The Nigeria Football Federation has rejected the statement by the Rivers State Governor, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, that the Federation is graft-ridden.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, the Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, High Chief Emeka Inyama said Amaechi’s statement at Monday’s Presidential Retreat on Sports at the Banquet Hall of State House, Abuja was in bad taste.
Inyama said: “The present NFF Board is not corrupt and has been employing global best practices in its dealings.
“While we are unwilling to join issues with the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, plastic allegations of corruption against persons and institutions are weighty and damaging and should not be thrown in flippant manner.
“Of course, Governor Amaechi later told the NFF President and General Secretary at the private session that he was referring to a previous NFA administration. But he failed to make that clarification in his public statement, thereby leaving his speech to mischievous interpretation.
“The present NFF administration is employing global best practices in running Nigeria football and the Executive Committee members are elected, just like other top public office holders. They deserve regard and respect.”
Inyama noted that unsubstantiated allegations of graft against public office holders have become trendy, but cautioned that highly-placed individuals have a responsibility to refrain from unjust attacks against agencies that work assiduously for the progress of the nation.
Inyama added: “Football is the biggest factor that unites Nigerians and the present NFF is very much alive to its responsibilities of ensuring that joy is derived anytime a National Team steps out to represent the country. The board has assiduously striven to employ highest etiquettes in all its dealings including management of scarce resources in executing its assignments.
“The entire envelope of the NFF for this year is N1.9 Billion, while an average match of the Super Eagles cost about N120 million. There are 11 National Teams, eight of which are always engaged in qualifying campaigns and championships. Yet, we get punched here and there for no justifiable reason.
“The truth is that, without the financial support of the Governors of Cross River, Lagos, Kwara, Edo and Kaduna States, we would have found it difficult prosecuting all our international matches and competitions this year, and we thank them immensely.”