Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Pinnick, has read the riot act to the staff of the Federation in the wake of sanctions imposed by Fifa for fielding an ineligible player, Abdullahi Shehu, in the national team’s final 2018 World Cup qualifier last month.
The Anorthosis Famagusta right-back was automatically suspended for the game versus Algeria in Constantine after receiving two yellow cards but featured due to an administrative lapse on the part of the Nigerian Federation.
”I am very upset about it myself, forget that I am President of the NFF, I am a Nigerian. Do you know what it means being disqualified from the World Cup after qualifying?” Pinnick said.
”It is very pathetic, people will not understand the way I feel, we had sleepless nights before this qualification. We took risks, major risks. We were always in the air, we took some decisions that people did not believe will come to stay.
”We took major risks all because we want to qualify for the World Cup, and now we have qualified, just a slip from an officer.
”I came to the office as early as 7 this morning in making sure that I address the staff to make them understand that the entire country depends on these footballers for their happiness and joy, so they shouldn’t toy with this job.”
Despite Nigeria forced to forfeit the point they earned against Algeria on match day six, they ended with 13 points, five more than nearest challengers Zambia.
Frank Jumbo with Agency Report