The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday said that its President, Amaju Pinnick, has been appointed by the world football ruling body, FIFA, into its Organising Committee for Competitions.
NFF’s spokesman Ademola Olajire said in a statement in Lagos that the committee was one of the most important committees in the hierarchy of the body.
“Hitherto, the world body has different committees for organisation of its several competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup and FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“Others are FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, FIFA U-17 World Cup, FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
“Pinnick is a member of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“However, at its 66th Congress in Mexico City on May 12 to May 13, 2016, and in accordance with the revised FIFA Statutes that came into force on April 27, 2016, made the appointment.
“The model of the standing committees was reviewed, cutting the number from 26 to 9,’’ he said.
Olajire said that the new model has committees on Governance, Finance, Development, Member Associations, Referees, Players’ Status, Football Stakeholders, Medical, Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions.
He said that Pinnick’s letter of appointment, dated Jan. 18 and signed by Fatma Samoura, the Secretary General, read inter alia:
“We are very pleased to inform you that you have been appointed member of the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions. We wish you our sincere congratulations on this appointment.
“The FIFA administration is at your disposal through the following Administration Officer, who will be in contact with you regarding the upcoming meetings.
“Any further aspects relating to your office as member of this committee: Colin Smith, Chief Competitions Officer.
“We wish you great success and enjoyment in this role at FIFA and look forward to welcoming you soon to Zurich,” the statement quoted the FIFA letter conveying the appointment as saying.
He added that the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions is headed by Aleksander Ceferin, President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The tenure of members is for 2017 to 2021.
“In line with the new FIFA reforms, each proposed member of any of the committees was made to go through a comprehensive integrity check conducted by several organisations of global relevance and stature,’’ FIFA said in the statement.
Olajire said that Pinnick’s appointment, and in particular was thorough and painstaking checks that he passed with full marks, is a big thumb–up for Nigerian Football.
“It also puts out the light on the unsavoury innuendoes and deliberate mischief of a few individuals’ intent on putting the country’s game under a cloud.
“As a member of the CAF Organising Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations, Pinnick is presently at the 31st Africa Cup finals ongoing in Gabon.
“He will be the match commissioner for Saturday’s potentially explosive West African derby between Mali and Ghana, “he said.
The statement noted that Pinnick as a new member of the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions has swivelled through the ranks of football administration.
“He was from board member to second vice-chairman, first vice-chairman and chairman of Delta State Football Association to Executive Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission.
“Before his election as President of Nigeria Football Federation in September 2014, he is also a candidate for election into the Executive Committee of Confederation of African Football.
“The CAF elections will take place at the 39th Ordinary General Assembly of the organisation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 16th March,’’ he said.