Sunday Jun 06, 2021. 08:59
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) boss Amaju Pinnick to lift the country’s football.
The West African country’s president, speaking at a meeting with the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare and Pinnick, has expressed a desire to see Nigeria more fully capitalise on its abundant talent in the sport.
“I want to see Nigeria’s football develop and move in a more dynamic trajectory from football administration to youth and grassroots football, talent hunt and use of Nigeria’s home based talents,” Buhari is quoted by Nigeria’s Independent.
“Nigeria also needs a more privatised and better organised football regime that can rival others in Europe and America.
“Without prejudice to the continental nature of your [Pinnick’s] assignment at the [FIFA] Council, I urge you to use your position to ensure Nigeria’s sporting image receives a boost.
“I know this position will assist Nigeria get technical and financial support from FIFA; and your position should create a platform for other Nigerians to enter into the FIFA family and other international Sports Federations.”
Pinnick thanked the president for his support in winning election to the FIFA Council, adding that he will “use the office to build Nigerian football, in conjunction with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development”.
Nigeria are three-time Africa Cup of Nations champions (most recently in 2013), have appeared at six World Cup tournaments and famously won the gold medal for men’s football at the 1996 Olympic Games, while their senior female team has won 13 AFCON titles and appeared at eight World Cups.