Thursday Sep 30, 2021. 14:00
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has called on UEFA to support FIFA’s proposal that the World Cup be played every two years.
Pinnick, who also serves as a member of the FIFA Council, wants UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin to apologise for suggesting European countries should boycott the World Cup if the gap between tournaments is shortened from four years to two.
Pinnick reminded Ceferin that earlier this year, UEFA relied on a number of organisations within the football world to support it in the face of the Super League breakaway threat, and he wants to see the European organising body help develop the game around the world.
“If you look at what happened, why couldn’t Juventus AC Milan, Arsenal Manchester City form their own league? Solidarity,” explained Pinnick to the PA, as quoted by the Independent.
“The idea was thrown away because of solidarity, and that is the kind of solidarity we are requesting right now from UEFA.
“You (UEFA) have the strength – help us. They wanted the world to rally around them when they had issues with the big clubs.
“UEFA is strong, but what is solidarity? Solidarity is holding (up) the weaker one, and helping him get to a level he never expected to get to.
“Football on the pitch is: a Nigerian passes to a Moroccan, he passes to an Englishman, who passes to an Egyptian, and you score. That is solidarity on the pitch. Off the pitch it should be the same.
“Everyone will benefit (from the FIFA proposals). We recognise (UEFA’s) strength, and now we are calling on them to show solidarity to the world, to show leadership, to say ‘this is right, we want to do it’.
“We should look at this through the prism of football development. This is the time that the world is evolving and we cannot just be stagnating.”
In regards to Ceferin’s remarks around a possible boycott, Pinnick responded: “That comment deserves an apology from Ceferin. For him to say that is not only discriminatory, it is quite condemnable.
“Ceferin is a lovely guy, we have mutual respect and I like what he has done in UEFA, but there are other continents that need some kind of breather in terms of football development.”
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