I have achieved a lot as President of the NFF, we have given Nigeria global recognition – Pinnick

I have achieved a lot as President of the NFF, we have given Nigeria global recognition – Pinnick – Latest Nigeria Sports News

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has set September 30 for the 2022 elections, where a new president will emerge to replace incumbent Amaju Pinnick, who has been in charge since 2014.

The CAF vice-president informed the 44-man NFF congress during the general meeting held on Thursday that he will not contest the September election.

Pinnick, who is finishing his second term, spoke to www.brila.net about the decision not to seek a third term, his legacy and other issues.

Q: Your eight year reign is coming to an end, how is the journey going?

A: It was a great trip and I thank God for everything. We accomplished a lot and I’m happy with what we did.

Q: Nigerians want to know why you apologized to Congress on Thursday.

A: Apologizing doesn’t kill, I don’t need anything to stay in politics, but for posterity and for the good of the game, always apologize and move on.
That was it and the mood changed completely after that speech because it seemed everyone was looking forward to that strong speech but no and I thank God it went the other way.

Q: So what’s next for you when your term comes to an end?

A: My friends were calling me, saying they would buy a form for me to run for another term, but I said no. I will go back to my family and focus on my business, while I focus on helping FIFA and CAF.

Q: How would you describe your reign?

In my eight years, the Super Eagles have never played a game without a charter, they didn’t just pick any plane, they picked the best.

They stayed in the best hotels, we spoiled them with essentials and luxuries, because that’s what they enjoyed with their club. Yesterday one of my players was crying that I was leaving. You see, you leave when the ovation is strongest and there’s a reason to.

I am happy with what we have been able to accomplish in eight years. And I can tell you that I will work with the next president of the NFF because he needs me and I will be there to work with him for the good of Nigeria.

Q: What is the next step for Amaju Pinnick Presidency of FIFA or CAF?

A: One step at a time, I’m not rushing anything. I just want to spend more time with my family.

Q: What is your legacy as NFF President?

A: We have developed a sustainable football culture and brought budgetary discipline and a financial derivative, which has resulted in the number of sponsors we have. From scratch, we secured various sponsors who contributed 80% of our funding.
We also gave the best to the national team, you can’t hear a story of Super Eagles being stranded at one airport or the other. We gave them all the incentives and all the luxuries to make sure they win games.
In terms of trophies we have won many and I can go on and on, in the Olympics four years ago the only medal Nigeria won was in football. We won all the African games, the U17 World Cup, when the CAN was expanded to 24 teams, we came third. We have also won the WAFU U17 and U20 Cup, and won the Women’s AFCON on several occasions. But beyond that, we instilled in the players the value of playing for the country.
Moreover, we have given the country global recognition and global capital development, we have been able to bring in Nigerians to key positions in CAF and FIFA, working continuously. A Chief Security and Chief Competition Officer. A Nigerian is a member of the FIFA Ethics Committee, so we have granted this recognition to the Nigerian.

Q: Your term will end in six weeks, when you look back, do you have any regrets?

A: Yes, I wanted to build a center because we spend a lot on renting hotels and stuff. We wanted to build a world-class facility with four training grounds, almost six floors of a hotel with 100 rooms and a 1,000-seater sports hall and stadium. We are almost at the end of discussions with FIFA’s capacity development and our sponsors, so that we can reduce costs.

As we speak we have CHAN and U17 girls in the hotel. We owe more than six hundred million naira to our hotels and travel agencies, but I still want to guarantee payment. So, it was very hard, but Nigerians don’t understand.

Q: You have seen the list of presidential candidates, there are many but do you think the right person to take Nigerian football forward is among them?

A: I have seen a few on my executive committee who are competent enough to succeed me. My first and second vice-presidents are competent, and I will not leave them.
Even if the next president comes from outside the current executive committee, I will force myself to work with him, because we are all Nigerians.

Q: Do you think Nigerians have treated you fairly?

A: I just want to say that Nigerians should not chase the next president, if Nigeria fails to qualify for the World Cup. Yes, it’s football, but it can go both ways.

So we don’t have to put pressure on him, because football will always be football.

When we didn’t qualify, we sat back and went back to the youth system and watch the results today. We qualified for all the tournaments and today, look at our girls, they give us good results at the World Cup, beating three giants of women’s football; France, Korea and Canada.

Q: There’s news of the NFF signing sponsorship deals here and there, but now you’re talking money owed, please tell us what we don’t know about that.

A: Okay, right now the sponsors are not paying on time due to economic difficulties. One of our sponsors owes us about $6 million and because of the business they’re doing and the relationship, we have to understand. This money would have solved most of our problems.
Some sponsors even called us to renegotiate the terms of the contract saying they couldn’t meet and we understand.
For example, our annual budget for the government is over 800 million naira, but they can also step in when needed.
Like the senior girls, they returned from Morocco quietly, which means that we have made significant funding on our side, the girls from Costa Rica too, and the last games of the Super Eagles come from our funding.

We understand that the government has problems, but they have to provide an enabling environment and we will run football successfully.

Q: What is your take on the NFF statue change controversies.

A: There is no such thing as the domestication of the statue in football, I can tell you that for free. What we have is a treaty and if Nigeria is a signatory to that treaty then it can be domesticated and the National Assembly will have to adopt it.

The rules governing football are a statue and that is for association football.

When Nigeria decided to repeal Executive Order 101 of 1992 and decided at the Federal Executive Council in March 2005 that we should allow the statue to be used, it was the decision of the FEC that was reaffirmed in 2017 and 2018.

The only thing is, when you amend, you go to the National Assembly and it’s been passed twice, but they haven’t sent it to the president yet. And it’s like the finals, but what’s elementary about domestication is that it’s been approved by the Federal Executive Council and that’s what we use to run our football.

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