Repairing Nigerian Football Is A Major Task – Pinnick

Nigerian FootballThe President of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, Mr Amaju Pinnick says his election was divinely scripted and he would therefore depend on the Almighty for the task of fixing the game.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Pinnick noted that identifying the problems in the Federation and creating an environment of peace and stability would be the first task to embark on.

He stated that he was aware of how bad things were in the organisation before venturing into leading it and therefore did not expect to have things easy but he was ready for the challenge.

“I came at a time when there is so much turbulence, bickering, animosity, hatred in the system. So its not going to be something very rosy or easy, but prayerfully, tactfully we are going to do what we want to do.”

He revealed that one of the major sources of problems in the NFF, asides the deep seated emotional bitterness, is the politics of exclusion.

He, however, expressed joy that some top people have started extending hands of fellowship to him including those who ran against him in the race to the NFF Presidency, like Amanze Uchegbulam.

“Repairing Nigerian Football is a major task,” he said.

Pinnick also emphasized the need to create an environment for potential partners to wish to identify with the Federation, noting that it would be important for the NFF to build trust especially among corporate organisations.

“We are going to create a platform for them to see that we are very serious.”

Pinnick itemised a number of steps his team would take in order to build the confidence in corporate organisations, “where people know that their brand name will not be tainted”.

Sustainable football culture is Pinnick’s priority and he warned that this would mean Nigerians have to make sacrifices as regards their constant quest for winning trophies, as there must be long, medium and long term goals.

He explained the plan to create a technical study group under the NFF technical department, which would go round the country to select genuinely young and talented players quarterly for transfer to developmental leagues abroad.

He explained that this would not be for them to be put under the pressure of winning at all cost for the Golden Eaglets or Flying Eagles but they would be trained to have the mentality of seeing themselves as future Super Eagles.

Pinnick linked the successes recorded by Germany in recent years to a similar approach with he said also gives him the assurance that “Germany is going to dominate for the next eight years.”

Pinnick also noted that his strategy was based on a similar template which he has worked and succeeded with, citing the Blessing Okagbare success as an example of how to build sustainable development which he assured would eventually yield results.

He also played up his experiences working at the world football governing body, FIFA, and the progression from that and rising gradually to the top of football administration in Delta State as quality antecedents that give him the confidence that same successes can be achieved with the NFF.

Keshi’s Contract

On the employment status of Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, Pinnick noted that the Eagles Coach remains a hero who must be accorded the respect of one, having won the African Cup of Nations as a player and as a coach.Nigerian Football

He noted that although he had made comments in the past that “Keshi has reached his limit and he needs to build his capacity” the recommendation of the technical arm of the NFF would be considered.

“I believe in due diligence, going through a due process. The technical department will come up with a comprehensive report about Keshi, submit it to the technical committee, they look at it and give it to the board.

“The board will now make a decision based on those reports, but I can assure you we are not going to do anything that is against the interest of Nigerians.”

Pinnick would not give a categorical statement on the future of Keshi with the Super Eagles, but hinted that “if Keshi is going to stay we will help him” explaining how he intends to do this.

He also noted that the priority of the board would not just be Keshi but also the training of other Nigerian coaches and referees, as improving the level of officiating in Nigeria, and having a Nigerian referee feature at the next World Cup is one of his targets.

He appealed to Nigerians to be patient, promising, “We are going to give you what you’ve never seen before.”


NFF Congress: Candidates Are Offering N3 Million Bribe For Votes – Sports Journalist

Nnamdi_ObanyaA sports journalist, Mr Nnamdi Obanya on Tuesday said candidates running for positions on the board of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) are reported to be offering between N2 to N3 million bribes to candidates that will vote for them during the congress.

Mr Obanya said “we are hearing all sorts, some we want to believe and some we don’t want to believe” adding that “delegates are being offered between N2 to N3 million to vote for certain candidates”, he said on Sunrise Daily.

He further noted that those trying to use a court injunction to stop the NFF elections that “a Federal High Court, an Appeal Court, a State High Court or a Magistrate Court don’t have any jurisdiction over the NFF” insisting that “only the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has any jurisdiction over the NFF.

“The NFF is under CAF, which is under FIFA and it is a federation. And by your constitutional right, and freedom of association, you cannot stop anybody from a holding a congress within the constitution of the association and that is what NFF is doing”, maintaining that “it is as simple as that”.

