Pinnick Meets England-Born Midfielder Ebere Eze Over Chances To Play For Nigeria

 

 

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick on Saturday, November 23, 2019, met with England born midfielder Ebere Eze to discuss the chances of his playing for the Super Eagles. 

Although born in England, Eze is of Nigerian descent and in July 2017 trained with the Super Eagles.

Since then, however, he has played for the England U20 and U21s but yet to make a senior appearance for any side which has left his international future open.

The NFF President was at the Fulham v QPR Championship game of Friday to watch Nigeria-eligible Ebere Eze in action.

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The President who maintains a keen interest in the player had also met with his father previously trying to get a decision on his international career.

On Sunday, Eze also visited President Pinnick in the latter’s London home.

During discussions, the player was informed of the President’s desire, which echoes that of many Nigerians to see Ebere Eze switch allegiance and start playing his international football for Nigeria.

The NFF says talks are ongoing but the player has requested the chance to continue to focus on his club career which is going well so far, and that further progress will be made in due course.

We Have Always Maintained Our Innocence At The NFF – Pinnick

 

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has said that his team has always maintained its innocence at the NFF. 

Mr Pinnick made this disclosure on Monday when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

The NFF President said his team has also always laid its books bare for everyone to see.

His statement comes few days after a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja discharged and acquitted him of charges bordering on fraud to the tune of $8.4 million and N4 billion.

READ ALSO: Court Discharges, Acquits NFF President Pinnick, Four Others Of Corruption Charges

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick

Pinnick and other chieftains of the NFF were charged on 16 counts of corruption and misappropriation of the said sums from the 2014 FIFA Grant, as well as for conflict of interest and non-declaration of assets, by the defunct Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP), headed by Okon Obono-Obla.

On the recent court victory, Pinnick said: “This is not a personal victory for me and my other board members. It is victory for all of Nigerian football”.

He further stated that he and his team have always published their accounts using some of the best auditing firms in the world.

Pinnick said he was happy that the toxic moments are over, stating that it is now time “to pull and work together, not pull apart”

The NFF President also thanked the government for its continued support for the works of the national football governing body.

He said the cordial relationship between the NFF and the government must be maintained if progress is to be made in sports across all levels.

“The Government is a key partner of Nigerian football and our working relationship with them must be very cordial if we want to make progress,” Pinnick said.

Gauteng Tournament: A Learning Experience For The Team – Eguavoen

austine-eguavoen
Former Super Eagles coach, Augustine Eguavoen

Former Super Eagles coach, Augustine Eguavoen, has said he is confident that the 2017 Future Champions Gauteng Cup tournament will serve as a learning experience for the team.

Eguavoen led the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) All-Stars Under-17 team to a Silver Medal at the Future Champions Gaunteng international tournament in Johannesburg.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television in Johannesburg, Eguavoen said the team deserves commendation as they got to know each other within nine days in camp.

Meanwhile, the first Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Seyi Akinwunmi, said the football house will continue to work towards building a functional youth system in the country’s domestic leagues clubs.

He also said the NPFL U-17 All-Stars have shown they can compete among the best finishing in second place among top teams in Europe, Asia and Africa.

AFCON Exit: Nigeria Shifts Focus to 2018 FIFA World Cup

nffAfter failing to qualify for next year’s African Cup of Nations in Gabon, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says special attention will be given to ensure the Super Eagles feature at the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

According to the Federation, the board remains united and resolute in its commitment to building a sustainable football culture for the country, by employing resources at its disposal diligently, purposefully and responsibly.

The Nigeria Football Federation issued a statement following the failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals:

The NFF, like most Nigerians, are saddened by the Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final competition, following a 1-0 defeat by seven –time African champions Egypt in Alexandria on Tuesday, 29th March 2016.

We see this failure to qualify as an unfortunate turn of events, because it came despite the undoubted efforts of the Coaching crew led by Coach Samson Siasia and the players led by the captain, Mikel Obi, and the efforts of the NFF leadership who not only supported the technical crew but also provided necessary support regarding comfortable traveling arrangement and accommodation for the team’s home and away matches.

. Football being the paramount national pastime in our dear country, we understand and share the disappointment in the land. But we crave the indulgence of all to continue to support the team and the NFF going forward as we continue to nurture and navigate a painful but positive path towards a glorious future for Nigeria football.

It is rather unfortunate that Chad, one of the teams in the qualification group, suddenly pulled out of the race, leaving only three teams left in the group, and only the winner of the the group guaranteed qualification. This appeared to have taken away our worst –case scenario of qualification. However, our legal unit is looking at the propriety of changing the rules midstream.

. In the next one week, the Technical and Development Committee will meet to make recommendations to the NFF Board on the way forward for the Super Eagles, but already, we can disclose that the NFF has now fully shifted its focus to activating its already prepared plan to give the team all the support it needs to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while continuing to build a sustainable football culture for Nigeria in order to make Nigerian football once more a force to be reckoned with.

