Technical Partners of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aiteo Group, has restated its commitment to the multibillion Naira sponsorship agreement it entered with the federation on May 1, 2017.
In apparent reaction to news reports that it was considering pulling out of the sponsorship of the Federation Cup now renamed Aiteo Cup due to poor derivatives, the oil and gas giants said in a statement yesterday that such speculations were unfounded.
Executive Vice Chairman of the group, Mr. Benedict Peters, insisted that the multi-billion sponsorship deal, was a management decision meticulously taken upon due consideration of its benefits to the development of football in Nigeria, tremendous social capital and unifying effect on every stratum of Nigeria endeavour.
â€œThe deal is effective for five years and we have no plans to renege on our decision. We will continue to underwrite the costs of organising the competition (Aiteo Cup) for the men and womenâ€™s finals, provide solidarity support for the state football associations, expenses and indemnities of match officials, support for clubs, media, branding/activation as well as prize money to winners.
â€œThis is at the heart of our groupâ€™s social capital investment vision of bequeathing a virile and excellent soccer culture and administration to Nigerians, which besides being Africaâ€™s best, creates economic opportunities and wealth for generations of Nigerians,â€ the Aiteo executive vice chairman restated.
Contrary to the report of threat to pull out of the sponsorship, Peters said that the Aiteo Group was satisfied with the handling of the partnership so far by the NFF.
â€œAs the Official Naming Rights Sponsor of the NFF Federations Cup, now christened Aiteo Cup, Aiteo will continue its funding of the tournament – Nigeriaâ€™s longest running football tourney,â€ he assured football stakeholders in the country.
The Aiteo chief also praised the Amaju Pinnick led board of the NFF for the significant successes recorded since it took over the payment of the emoluments of coaches of the federation.
â€œThe NFF has recorded significant improvements in its management and execution of its national team objectives within the short term of our relationship. We look forward to an Aiteo powered football administration that would make positive history with its national teams.
â€œAiteoâ€™s relationship with NFF is unfettered in any way, and the organisation will continue to ensure that NFF gets the required financial support it needs to perform optimally. We will ensure that all stakeholders are kept abreast of any development in this regard.
Also speaking on the partnership, President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick maintained yesterday that there was no truth in the report of Aiteo threatening to pull out of the sponsorship of the Aiteo Cup.
â€œAITEO Group has continued to express delight at the visibility they are getting from the relationship with the Nigeria Football Federation.
â€œTop officials of AITEO Group were with the NFF in Uyo and Yaounde during the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon earlier this month, and they have continued to talk about their satisfaction with the relationship and the way everything is going.
â€œThe story was borne out of sheer mischief. The attempt was to rock what amounts to be the biggest partnership in the history of Nigerian Football but it has failed,â€ concludes the NFF chief.