The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed its sincere appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for the resolution of the NFF leadership issue which enabled Nigeria to avert suspension from international football on Monday.
“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,” NFF President Amaju Pinnick, who spoke on behalf of the NFF Executive Committee, told thenff.com.
“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 CAF 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 7th September, 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 Camerooon in the summer of next year,” Pinnick, who is also President of the AFCON Organizing Committee added.
He affirmed also that focus is on the upcoming Women’s 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.
Pinnick added that the resolutions of the NFF Congress at the Extra-Ordinary General Assembly of 2nd August in Benin City still stand.
“The door remains open for those aggrieved members of the Football Family who are ready to abide by extant Football rules and regulations, as they can still pick up forms for the elections coming up on 20th September in Katsina.
“We have learnt so much during this crisis. We are more determined to run an inclusive administration where everyone can have a sense of belonging, as we work tenaciously and diligently towards taking Nigerian Football to new heights of excellence.”