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NFF subscribes to FIFA’s integrity initiative

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has joined the growing list of FIFA member associations that have subscribed to the FIFA Integrity Initiative following the conclusion of a Roundtable Discussion in Lagos between the Federation and FIFA Early Warning System.
President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, led the Federation Executive Committee members, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, the first Vice President and Shehu Dikko, the second Vice President/LMC chairman and Hon. Nduka Irabor, LMC CEO to the meeting at Four Points Hotel on Victoria Island with Dr. Julie Norris, Head of FIFA Early Warning System (EWS) and Jacek Wojdyla, the Head of International Affairs at EWS. Also at the discussion were Barrister Okey Obi, NFF Chief Legal Officer; Harry Iwuala, LMC Head of Special Projects and Dr. Christian Emeruwa, the NFF Integrity Officer.
In her opening remarks, Norris explained that the objective of the meeting was to partner with the NFF as they are doing with other member associations to protect the integrity of NFF competitions.
“We are happy to work with you to build capacity through training for the development of an NFF Integrity Initiative that will enable the Federation have the capacity to detect and deal with threats of match fixing through the activities of sports betting,” Norris said.
She added that Nigeria could adopt and domesticate the FIFA model to suit her own operational peculiarities.
“There is no one solution that fixes all the threats and it is left for the Federation working with us to design what will work for it and we are always there to monitor and flag such threats when detected,” Norris added.
Emeruwa, who attended the FIFA/Interpol Education and Prevention Initiative Integrity in Sports Workshop in Abidjan revealed that of the five thematic areas identified at the workshop for implementation, Nigeria has implemented the first two which are the appointment of a Desk Officer and creation of awareness among all stakeholders.
Of the remaining three areas, Emeruwa said: “The NFF Integrity Unit has developed a template as proposed guidelines for combating match manipulation and enhancement of the integrity program for our competitions and this guideline is to be presented to the NFF Congress at its next convocation.
“Plans are on to work out a dedicated funding system to aid the initiative while the NFF Congress is being awaited to approve guidelines for a structure to collaborate with security agencies such as the Police, Department of State Security and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”
NFF President Amaju Pinnick, in his closing remarks, assured the FIFA team that the NFF Executive Committee will provide the enabling structure for the Integrity Initiative to be effective, noting that, “from the report of the NFF Desk Officer, it is obvious that we are committed to the campaign.”

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