Nigerian Sports Journalist, Babatunde Koiki, says Ghana’s role in shaping Nigerian football cannot be overlooked.

“You cannot write the history of Nigeria’s football without devoting an entire chapter to Ghana, it’s that simple,” he said.

According to him, Ghana has contributed much to the shaping of Nigerian football, from how the game is played in Nigeria to the players and coaches that have left their mark on the game in the country.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Wednesday, he gave viewers a history lesson on Ghana’s immeasurable contribution to Nigerian football.

“In the late 60s and the 70s, of course because of the economic reasons in Ghana, 100 of Ghanaian footballers migrated to Nigeria and in doing so they completely changed the way Nigerian football was played.

“Back then it was a kick-and-follow or kick-and-rush style that was prevalent in Nigeria. But when the Ghanaians came they brought this short-passing game, this possession football that was completely alien to Nigerian football, and because of that Nigerian football had to adapt that and that is why Nigerian football is what it is today,” he said.

Talking about players and coaches he said, “We can talk about the likes of Ghanaians who made Nigerian football. Afro Moses, Joetex Frimpong, Edward Ansah, I’m having goosebumps just mentioning these names.

“What about the Ghanaian coaches who also made their indelible mark in Nigerian football; Silas Tetteh… it’s incredible the kind of history Nigeria and Ghana have and how much Nigeria actually owes Ghana.

“Some of Nigeria’s greatest players were actually born and raised in Ghana. Baba Otu Mohammed, he was born and raised in Kumasi, in fact, Nigeria actually wanted to nationalize Joetex Frimpong to play for Nigeria.

“It was his father that prevailed upon him to change his mind and play for the Black Stars, and I believe that there are actually some Black Stars players who can trace their ancestry back to Nigeria.”

According to him, this strong relationship between the two countries is what has given rise to the enviable rivalry that has African football in a chokehold.

He’s optimistic that the duo will contribute immensely to establishing African football on the world stage, in light of the frenzy the upcoming derby has generated within the international football fraternity.

Ghana will go head-to-head with Nigeria at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Friday.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.