Amaju Pinnick, NFF President

Amaju Pinnick, NFF President

Director General (DG) of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Malam Alhassan Saleh Yakmut has passed a vote of confidence on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with regards to living up to its responsibilities to the various national teams.

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, the NSC boss discountenanced the report by a national sports paper of Monday, 29 June which claimed that the NFF had abandoned the U-23 team preparing for a 2016 Olympics qualifying fixture against Congo and the men’s football tournament of the 11th All-Africa Games.

“It is mischievous for anyone to say that the NFF has abandoned the U-23 men’s football team. The National Sports Commission and the NFF have been taking good care of the team. My office has been in constant touch with the Nigeria Football Federation which has been doing its statutory duty in ensuring that the teams get all their needs in their pursuit of bringing honour to the nation.

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“How can we abandon a team as important as the U-23 team, when they are right now on a double -pronged attack to win gold at the All-Africa Games and also pick one of the tickets for the Olympics? That report is outright falsehood. Mind you, this team have been in camp since November 2014, even though in phases, and have been given all the support to first pick the All-Africa Games football ticket which I am happy they have done, and now battling for the very important Olympic ticket.

“From my interaction with the Head Coach, Samson Siasia, I am happy with the programme he has outlined towards winning the All-Africa Games gold and qualifying for the Olympics.”

He disclosed that the closed camping for the All-Africa Games will commence effectively on Monday, 6 July, and assured Nigerians that all will be done to ensure that the country shines at the Games.

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Meanwhile, the NFF and the League Management Company have commended the impact of new measures and the NFF’s capacity building programmes in turning around the fortunes of the various domestic league competitions, viz Nigeria Professional Football League, Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and the Nigeria Nation-Wide League.

At a joint briefing of the NFF Organizing Committee, the League Management Company and the NFF Referees Committee in Abuja on Tuesday, NFF 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi expressed confidence that the leagues can only get better, in the face of the commitment of the Amaju Pinnick–led NFF towards taking Nigerian football to new heights.

“These wonderful results, we have always expected because of the carefully-laid out training programme for the referees and the referee assessors vis-à-vis capacity building for referees in the United Kingdom and the series of seminars organised here in Nigeria for the referees and referee assessors.

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“We feel delighted that FIFA acknowledged our efforts by approving a very special training course for our referees, referee assessors and physical fitness trainers which was organised in Abuja from 23 – 29 May, 2015,” Akinwunmi said.

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, reiterated the readiness of the present NFF team to run a transparent, accountable administration for the good of Nigeria’s game, and charged the media to provide its support all the way, and also not to be shy to come forward with useful information that could help eradicate unhealthy practices.