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Showing posts with label Amaju Pinnick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amaju Pinnick. Show all posts

Friday, March 12, 2021



Few hours after NFF president Amaju Melvin Pinnick emerged as Anglophone elected member of the FIFA council, friends, associates and well wishers have started sending congratulatory messages.

First on this list, is the Nigeria minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare. He was emphatic with his words as he saluted Amaju for making Nigeria proud before the committee of Nations. He also used the opportunity to once again appeal to him to use his influence and connections and his new office to help promote, project and propel Africa and Nigeria football

"This is an opportunity to use your new position  to make  Nigerian,  African  and World  football   great again and  make it better than you met it. This is the reward of hardwork  and unity  of purpose. We are better  off when we support  our  collective aspirations  for the development  of our great country. This is an honour  well deserved"

A strong member of the Amaju inner caucus, Bukola Olopade, a former commissioner of sports in Ogun state and one man who labored day and night to see this dream turn a reality, also joined in the celebration after Amaju defeated his opponent Malawi's Walter Nyamilandu by 43 to 8 votes on Friday in Morocco, 

Olopade described the victory as a victory for football and victory for Nigeria. He saluted the courage and doggedness of Amaju Melvin Pinnick and appealed to all Nigerians to rally round him in his new assignment of repostioning world football. 

Nigeria 'Pillar of Sports', Donatus Ejidike on his part said, Amaju has displayed the never say die Nigerian spirit. He described the NFF president as a resilient and hardworking man who is always at the top of his game. He used the opportunity to wish him the very best in his new assignment. 

LMC chairman Shehu Dikko who also doubles as second vice president of the NFF, was full of joy. Dikko witnessed the voting live and endured the gripping tension. At the end, he said this...

    " God has done it for all of us. We are grateful that he has given us cause to celebrate.  Let's join hands and make this our project. Amaju is a Nigerian project, we must unite in our support. I am indeed very happy today". 

NWFL chairperson Aisha Falode became a journalist in Morocco. She dropped her files to interview Amaju after the victory. To her, this is not a journey that started yesterday. Aisha has been a strong promoter of the 'Amaju Pinnick project' and today she went a step further to declare her undying support to the cause by becoming a journalist after many years of partial retirement. 

An elated Amaju Melvin Pinnick stood tall and walked majestically to the podium as Africa stood up to salute a deserving son. A great man who has labored so hard to lift his head above waters. He traveled over twenty countries in one month as he hoped to make a statement of fact. That statement, he made in grandstyle on Friday after emerging FIFA Council member with a 43-8 victory


Today he applied humility and calmness in his thank you message. He thanked president Mohammedu Buharri, the honorable sports minister Sunday Dare, his board members and all other key stakeholders for their support. He promised to use his new position to move world, Africa and Nigeria football to the next level.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Bukola Olopade Congratulates Pinnick, Throws Weight Behind Him For FIFA Council Seat

 Bukola Olopade Congratulates Pinnick, Throws Weight Behind Him For FIFA Council Seat

Managing Director of Nilayo Sports Management Limited NSML, Hon. Bukola Olopade has congratulated the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick who was cleared by the World Football governing body FIFA to contest in the forthcoming FIFA executive council elections.

Olopade, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National League described the clearance given by FIFA as the first hurdle in the daunting task ahead, adding that it will be a victory for Nigeria if Pinnick finds his way into the FIFA chamber.

"Firstly, I congratulate my friend and brother Amaju, for scaling through the difficult first hurdle, it is extremely laudable that he has decided to put so many things on the line for the development of Football in Nigeria, if he finds a way into the FIFA council, it's a huge victory for Nigerian Football so he has my total support in his quest"

"The FIFA Review Committee with stringent integrity measures would not have certified Amaju fit of contesting if he had been found wanting in any sphere, it only means he has represented us well and he deserves all the support"

The former sports commissioner in Ogun State noted that he is throwing his weight behind the NFF Supremo because his emergence will not only portray Nigeria in good light globally, it will also be of immense quality to Nigerian Football administratively.

