Sport has always been a part of Nigerian culture. The
pre-colonial riverine communities of the Niger-Delta
were famed for their competitive regattas, while
wrestling contest were common in village squares all
over the country.
British colonial rule encouraged sports competitions,
with the Empire day Games serving as occasions for
schools within a district or province to compete for
laurels in athletics. Field and Track events were the
first form of organized sports in the country because
they required few specialized facilities.
Organised football, which is a unifying national sport, started in
Nigeria in 1945 with the formation of the Nigerian Football Association.
The same year saw the commencement of the Governor's Cup (later named
the Challenge Cup), which involved clubs from around the country.
became a member of FIFA in 1959.To cater for the sophistication in
football, the professional league, which currently has 16 clubs, was
introduced in 1990. Succeeding administrations have contributed to the
development of football in Nigeria through investment in modem stadium
facilities and organising competitions through which numerous talents
have been discovered.
Nigeria has an array of players in major leagues around the world; a
result of her football development programme. Also, the country has
continued to reap from her investment, winning a variety of global
laurels. Nigeria has no doubt emerged as a power to reckon with in world
abundant human resources, Nigeria has, over the years, continued to
produce generations of footballers of world-class standard, Through whom
honours have been recurring. Their accomplishments in the world's
toughest football leagues have contributed immensely to the country's
ever growing status in football circles.