Re-elected Nigeria FA president Amaju Pinnick has called for harmony and reforms amid rancour and discontentment in the country’s football. Pinnick was Thursday returned to office for a second four-year term after he defeated former NFF boss Aminu Maigari 34 to eight votes.
His first tenure was marred by a long-running power tussle with Chris Giwa, which attracted several threats of FIFA ban and went all the way to the country’s apex court, the Supreme Court.He admitted it has been difficult, but now wishes to reconcile the various warring parties for peace to prevail in the national sport.
In four years, we have gone through rough and turbulent times, sleepless nights,” he recounted. Our coming back is that football is the winner, a total reconciliation of our football. That’s key, that’s cardinal.
We need an enabling peace. We’re a family and we must stay united. We must be our brother’s keeper.And we also need as a matter of urgency to carry out some reforms in terms of our statutes, in terms of the way forward, for everybody.”
However, on election day Anambra FA chairman Ifeanyi Ubah opted to support Maigari against Pinnick after listing several shortcomings principal of which was the many problems besetting the domestic league.
Nigerian football on the domestic level is in dire need of dramatic improvement as Amaju Pinnick has failed in the discharge of his primary duty with a below-par performance and has confirmed that he has no magic wand to improve this,” said oil mogul Ubah, who owns premier league club FC Ifeanyi Ubah.
It is pertinent to emphatically state that I am one of the biggest investors in Nigerian football, having invested over 10 billion Naira within the last three years.
It is also a known fact that our league which is the bedrock of Nigerian football has lost its glory and has been unable to attract international investments, sponsorship over the last three years, thereby exposing our local clubs who have found it difficult to meet their obligations viz-a-viz payment of salaries and adequate preparation for matches.
During this period, the NFF and Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) have lost two major sponsors: Globacom and Supersport.
This unfortunate event has been largely attributed to top-level corruption and nepotism in the management of our domestic league.
It is clear that the current leadership structure cannot take us anywhere as the NFF and Nigeria football scream out for a new lease of life.
Nigerian sports minister Solomon Dalung has also maintained that the elections in Katsina was illegal as there is a Supreme Court ruling for Chris Giwa to replace Pinnick as NFF president. Dalung cited a Supreme Court judgment of April 27, 2018, which restored all orders granted Giwa.
The Federal High Court sitting in Jos in furtherance of this enforced this judgment and has yet to set it aside. Dalung in an official letter to the NFF general secretary dated September 19 therefore warned against conducting the elections.
On Thursday, officials representing Giwa also claimed they had served a high court order to the congress in Katsina to stop the polls.