Elections will be held at the Congress of the Confederation of African Football scheduled for March 12, 2021, in Rabat, Morocco.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Dear Shehu Dikko, The Time To Be Firm Is Now

 *Dear Shehu Dikko, The Time To Be Firm Is Now*

Bayo Adegboyega

Whenever I remember the name Shehu Dikko, the excitement that comes with it is always  immeasurable, anytime I come across his picture, his level of intelligence strikes my mind and I'm always happy that a very competent individual is in charge of our elite Football League.

A few times I have met the lanky Administrator from the home of hospitality, I am always eager to ask for a photograph, I know he's a man that any sane Football lover will want to associate with and twice, he has granted my wish by posing for a picture with me despite the difference in height and status.

Shehu Dikko no doubt is a bundle of intelligence, an emblem of confidence and one man that can do magic with a formidable team and the "enabling environment".

In all spheres, we have seen what the leadership of the League management company LMC can do under the leadership of Shehu Dikko with the way the Nigeria Professional Football League 2021 season has started, the partnership with Redstrike is a huge plus, games are back on Television, contents with added quality are flying everywhere with the NPFL getting the positive image it needs to rise and rise.

Nonetheless, my personal grouse has being the manner at which clubs fail to fulfil their part in players contract, I feel the league will be stable if all clubs will pay salaries and other entitlements as and when due.

Even if issues would arise, let's get away from indebtedness and see the magic wand of money.

Shehu Dikko is a man who believes in lodging complains through the right channels, he has received complaints and has acted swiftly and ensured some players were paid their entitlements in the past.

Preemptively, I would have said Shehu Dikko is too comfortable or he has relaxed in making sure the LMC implements and enforce what the Framework and regulations talked about, but at the same time, I have to admit that he could be working on so many cases behind the scene and the results will be out soon for everyone to see.

There are instances, players have gone through the proper channel based on the advise and or directive of the LMC boss, but till date, they have not been attended to.

The compliance unit desk of the LMC is at the moment filled with complaints and I wonder how long it will take for the players to smile to the bank for what they worked for.

Some people are saying Dikko is too close to the club owners, others are of the view that the NFF second vice president is too considerate and it will take him time to do what is right as per hammering erring clubs on the issue of overdue payables, I really doubt though because he has done some laudable projects since assuming office.

I am however advising Alhaji Dikko to tighten his grip at the LMC helm, league followers are keen about the right processes and since he is a result oriented man, I will be extremely glad to see a man who roars when it's necessary and smile when the clubs are doing the right thing

Friday, January 15, 2021

All Hail Sir Kensington Adebutu ( Baba Ijebu )! The man on a mission to revive grassroots football

 All Hail Sir Kensington Adebutu ( Baba Ijebu )! The man on a mission to revive grassroots football

Over the years, grassroot football in Nigeria has suffered unfold hardship due to the absence of reliable and competent corporate sponsorship. Every big company or corporate bodies have their attention fixed on the NPFL or the Super Eagles, obviously because they want instant mileage and recognition. 

The Nigeria National League and the Nationwide league have gone caps in hands begging for sponsors to keep the leagues afloat and kudos must be giving to the likes of bet9ja owned by the chairman of Remo stars football club, Kunle Soname. 

It is on record that they single handedly sponsored the NNL for two seasons. 

Expectations rose to the heavens when the chairman/CEO Nilayo sports company, Bukola Olopade was appointed Chief Executive officer of the league. Many were confident that based on his track records, the NNL will experience a new lease of life. 

That was exactly what happened as Nilayo sports marketing agency set the ball rolling from day one as the sponsors came in, in their numbers. However the politics of Nigeria football coupled with the behind the scene maneuverings, forced the CEO to quit after just a few months in office. 

His departure left the league in total shambles. There was not willing sponsors and those already in, left without a formal goodbye. 

Then just last year, the chairman of the league board and member of the executive committee of the NFF, Chidi Okenwa died leaving the nation in rude shock. 

His exit, meant there was a vacancy to be filled and the NFF in their wisdom went for a willing ally, a man who as chairman Senate committee of sports for over 6years has failed to stamp his authority or make a mark for all to see or appreciate. 