Failure to reach the Africa Cup of Nations remains a gnawing pain, but we have decided to take a number of positives from the unsuccessful campaign and in particular the two matches against Egypt. The development of a new and youthful team playing swashbuckling, strong, resolute and exciting kind of football Nigeria has been known for was a soothing balm even in the face of the challenging campaign.

. In preparing for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers starting later this year, the NFF will ensure that it utilizes all FIFA windows for international friendlies for the Super Eagles, starting in June with two games against teams of high ranking. The outstanding Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania in September would also serve as a tune –up for the World Cup qualification games.

. We want to use this medium to commend the efforts of Samson Siasia and Emmanuel Amuneke, who took very seriously and professionally the job of preparing the Super Eagles for the matches, with only three weeks to do the job. They have shown extraordinary courage and purposefulness, and the NFF will never forget their contributions to Nigeria football.

As it is, Nigeria is one of only three teams that will represent Africa at this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, having won the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal in December 2015. The NFF will give Coach Siasia all the support to excel at the Games, by winning the football gold. We will also continue to support the U-20 men squad, managed by Amuneke, in order to ensure the team’s qualification for the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations and the U-20 World Cup, as well as the U-17 boys for the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations and the U-17 World Cup, for which we are the defending champions.

. We are also working on maximum support for the women’s National Teams ahead of the African Women Cup of Nations, the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup – all taking place this year.

Our sincere appreciation goes to the Federal Government for continued support for Nigeria football, and our sponsors for the invaluable role they play in the nation’s football development. We particularly commend the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, for their very kind gesture and solid support for the Super Eagles in both matches against Egypt, and indeed other matches before these.

Nigeria missed out of the 2012 edition, won the title in 2013 in South Africa, failed to qualify for the tournament in 2015 and will not compete in the 2017 edition in Gabon.

FIFA U-20 World Cup: NFF Confirm Three Friendlies For Flying Eagles

flying eaglesThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has arranged three test matches for the Flying Eagles against the U-23 teams of German Bundesliga clubs Hoffenheim, Nurnberg and Freiburg ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

The Nigeria U20 team will tackle Hoffenheim U23s on May 12 in Hoffenheim with kick-off time put at 3pm local time, which is 4pm Nigerian time.

Three days later they will tackle the U23 team of Nurnberg at their training ground in Sudwest Park in Nurnberg by 4.30pm.
These two matches will be able to give Coach Manu Garba and his assistants the chance to run a final rule over the players they will pick for their final 21-man squad for the World Cup.

Their final test match is slated for Freiburg against the U23 team of Freiburg on May 19 by 2.30pm.

The team are due to fly out to New Zealand via Australia from Germany on May 23.

Flying Eagles test matches:
Vs Hoffenheim May 12
Vs Nurnberg May 15
Vs Freiburg May 19

Nigeria will submit a final squad to FIFA on May 15.

NFF Task Flying Eagles To Win AYC Trophy

Sunday_Alampasu_Of_Flying_Eagles_TrainingThe Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have asked the Flying Eagles to win the 2015 U-20 African Youth Championship in Senegal.

NFF Deputy Secretary General, Emmanuel Ikpeme, reminded the team that the entire country is looking up to them to win the continent’s championship in Senegal.

“On behalf of the president of the NFF, I wish to congratulate the players who made the final squad to the AYC in Senegal,” he said in a very passionate address to the team.

“The President is particularly delighted that the bulk of the squad to Senegal are from the team who won the U17 World Cup two years ago.

“The target to the team therefore is for the team to win the AYC and confirm that winning the U17 World Cup was not a fluke.

He added: “Your first match will be against the hosts country Senegal and do not expect it to be an easy match but we believe you are up to the task going by what you showed in your recent test matches in Ghana.

“We should not take any match or opponent for granted and so you should resolve as a team to make Nigeria happy and proud in Senegal.”

Flying Eagles coach, Manu Garba, assured that the team are fired up for glory in Senegal.

“We as a team always want to win every game we play and that is the attitude we will take to the AYC,” Manu said.

“We will not underrate any team in Senegal, but we are confident we will do the nation proud.”

Super Eagles Team Arrive Camp for Cote ‘D Ivoire, Sudan Friendlies

Super Eagles.Apart from Emem Eduok, who is in Tunisia and Igudia Godwin, who replaced Erhun Obanor, who is with the U23 national side, all invited Super Eagles players are in Abuja with technical crew comprising Dan “the Bull’ Amokachi, Houandinu Valere and Ike Shorunmu.

