NFF Debunks Claim of Pinnick’s Interest



Femi Solaja

Following claim wednesday in the media of the intention of President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick to contest one of the vacant seats in the FIFA Council, the Glass House has debunked the report.

The elections into the FIFA Council are slated for on September 29 with seven possible candidates have already been announced by CAF – Almamy Kabele Camara (Guinea); Suketu Patel (Sychelles); Kwesi Nyantakyi (Ghana); Ahmad (Madagascar); Augustin Senghor (Senegal); Hamidou Djibrilla (Niger) and Chabur Goc Alei (South Sudan).

The seven shortlisted candidates will undergo the FIFA integrity test, before their names are finally ratified for the ballot.

However, last night, the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, categorically stated that at no time did Pinnick, who is a member of the CAF Organising Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations, filled form to be considered for CAF nomination for the FIFA Council.

“Although the truth is that Nigeria is big enough as a country to have a member in the esteemed FIFA Council, I want to say without any fear of contradiction that at no time did the NFF President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, filled form for CAF to consider him for nomination.

“It is not an illegitimate ambition for a Nigerian to aspire to be in the FIFA Council. In the future, perhaps Mr. Pinnick or any other worthy Nigerian who is able to receive the support of the Government will approach CAF to be nominated to the Council,” the scribe of the federation stated.

Sanusi once more called on some sections of the media to cross –check their facts before going public with fallacies.

“This administration has always harped on the fact that it does not abhor criticisms. What we are against is sheer falsehood made to look like facts.
“As it is said in the media, facts are sacred and comments are free. It is important to separate facts from opinion.”

In another development, the Dr. Sanusi has commended the Akwa Ibom State Government, and particularly Governor Udom Emmanuel, for hosting the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between Nigeria and Tanzania at the arena styled Nest of Champions.

Sanusi declared that the NFF was enamoured by the arrangements made by the Akwa Ibom State government for the two teams, match officials and the NFF’s organising team.

“The NFF can only commend the efforts of the Government and people of Akwa Ibom State for the wonderful role they played. Even for such a match that had no effect on the qualification race, we had a full house at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium. That underscores the level of work done by the Government in the area of mobilization.

“The NFF values its relationship with the Akwa Ibom State government and will always advise directly on what areas need to be improved upon. We have spoken directly to those who matter with regards to the concern raised about the pitch, and we are happy that work has already started in that area.”