So to many, it was a big surprise to see that the NNL Congress held in his home town of Abakaliki on Friday started with some ray of hope as another betting company was unveiled as title sponsors of the league. 

Unfortunately, today's ceremony was without the usual fanfare befitting for an event of this magnitude. 

This is because the organizers were shy of publicity or didn't want the media to ask probing questions regarding the full details of the deal and what it has for the clubs. 

From the outside, many will want to use this opportunity to once again thank the honorable minister of youth and sports, Mr Sunday Dare who has continuously emphasized the need to develop sports at the grassroots. In his commitment and drive to actualize this dream, he promised to revive Nigeria sporting facilities and started off with the Moshood Abiola international stadium in Abuja, the Katsina stadium in Daura and the National stadium in Lagos. 

Africa's richest man and renowned businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has promised to finish rehabilitation work at the Moshood Abiola international stadium before the end of the first quarter of 2021 while Sir Kensington Adebutu, a very close friend and ally to Mr Sunday Dare has rolled out the wheels in Lagos as work is in top gear. 

Many are quick to suggest that the Sports minister has helped to increase private and corporate sponsors passion and love for Nigeria sports. The Oyo state born former journalist turn politician is a no nonsense result driven and passionate man who will stop at nothing  but the best. 

It will therefore not be a surprise that Dare who at one point rose in support of the women's league when they went caps in hands begging for support ahead of the season opening congress has used his connections to once again bail the NNL from obvious collapse. 

We only hope that the league organizers will leverage on this support and give the sponsors the expected mileage that will give them joy and the zeal to hang on for a long time.

Sir Kensington Adebukunola Adebutu, is a native of Iperu Remo in Ikenne township of Ogun state.

Not only is Sir Kensington a successful business mogul, he also continues to contribute his quota to humanity. The Kensington Adebukunola Adebutu Foundation (KAAF), Medical Laboratory and Maternity Centre was established in 2005 to contribute to the cause of humanity. It is a fully equipped medical facility with state of art equipment and qualified personnel.

Baba Ijebu is a recipient of several awards; among them are: Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) and Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) both conferred by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He is a gentle family man and has committed his resources to the education of his children, many of whom are directors in his company, politicians, and successful businessmen. Notable among his children is Mr. Adesegun Adebutu, CEO of Petrolex, an integrated energy conglomerate that provides services spanning across refining, storage, distribution and retailing of petroleum products

Monday, November 30, 2020



On Turning 50


I give all glory to God Almighty. It is a milestone and one must look back and reflect on how the journey has been. I am very happy about my journey, which has been mainly about football and business. I am fulfilled with the tremendous success I have achieved in both, and I pray that God will continue to guide my path so that I can accomplish even greater things in all areas. There is nothing that I have achieved of my own power, strength, wisdom or intellect. Everything has been down to God Almighty.


On Journey So Far With NFF Exco


It has been illuminating and educative. In the past six years and three months, we have all worked at not only steering the ship, but doing things differently. We have looked at the strategies, methods and processes and we have tried to make positive changes that would make things easier for those coming into the organization in the years to come. We have planned, toiled, ploughed, planted and prayed, and we still earnestly pray that all will end in praise. Nigerian football has so much potential; we believe the work we have been doing will begin to manifest very soon.


Challenges and Obstacles


There have been quite a number of challenges, odds, hurdles and obstacles. The important thing is we have remained indivisible, united and committed to the larger cause of the interest of the Nigeria game. Our focus has kept us all on the same page: Congress, the Executive Committee, Management and Staff. There have been tribulations and simulated slippery ground here and there, but we have managed to weather it all and stand tall. These trials have not been of our making, but the sincerity of our desire to improve the way things are done for the good of the game has never been in doubt.  


AFCON 2022


At the beginning of November, our expectation was that by now, we would have the ticket to the AFCON 2022 stuck in our pocket. Unfortunately, it did not work out that way. Against Sierra Leone, we scored four goals in 30 minutes and everyone thought it was a done deal.