Amokachi who addressed the players after lunch on Wednesday, told them to brace up for the challenge of training only seven days for two grade A international friendlies against Cote ‘D Ivoire and Sudan in Abu Dhabi. He added that only 19 players from the 25 invited to camp will make the trip and that current form and not sentiments or past appearance in the team’s camp will be the yardstick for selection.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles Assistant Coach, Houandinou Valere, has cleared the air on talks that he intends to drag the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), to the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland, noting that even if he has outstanding salaries to collect he will never do such a thing.

People should stop causing unnecessary friction between myself and my employers through insinuations and false reports as I want to take the NFF to CAS. I don’t have such intention and will never do that because we are loyal employees of the NFF” he said in Abuja.

The Super Eagles had their first work-out at the mainbowl of the Abuja National Stadium On Wednesday evening.

We Need FIFA Ban To Get Things Correctly – Ex International

Larry_KubenjeA former Nigerian international footballer, Mr Larry Kubenje, believes that Nigeria needs to be banned from participating in FIFA organised competitions for things to be done correctly.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, on Monday, Mr Kubenje said: “People are already scared that FIFA will ban us; we need the ban to get it correctly. This problem will continue all the way in another ten years”.

He blamed Nigeria’s sports woes on former Ministers of Sports and didnt spare the present one either.

He said the minister, instead of rallying aggrieved stakeholders, “was pushing his interests”.

“Amaju’s coming wasn’t the making of the Minister; he had his own candidate. When people begin to push their selfish interest in front, Nigeria will never get it”.

Mr Kubenje, who also noted that the problem of Nigerian football started years ago, added that Nigeria had a bad football structure that has to be dismantled and restructured.

He argued that the premier league was a “mess”. “It is a battle between “the club owners, the NFF and the board”.

Justice Ambrose Alagoa of the Federal High Court in Jos had on Thursday annulled the September 30 NFF electionsiheld in Warri that produced Mr Amaju Pinnick as the President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).

He had also declared as null and void the NFF Elective Congress held on that day, thereby restoring to power the Giwa-led board which was elected in Abuja on Aug. 26.

The decision had meant the board led by Amaju Pinnick should vacate office.

The NFF Executive Committee, led by Amaju Pinnick, has filed for a Stay-of-Execution of the order at the same court, which the court said it will be hear on Wednesday.

However, unless there is change of cognisance in the leadership of the NFF, the world soccer ruling body, FIFA may suspend Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) today from international competitions and all football related activities.

This is even as the Super Eagles still have hope of qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations to defend their crown and the Golden Eaglets, the reigning champions of the world, ready to compete at the African Championship to be eligible to travel to Chile to defend their world title next year.

With the Super Falcons wining title for seventh time during the weekend, they may miss out on playing in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

 

Sports Journalist Urges New NFF Leadership To Face Development

NFFA sports journalist, Nnamdi Obanya, has urged the newly elected executive committee of the Nigerian Football Federation to replicate the success they achieved at state level on the big stage.

“What I hope is that this administration will face development”, as their states, Delta and Lagos have witnessed under their leadership, he said.

He also hoped that they ensure there are no post election delays such as requests for court injunctions and litigation.

Mr Obanya, who said these delays may hinder the new executives from performing at their best, added that some of the candidates are disgruntled after losing the election.

“The problem is that you cannot prevent anybody from taking any action; every single person can go to Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and say they are not satisfied with the outcome of the election.

“But everybody who saw the process itself, knows it was very free and fair”, he said.

Amaju Pinnick was elected the new President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after winning the general elections held in Warri, Delta State.

Pinnick, who is the Executive Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, won the election by 32 votes after it went into a re-run and will replace Aminu Maigari as the new President of the NFF for the next four years.

Two rounds of voting were needed to determine the clear winner of the election after Pinnick got 29 votes out of the 44 accredited delegates, but it was not enough to secure a two-third victory.

However, in the run-off between former General Secretary of the NFF, Taiwo Ogunjobi, Dominic Iorfa and Pinnick, it was the latter who got the votes again that saw him emerge triumphant.

This time, Pinnick got 32 votes while Iorfa got 8 and Ogunjobi got four votes.

While speaking, Obanya also expressed worry over rumours making the rounds that the plans are under way to sack Stephen Keshi as the manager of the Super Eagles and appoint Samson Siasia, adding that “we don’t know if this administration will be interested in dropping Keshi and bringing in Siasia.

Blatter Congratulates Pinnick

FIFA President Joseph Blatter addresses news conference in HavanaFIFA president Sepp Blatter, has endorsed Amaju Pinnick as Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president. Pinnick, 43, who is Delta State Sports Commission chairman and Delta FA boss, was elected on Tuesday

Blatter said in a letter to Pinnick: “I wish you good luck, strength and every success for your new role and look forward to meeting you soon.”

His comments allay fears that Nigeria were heading for a ban as a result of Fifa not ratifying the election.

“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations and best wishes of success on the occasion of your election as the new president of the Nigeria Football Federation,” said Blatter.

