented Nigeria cannot be quantified. 

All thanks to AIBEN Group of companies for its sponsorship and continued support to the Nigerian minifootball in making this great achievement a reality.
The Minifootball Association of Nigeria, MAN, the registered Nigerian governing body for minifootball, is now set to build on the progress of its outing in Libya. MAN shall be flagging off the National Minifootball League, NML, as a means to engaging the youths all through the year, while scouting for players that will put up a better performance at the next edition of the African Minifootball Nations cup taking place in the beautiful city of Dakar, Senegal and the world cup in Australia. The NML, which will run from October through March, promises to be exciting, captivating and interesting.     

But beyond the attraction of providing hopes and viable empowerment platforms for millions of footballers, coaches, referees alike across the globe who couldn’t make it into the regular football platform, Minifootball fosters unity and provides a sense of belonging for everyone with a passion for the game. It is arguably the most effective instrument for engaging youths and reducing crime in the society.
The game has been used in different countries to spread the message of peace, eradicate social vices and societal ills. Indeed, minifootball is today seen by public sectors in different countries as a right tool to make social policy interventions, especially due to its compact nature and less financial requirement, which often make it easy for the sport to spread to every nook and crannies, including remote areas.
It is important to stress that minifootball is not a rival to any sport rather a compliment. And if well utilised, like it’s in other countries, the sport can help to develop regular football by strengthening grassroot players, infrastructure and fan base.  

MAN is committed to this humanitarian course. Through organising and regulating of the sport, we pledge to contribute to the positive development of the society and early age-grade soccer advancement in Nigeria and by extension in the world. 
Thank you all                                                                                                                         
Andy Elerewe                                                      
MAN President

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