It was not, and I believe that after that match and then going to Freetown to play another draw with the Leone Stars, the Super Eagles have learnt a big lesson.

Every game deserves not only your best output, but your best output throughout and until the referee’s final whistle. We have had a few conversations with the players and technical crew since then and I am confident this kind of complacency will not rear its head again. Having said that, I believe that we still have the ticket in our hands. We are still top of the group and all we need do is go to Cotonou to pick up three points against the Squirrels in March.


FIFA World Cup 2022


The lessons we learnt against Sierra Leone came at the right time, and will stand us in good stead in the World Cup qualifying series. If we had thrashed the Leone Stars, there would have been the temptation to take Liberia, Cape Verde and Central Africa Republic for granted in the World Cup qualifiers. Now, we know we cannot do anything like that. Every game, from the first one, must be approached with the best legs, mind and best attitude. Each of the six qualifying matches will be war and the knock-out games will be greater war.


Below-par Outing Of Nigerian Clubs In The Continent


I am very disappointed. In as much as we can point to the fact that the League has not started, there is something called the ‘Nigeria spirit’ and we expect teams flying Nigeria’s colours to have that in them. I am at a loss as to how Kano Pillars could be playing away from home, and they led their hosts, only to collapse to a 3-1 defeat. Nigerian teams should be made of sterner stuff. I commend Enyimba FC that won away against their opponents in Ouqgadougou; that is the way to do it. My challenge to the other clubs is to turn things around in the return legs and qualify for the next rounds of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup competitions.


Strengthening The Domestic League


 This is something we talk about among ourselves everyday. I mean, myself and colleagues on the NFF Board talk and toil on this but hurdles always come up. I believe we are getting out of the morass and there is light at the end of the tunnel that we can even see. Our prayer is that everything holds firm and we get things going smoothly as planned. The importance of the league being virile and attractive is not lost on any of us.


Vision for the Nigeria Game

Our vision remains building a sustainable football culture for our dear country. It is non-negotiable. We also are determined to improve football infrastructure and facilities both at national and regional levels, as can be seen in our passionate drive for FIFA projects across the country. We are equally committed to training and re-training, and enabling greater mass participation in the game of football, which is the single biggest unifier of all our peoples across several mental and physical divides, and also serves as robust lure for boys and girls away from all manner of social vices, not to talk of the international image-building component. We are also extremely passionate about developing the game at the grassroots.


FIFA Council Aspiration


I have consulted wide and this is the route I feel comfortable to take for now. Membership of the FIFA Council also confers a lot of responsibility on one and you have the opportunity to make crucial contributions to the running of world football. Things may change in a couple of years, but for now, I am going for the FIFA Council based on the consultations I have had and the plan that is on ground. For the CAF Presidency, we are supporting the aspiration of Dr Patrice Motsepe of South Africa. We believe he has the clout, means and organizational savvy to take CAF from its present low level to a place of regard and respect among the six confederations of FIFA.


NFF Presidency Third Term?


No way! I made my decision even before earning the second mandate on 20th September 2018. I will not be running for the NFF Presidency again. I want to thank the Members of the Congress, my colleagues on the Executive Committee, Management and Staff, and stakeholders of the game for their support. I will be stepping off in 2022 to give another person the opportunity to lead Nigeria Football. That is the truth

Monday, November 23, 2020

BREAKING: CAF President Banned By FIFA

 Confederation of African football president Ahmad Ahmad was banned for five years by FIFA on Monday for financial misconduct.

The ban was announced during the Madagascan official’s campaign to be re-elected for four more years as the head of African soccer. His position also makes him a FIFA vice president.

The FIFA ethics committee found “Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President.”

Ahmad’s first four-year term was clouded with allegations of financial wrongdoing and misconduct at the Confederation of African Football headquarters in Cairo.

The CAF election is scheduled for March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

AFCON Qualifier: Nothing is "Free in Freetown"

 AFCON Qualifier: Nothing is "Free in Freetown"

By Bassey Ibiatisuho

Nigerian football fans are yet to understand the 'Benin Drama' of November 13, 2020 when the Super Eagles of Nigeria threw away a comfortable lead of 4 goals and ended up escaping narrowly from losing the game to the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone if time had extended.

