Sunday , September 25 2022

I’ve not bowed to pressure, says Pinnick

Two-time President, Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, says he hasn’t made up his mind to seek reelection for a third term as head of the country’s football federation, adding that he will make his decision known this week.

The FIFA Council member,  who is winding down his second term in office, is reportedly seeking a third term in office, ahead of the NFF elections in September.

Last week, several reports quoted the football administrator saying he had received several calls from “very influential Nigerians” to  seek re-election.

“I had initially decided not to vie, but I have been receiving several calls from very influential Nigerians as well as genuine lovers of the sport urging me to seek another term. It is within the law and I will decide about it when the right time comes,” Pinnick was quoted as saying.

 “I’m yet to talk to my family and my business associates though, but there are people who want me to continue,” Pinnick added.

However, Pinnick, in an exclusive chat with The PUNCH, admitted that there had been pressure on him to contest in the forthcoming elections, but added that he was yet to decide on whether to vie or not.

The NFF boss was in Arusha, Tanzania last week for the Confederation of Africa Football’s 44th General Assembly.

“I’m not going to grant any interviews in Nigeria. The interview I granted was in Kenya and does not mean I have agreed or I will agree to contest for the third term or not. I said this in Kenya and I’m not going to grant any interview in Nigeria,” Pinnick told The PUNCH.

“A lot of Nigerians in Kenya want me to contest, but it does not mean I have accepted. I have not said that I’m going to contest, but I must respect the fact that many meaningful Nigerians want me to continue.

“I’m going to grant an interview this week, but at the moment, my position stands. Amaju Pinnick is not contesting for a third term election,” Pinnick said.

The NFF president’s latest comments are contrary to his stand in April, after the Super Eagles crashed out of World Cup qualification.

While refusing to bow to pressure to resign then, following the team’s failure to qualify for Qatar 2022, Pinnick stated he won’t run for a third term.

“Some people say, ‘oh, take responsibility and resign.’ I’m a soldier, I’ll stay till the end of my tenure.

“I’m eligible to run (for a third term) based on the status. Do I want to run? It’s a no no, my family is very key to me, they said it’s taking its toll on me and the family. They believe that I’ve done my best and it’s time to move on. It’s a regrettable decision, but it’s the best,” Pinnick told Arise TV.

In another interview with TopSport on Top Radio, Pinnick stated, “At the moment, my family is completely against it. I’ve done my best, posterity will judge whether I did my best or I was good enough or not. I’m still an integral part of football as a member of the FIFA Council, I’m not a peripheral member, I’m also a member of the CAF Emergency Committee, I’m also the vice president of the AFCON committee, so I’m still very deep in football but I believe there’s time for everything.”

Pinnick took over the leadership of the NFF from Aminu Maigari in 2014 and is the only person to have served two terms in office as head of the football body.

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