• Friday, June 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FIFA President, Infantino affirms Pinnick as NFF president

Infantino -Pinnick

President of the Federation of International Football Association(FIFA), Gianni Infantino, Monday declared there was no crisis in the Nigerian football management as Amaju Pinnick who has
been elected President is functioning.

Infantino who spoke to journalists at the Presidential Villa Abuja, after a courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari noted that a country like Nigeria is bound to have oppositions.

“I don’t think there is any crisis in football management in Nigeria there is an elected president in place and he is functioning . In a big country like Nigeria, you are bound to see opposition that what you see” Infantino who is on a two-day official visit to Nigeria said

The World Football body had in April this year threatened to ban Nigeria if the crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation is not quickly resolved.

Infantino also said two African football teams will be joining the World Cup Competition as part of planned expansion by the Federation of International Football Association(FIFA), Gianni Infantino said on Monday at the Presidential Villa.

The FIFA as part of reforms, last year proposed to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup Finals from 32 to 40 by 2026.

The FIFA World Cup is regarded as the largest international team sports competition in the world.

“If Fifa will be increasing more football team in World Cup competition I will propose two more teams to come from Africa .

“FIFA will soon decide to increase yearly contributions and investments by four in football development as we can do a lot “ he said.

Infantino said the FIFA will soon be increasing its yearly contributions and investments by four towards football development.

However, he noted that Nigerian Nigerian authorities needed to pay more attention to infrastructure and find a lasting solution to the problem of violence and insecurity at match venues.

‘‘I foresee Nigeria as a bedrock for the development of the game in Africa, however, infrastructure, stability and security are needed to
make this happen, ’’ he said.

Meanwhile a statement by Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina said President Buhari during his meeting with Infantino said his administration will pay keen interest to accountability and
transparency to fast-track football development in the country.

Receiving the FIFA President and the Secretary-General, Fatma Samuora, at the State House, President Buhari also challenged football administrators to fashion out strategic programmes to develop the game.

Congratulating the duo on their election, particularly Samuora, the first African and female to be elected FIFA Secretary-General, President Buhari welcomed Infantino’s programme to reform the world game through transparency, anti-corruption and good governance.

The President pledged Nigeria’s support to FIFA president’s reform agenda, noting that they were similar to those his presidency had outlined to resuscitate Nigeria.

‘‘Majority of Nigerians are married to football. In the rural areas, when there is no electricity and there is a game to watch, Nigerians go to the extent of renting small generators, popularly known as ‘I better-pass-my neighbour’ to watch the game.

‘‘We will take the development of football very seriously and I encourage the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to behave itself and organise effective competitions for the good of the game”.

‘‘Accountability is serious business and I welcome you (Infantino) into the club of accountable Chief Executive Officers,’’ the President said.

The FIFA officials were accompanied by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick and President, Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel.

 

Elizabeth Archibong