Tuesday Apr 14, 2020. 12:00
Amaju Pinnick, the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has stated his belief that global football will be forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has destroyed the global sports calendar, with even major events such as the Olympic Games postponed as governments around the world attempt to slow the spread of the disease.
Pinnick, speaking on Channel Television sports programme, as quoted by This Day, believes that the football landscape will be left very different compared to what it was before the outbreak.
“Football has taken a major hit with this Covid-19. Let’s start with the English Premier League: On television broadcast right alone, the Premier League has lost 800 million pounds. The Italian Serie A has lost 750million euro while the Spanish La Liga has also lost about 780 million euro,” explained Pinnick.
“If you go to the German Bundesliga for example, their television rights holders are now discussing on how to negotiate the situation they now found themselves.
“In France, Canal Tv and BeIN tv who are the rights holder of Ligue 1, are saying that they cannot pay because their is no content to deliver. They are withholding 135million euro that should have gone to Ligue 1.
“You are also aware of the across the board pay cuts ongoing due to the lockdown: Barcelona 70 percent, Juventus a certain percentage of their wages. In England it is 30 percent across board which may translate to about 500 million pounds with government alone losing around 200million pounds in taxes. It is really having a telling effects on sports globally.”
The NFF president also revealed that the pandemic had even affected their plans to honour the 1999 class of the Super Falcons, which reached the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup, as well as the stability of one of their major sponsors, energy giants AITEO.
“We are supposed to be celebrating our girls at the NFF Awards. We were planning to celebrate the Super Falcons of the class of 1999 because they have been able to give Nigeria what no other sector has done. We are planning to celebrate them for reaching the quarter finals of the Women’s World Cup in USA,” explained the Federation boss.
“We have already spoken with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and he had accepted to be part of it. We don’t know if that will hold any more. Even if that will hold, we have to do it in a low key manner now because of what this Covid-19 has done to the global economy. The same thing for our AITEO Cup competition.”
Pinnick continued, “If you look at the situation with our Main Sponsors, AITEO, we are all aware of what has happened in the oil sector with the crash in oil price. To produce a barrel of oil is about $17 and with this Covid-19 and the issue between Saudi Arabia and Russia that has forced down price of the product globally, it is going to be very tough for us at the NFF.
“We are going to liaise with critical stakeholders in taking some very difficult decisions. Right now, we have like 11 national teams and will meet with stakeholders and the supervisory Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports before reaching those decisions. I cannot tell you now which teams to drop for us to stay afloat after Covid-19.”