The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed sincere appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for the unequivocal resolution of its leadership issue, which enabled Nigeria to avert suspension from international football on Monday.
FIFA had threatened to ban Nigeria from international football on Monday over the leadership tussle between Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa.
However, a few minutes before the deadline given the country, Nigeria pronounced Pinnick the head of the NFF, which is in tandem with the position of FIFA.
Pinnick said in a statement on Tuesday: “The position of His Excellency, and that of the Federal Government, which was conveyed to FIFA by His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) has convinced FIFA that Nigeria is indeed ready as ever to follow FIFA’s Statutes. I want to also use this opportunity to thank the Vice President, who as Acting President, played a very key role in the resolution of the matter.
“Our appreciation also goes to the Members of the Federal Executive Council, Members of the National Assembly, Heads of the various Security Agencies, Members of the NFF Congress, all our sponsors/partners, football stakeholders, analysts and ball fans who stood solidly by the tenets of association football.”
Pinnick, also the 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football and Member of the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, disclosed that the immediate focus of the Federation is on the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, starting with an away game against Seychelles on September 7 and with home-and-away matches against Libya in October and another away fixture against South Africa in November.
“We will approach the matches one game at a time. Our objective is not only to qualify for the finals, but for the Super Eagles to also make a meaningful impact at the finals in Cameroon in the summer of next year,” stated Pinnick, who is also President of the AFCON Organizing Committee.
He affirmed also that focus is on the upcoming Women Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled for Ghana in November and for which the Super Falcons, reigning champions, have qualified, as well as the 2019 U20 and U17 Africa Cup of Nations championships billed for Niger Republic and Tanzania respectively.