For the records, that was Sierra Leone's biggest comeback in their football history and it happened live at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The Sweet-to-Bitter tale has left Nigerian fans pointing fingers at so many things as factors responsible for that embarrassing loss; team selection, tactical input, inexperienced technical crew, unserious training sessions with politicians, team distraction, stadium among others. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but if these opinions are ignored, the lacklustre display by the Super Eagles team in Benin may just be the beginning of many more to come.

The captain, Ahmed Musa who had a night to forget has come out to apologize, promising better result in Freetown on Tuesday, November 17. The NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, one of those who joined the Super Eagles training session said “Since I became the NFF president, this is the worst result I have ever seen. In the next few days, I wonder how I’m going to sleep. This isn’t because we won’t qualify for AFCON but it’s our last home game for the year.”

No doubt in football, you win, draw or lose and this is not the first time the Super Eagles of Nigeria has drawn a match or even lose, but drawing after leading by 4 goals is a very painful outcome. Nigeria still leads the group and will qualify for AFCON 2021 but that result in Benin will never be forgotten, the fans are unforgiving.

Musa called the outcome a "mistake" and this may not be far from what they assumed before kickoff that Sierra Leone is a small team, but the question should be how has the Super Eagles improved in the last couple of years in order not to be a match to the Leone Stars? After four years, Coach Gernot Rohr is still looking for a number one goalkeeper, the defence not solid enough, midfield is not stable and the attack still needs sharpening. After four years, its a trial and error for the Super Eagles in players and home venue for matches.

Benin is gone, Freetown is next and as usual the team through the captain has promised an outright victory against their host on Tuesday. Should Nigerians believe this? The game in Freetown is not going to come cheap, if it were, everything has now changed. The Leone Stars have more confident going into that game on home soil and the Super Eagles have a lot to prove to the fans back home.

From the NFF, to the Technical Crew and the players, the game in Freetown will be their most important game in a Covid-19 ravaged 2020. It will be important for Coach Rohr to technically analyze the team's performances from the two friendlies in October against Algeria and Tunisia and the qualifier against Sierra Leone to field his best legs in Freetown because a lot hangs around that game. 

If they think they can stroll into the West African country and get what they want for free, then there will be another shock. If it was not easy in Benin, then nothing is going to be free in Freetown.

Friday, November 13, 2020

"Bad Game Management By Rohr Caused Us The Game"- NFF Chieftain

NFF chieftain and former chairman of the technical Committee of the NFF, Chris Green had this to say on the draw between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in an AFCON 2021 qualifier earlier today. Barrister Chris Green wrote this on NSM (Nigerian Sports foremost whatsapp group). 

Here it is

 "Common sense will tell you that we lost our 4 goal lead as a result of bad game management. This has always been the bane of Rohr. It happened at the world cup and Afcon.

 Don't blame the players. I even think the players are more technically superior than our coach( pls no insult or malice intended). The field too didn't help the team. I thought we would have stuck with Asaba where the players have fair knowledge of the field than trying out on a virgin field. 

Weather too didn't help because all of our players were drawn from the temperate zone to play in the tropics. 

They gassed out too quickly. They became complacent after the 4th goal and capitulated. Once again, a big lesson to us. I hope we will learn. We need someone that can read the game and also provide statistics of our players atleast every 10mins. 

We have enough in the boys to win in Sierra Leone even without a coach. We didn't have leaders today. I still believe in our players and their abilities to turn the tide.

 I expect us to win convincingly in Sierra Leone." He concluded.

The Super Eagles had earlier broken the heart of Nigerian football fans Friday night as they blew away a four goal lead over Sierra Leone and merely scrapped to a 4-4 draw in their Match day 3 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at the Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.

Otubanjo Receives Armenia Golden Boot Award

 Otubanjo Receives Armenia Golden Boot Award *BY BOSUN ADEYEMI* Ararat-armenia Nigerian forward Yusuf Otubanjo receive is Golden Boot award ...