He further noted that “there has been no criminal activity, which is the only reason you can call for such injunctions and the likes”.
He accused ‘some people’ of trying to test their importance at the NFF, adding that “security agents again tried to pick up (Aminu) Maigari, but this time he was able to find his way out”.

He added that despite ‘tough talks’ by (Taiwo) Ogunjobi and (Amanze) Uchegbulam, “it looks like it is a straight fight between (Shehu) Dikko and (Amaju) Pinnick; they seem to be the two front runners; they seem to be the two candidates that most people think will win the election”.

He also expressed hope that the “palpable tension in Warri now will not translate into something else when the time comes”.

Already, representatives of the world football governing body, FIFA, and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), led by Ghana’s Football Federation (GFA) President, Kwesi Nyantaki, have arrived in Warri for the elective congress.

Among the candidates vying to replace outgoing NFF president, Aminu Maigari, are Amaju Pinnick from Delta State, Amanze Uchegbulam from Imo State, Taiwo Ogunjobi (Osun), Shehu Dikko (Kaduna) and Dominic Iorfa from Benue State.

Others are incumbent first vice president, Mike Umeh (Anambra) and Abba Yola (Kano State).

Candidates for the first vice president position are Emeka Inyama (Imo), Seyi Akinwunmi (Lagos State), Adamu Shehu (Kaduna) and Suleyman Muazu from Sokoto State.

The delegates will also elect zonal representatives on the board.

NFF Election: Babayaro Urges Delegates Not To Sell Votes

Emmanuel BabayaroAhead of the elective congress of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, former international player, Emmanuel Babayaro, has appealed to delegates to avoid selling their votes but vote according to the manifesto of individual aspirants, noting that there is an urgent need to revamp the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s football.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Babayaro said that the rot in the nations football is a culmination of the decay of many years which can be corrected with the right leadership in place.

Babayaro expressed disappointment over the performance of the Super Eagles at the Brazil World Cup and decried the present position of the Super Eagles as the African Champions are struggling to qualify for the next African Nations Cup.

The congress of the Nigeria Football Federation is expected to gather in Warri, on Monday night, at the Hotel de Excel where the seven men jostling to chair the NFF would be engaged in a debate.

It is expected that the candidates would make known their visions for the federation and get quizzed by selected members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN.

The contestants include Pin­nick Amaju Melvin, who heads the administration of football in Delta State; Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former General Secretary and later member of the executive committee in the era of Sani Lulu Abdulahi; Abba Yola of Kano State and Chief Mike Umeh, the current first Vice President; Amanze Uchegbulam and Domi­nic Iorfa, who like Ogun­jobi, served in the execu­tive committee headed by Sani Lulu Abdulahi and Shehu Dikko.

NFF Crisis: Giwa May Fall – Obanya

NFFA Sport Analyst, Nnamdi Obanya, on Friday opined that Chris Giwa might fall out of favour as the President of the Nigeria  Football Federation (NFF), as public sympathy is not with him.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Programme, Sunrise Daily, Obanya said that the federation bodies would not want to associate their ballot with Chris Giwa, explaining that the State Football Association  would want the  former NFF Secretary General, Taiwo Ogunjobi and Amanze Uchegbulam of their choice to run as president of the association.

Ahead of the Nigeria Football Federation Congress, scheduled for September 20, some candidates, especially those from the South-South and South-East zones have kicked against the choice of Warri in Delta State, by the electoral committee, demanding that the election should be shifted to a neutral venue.

Obanyo said that the congress rule stated that the congress could be held anywhere.

He noted that the congress could hold anywhere in the country, refuting calls by the candidates on the electoral committee and the NFF executive committee to prove their sincerity by moving the poll away from the Delta State capital.

“You can not have one place for the NFF Congress but everywhere. For them (the candidates) to now suddenly say that the people were trying to favour a candidate’, that is why the congress was taken to Warri, I do not think that is healthy but the truth is that the congress can hold anywhere in the country,” he said.

The NFF election has been mired in crisis recently after a faction voted Giwa as the president of the federation but the football governing body, Federation International Football Association (FIFA) brought sanity back after threatening twice to slam a ban on Nigeria’s football.