Amaju Melvin Pinnick, NFF president in the midst of FIFA executive members at the final of 2022 Costa Rica FIFA U 20 Women's World Cup final on Sunday evening

Despite announcing his intention not to run for the forthcoming NFF election even though he is eligible, mischief makers and  disgruntled stakeholders purposely aimed at tarnishing the image of Amaju Melvin Pinnick continue to launch unfair and biased tirades against the outgoing President of Nigeria Football Federation and his administration.  

Mr. Pinnick’s administration’s days at the top echelon of Nigeria Football  administration are numbered and in few weeks time, a new President of the NFF will emerge. But for once, let’s be fair in all ramifications as  the ethics of balancing should come to play in this kind of scenario especially among pen pushers and those who practice journalism as profession.  Pinnick may have his weakness but at least let’s be fair to him as posterity will  judge us. 

Amaju Pinnick has survived many coup and attempted coup plots and if not for his bravery, doggedness and resilience, the Delta State born sports administrator could have belonged to the past. The legal tussle the Pinnick led NFF EXCO faced was second to none and should be fairly taken into account as that alone has caused more harm than good to the development of the game under his watch. 

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FIFA president, Gianni Infantino and Amaju Pinnick, NFF president

His hands were tight due to pending court litigations which shackled most part of the duration of his administration as NFF President. The toxic atmosphere deliberately created by some enemies of Nigeria Football led to  driving away the cooperate world taking part in the development of game. 

From business point of view, no responsible cooperate organisation will seek for collaboration of any kind with the NFF to leverage on the mileage. The national teams  both male and female, NPFL, NNL, NLO, and NWFL were all adversely affected by the pending litigations against the NFF led by Pinnick. 

But despite all these  setbacks, Amaju Pinnick still muscled his way to drag some of the world renowned  brands and multinational organisations into Nigeria Football. 

In addition, our national teams both male and female achieved podium finish  across different tournaments which Nigeria participated with nine trophies won under his stewardship.  Have we also fast  forgotten that in 2018, the Super Eagles  qualified for the world biggest footballing spectacle, the  World Cup with two games to spare which up till date is unprecedented in the history of our nation’s football. 

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Amaju Pinnick, NFF President

It is sad that we consciously allow sentiments  becloud our sense of reasoning having quickly forgotten the fact that In 2009, the Federal Government constituted a task force for the Super Eagles to qualify for  the world cup in South Africa in 2010. 

Having said that, I suggest we shouldn’t turn a blind eye on  the Pinnick led NFF Executive Committee to only point out and expose their flaws without mentioning at least some of the successes his administration has recorded.  Criticism should be constructive not mean.  

Bilal Saleh is a sports journalist based in Sokoto State.

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