“Your knowledge and experience will certainly have an important impact on the stable development of our beautiful game in your country. You can rely on my personal support and Fifa’s assistance in order to reach this goal.

“The doors of the home of Fifa are open whenever you wish to discuss any relevant issues concerning the game and its governance”, he said.

Pinnick, who will lead the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) till 2018, expressed his desire to unite divisions that have blighted the country’s game.

“The plan is to make genuine reconciliatory moves. I will personally go to Jos to see and speak to Chris Giwa because we all need to come together for the sake of our country and football,” he said.

Pinnick also said his board will make a collective decision over the appointment of a permanent coach for the Super Eagles, with Stephen Keshi currently in the role only on a temporary basis.

“The president is not a sole decision-maker. The board will meet soon to decide the right step,” Pinnick told BBC Sport.

Amaju Pinnick was elected the new President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) after winning the general elections held in Warri, Delta State.

Pinnick, who is the Executive Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, won the election by 32 votes after it went into a re-run and will replace Aminu Maigari as the new President of the NFF for the next four years.

Two rounds of voting were needed to determine the clear winner of the election after Pinnick got 29 votes out of the 44 accredited delegates, but it was not enough to secure a two-third victory.

However, in the run-off between former General Secretary of the NFF, Taiwo Ogunjobi, Dominic Iorfa and Pinnick, it was the latter who got the votes again that saw him emerge triumphant.

This time, Pinnick got 32 votes while Iorfa got 8 and Ogunjobi got four votes.

House Summons Warring NFF Factions

House-of-Reps5The House of Representatives Committee on Sports has invited the warring factions of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for an amicable resolution of the crisis rocking the Glass House.

Chairman of the Committee, Godfrey Gaiya, invited the factions after a closed door meeting with the Sports Minister, Tamuno Danagogo, at the National Assembly. Gaiya said that it had become necessary to meet with all warring factions to resolve the crisis.

Gaiya had last week pleaded with the stakeholders not to allow the crisis to escalate to the extent of attracting international attention and any sanction from the world soccer governing body, FIFA.

Hon. Gaiya noted, “After carefully watching and observing the recent happenings in the Nigerian football family vis-à-vis the crisis, the National Assembly wants to call on the warring factions to sheathe their swords in the interest of fair play and the development of the game in the country.

“We also noticed that the build-up to the election was among the issues causing ripples and we want to also appeal to the concerned committee to make the nomination forms available to all interesting persons. The concerned committee must also create a level playing ground and allow the electoral congress to take the final decision as the tradition in the past.”

The National Assembly further noted: “We urge the authorities concerned not to allow the crisis to escalate to the level of attracting international attention or result in FIFA setting up a harmonization committee, which certainly will not be in the interest of Nigerian football.

“The National Assembly will continue to follow up the development but may in due time invite all factions, if need be, to find an amicable solution to the crisis.”

Nigerian Footballers Lament Ill-Treatment By NFF

Members of the Association of Professional Footballers of Nigeria (APFON) on Wednesday decried the hardship and deplorable welfare condition they have been exposed to, due to debts owed them by their various clubs.

The footballers also accused the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) of being responsible for their woes.

At a media briefing on Wednesday in Warri, the APFON Executive Secretary, Austin Popo, said the NFF “demonstrated gross incapability and helplessness in enforcing the decisions of the 2010 Arbitration Committee in the face of serious breach and non-compliance by the affected premier league and division one clubs”.

According to Popo, many of the footballers and their families have resorted to begging on the streets in order to keep bodies and soul together, while a few others have died leaving their families in abject poverty – like late Coach Kafaru Alabi (Elkanemi Warriors FC), Emma Agbo (Gateway FC), Benjamin Okafor and Monday Inabia Kalio (Sharks FC).

Popo said “Currently, the total award to coaches and players by the arbitration committee amounts to N264,203,500.00 (about $1.65m) while the undecided cases amount to N421,600,000.00 (about $2.63m)

He accused the National Executive Committee of the NFF led by Aminu Maigari of being insensitive towards the welfare of Nigerian footballers and coache. “We request the congress of the NFF to save the lives and careers of Nigerian footballers and coaches from imminent extinction, occasioned by the wilful disregard for the implementation of the relevant provisions of the NFF statutes and FIFA regulations”.

The footballers accused NFF of failing to invoke the sanctions on clubs who failed to comply with the 2010 decisions of NFF Players Status and Arbitration Committee in line with the relevant provisions of FIFA disciplinary code of 2011.

They also blamed the NFF for non-establishment of a National Dispute Resolution Chamber (NDRC) which provides for equal representation of players and clubs and competent for employment related disputes between clubs and players.

This has allegedly led to undecided cases worth over N750 million; and non-establishment of a national regulation, governing the status and transfers of players within Nigeria Professional League clubs, amongst others.