The President of the Nigeria Football Federation and Member of the CAF Emergency Committee, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, was the pivot of a crucial meeting in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, on Tuesday as the Confederation of African Football set into action the push for a $1 billion lifeline for wholesale revamp of football infrastructure on the African continent.
The NFF supremo. recently elected into world football’s highest decision-making organ, FIFA Council, was in eminent company with President of world football-governing body FIFA, Gianni Infantino, and the President of CAF, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, as they paid a visit to the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, in Abidjan.
Pinnick said: “It was a very important meeting, as we started the push for our objective of raising $1 billion to change the face of football infrastructure in Africa.
“You will recall that the CAF President made a statement regarding the need to raise this money for the sake of football infrastructure on our continent some weeks back.
“This new CAF regime is a doing team, not just a talking one.
“So, we have set out to work.
“The President of FIFA was there as solidarity for the steps we are taking.
“We had a very useful and positive meeting with the President of African Development Bank.
“Further talks are lined up.
“We are also going to meet with other institutions and individuals who have the means and the willingness to help African football to realise its potentials and break into the big time.”
The meeting in the Ivorian capital came only a few days after the inspection team of Confederation of African Football released a report stating categorically that 22 of the 54 countries in Africa have no football pitch that meets the standard to host international matches.
Also at the meeting were CAF General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba, and Ivorian football legend, Didier Drogba.