Federal Government has thrown weight behind the President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick in his quest for a seat on the FIFA Council at next week’s Confederation of African Football elections in Rabat, Morocco.
The Council is the highest decision-making organ in the world football.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, Engr. Nebolisa Anako, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports stated “Mr Amaju’s ambition would further reposition Nigeria in the global football map where we have made remarkable inroads.”
Anako, who represented the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, noted that Amaju’s triumph would follow in the glorious steps of illustrious compatriots- Dr Akinwunmi Adesina (re-elected as President of Africa Development Bank) and Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (first female/ first African Director-General of the World Trade Organization) – in recent times.
“If the NFF President wins the position, it would not be a victory for the Federal Government and all Nigerians alone, but the African continent. He would be a great ambassador of our great country if elected into the FIFA Council.
As a member of the CAF Executive, Pinnick is aware of the task ahead and the Federal Government’s support to the actualization of his dream,” Dare said.
He added: “On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and all Nigerians, we hereby pledge our unflinching support to Mr Pinnick because his victory would be our collective victory.
“(Sports Minister) Mr Dare believes Amaju can use his position and connections in CAF and FIFA to help promote and develop Nigeria and African football in all ramifications.
Let us be resolute and firm in our support…This is no time to stand on the fence, but to be partakers in the scheme of things.” NFF’s 2nd Vice President, Mallam Shehu Dikko, who stood in for Pinnick (who is already in Morocco), thanked President Muhammadu Buhari.