Eight months after he took over as President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick has revealed that one of the greatest challenges he faced when his Board settled down for work was to prosecute matches with virtually no funds to prosecute them.
Pinnick, who spoke in Abuja yesterday when he addressed sporting media inside the conference room of NFF Headquarters quickly pointed out that his administration had employed international best practices just as the Confederation of African Football, CAF and FIFA have done.
The current NFF Board took over on September 30, 2014 from Aminu Maigari-led board. Maigari was shortly before his handover accused of financial misappropriation, misapplication and mismanagement by his own board members, a situation that prompted his impeachment, barely two months to the end of his tenure.
After he was reinstated, following Sports Minister Tammy Danagogo’s intervention, the account and administration section of Glasshouse, headquarters of NFF, got burnt.
Aware of the insinuation, he observed that he inherited almost nothing in NFF account. Pinnick was quick to declare: “I didn’t mean that my predecessors stole money or something but what I’m trying to say is that the current NFF leadership has done a lot in funding 13 national teams in the past six months.
“Nobody cares to know how the money comes. All people do is to criticize. I want the media to do their criticism constructively.”
On his trip to UK which lasted four weeks, the NFF numero uno hinted: “I was in London to carry out surgery and not for official reasons, yet I still made out time to go about the negotiation on our national team’s kits sponsor.
“I or we as a board don’t have anything to hide concerning the contract (NIKE) terms. I personally invested much in calls, travels and contacts just to make sure that we get a kit sponsor.
“For NIKE to even say yes, it was like a tug of war. We went through a lot to get this deal done. We did a lot of convincing, it was a very difficult task because most kit companies are now interested in kitting clubs.”
On his part, Chairman FCT Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Kayode Adeniyi enjoined NFF to devise accountability and transparency in their day to day activities to avoid unnecessary speculation on the media.