Reactions have trailed the decision of the President, Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick’s decision not to contest for a third term in office, The PUNCH reports.
Pinnick, during an interview on Arise TV on Monday, stated that he won’t be running for a third term, despite calls from associates persuading him to continue in office.
His second term is billed to lapse on September 20, having first assumed office in 2014.
“Third term? No, no,” Pinnick replied when asked if he would be contesting again.
“I’m fine and I’m telling you that there are so many Nigerians that are capable of running Nigerian football.
“I will assist and work with whoever emerges as the new NFF president and that’s my promise. I’ll intervene but never interfere.”
Speaking with The PUNCH, former Super Eagles assistant coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, believes Pinnick, a FIFA Council member, has done creditably well and would be remembered for his work with Nigerian football.
“There have been talks about him contesting or not, but if he comes out to state categorically that he won’t run for a third term, so be it,” Amuneke told The PUNCH.
“Other capable hands are out there to drive Nigerian football forward. He has played his part and history will remember him for what he did either way, that’s life.”
Two-time Africa Cup of Nations bronze medalist, Ifeanyi Udeze, also lauded Pinnick for his decision not to run for a third term.
“Honestly, for me, he has done the right thing coming out to state clearly that he will not be running for a third term,” Udeze, who was part of Nigeria’s squad to the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, said.
“But we need someone who is credible to take over from him and not just anybody who will take our football backward. First, the congress must hold for this process to go through.”
On whether an ex-international should contest for the post, Udeze added, “We need a well-grounded ex-player who can contest and win, not just take part in the poll.”
A former Senator who represented Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, also urged ex-internationals to step out and contest in the forthcoming election.
“The NFF election is here again. Ex-Nigeria internationals should step forward and take the mantle of football administration. Emulate Samuel Eto and Didier Drogba. Where is Austin Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Daniel Amokachi, Segun Odegbami and Tijani Babangida?
Meanwhile, the NFF has rescheduled its Annual General Assembly earlier billed for August 16 in Yenegoa, to August 18 in Lagos, according to its first Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association.
Akinwunmi, who spoke via a short video clip, which was made available to our correspondent, said following an ultimatum from football stakeholders, the country’s football body was compelled to convene the AGA ahead of elective Congress next month.
“In the light of all that has been happening in recent times within the realm of Nigerian football, I have decided to send out a short message of assurance and give my personal stance on this issue. As you are all aware, there has been a dark cloud of uncertainty surrounding the administration of our football in the past few months.
“We have a situation where the issue of a court injunction has affected our football administration. This time, it is an interim injunction granted in December 2021 in a suit filed at the Yenagoa division of the Federal High Court, which has restrained the NFF from convening its Annual General Assembly for over seven months.
“Secondly, many members of the NFF Congress have in the past few months given the Executive Committee an ultimatum to call AGA within a specified time.
“In accordance with the views of the members of the football fraternity as expressed in various forums, many members of the NFF Congress have demanded that the Executive Committee must ensure that the 2022 NFF elections take place in September 2022 within the electoral lifespan of the current Executive Committee. The plaintiff in a lawsuit in Bayelsa State and beneficiary of the interim injunction has forfeited his rights to the injunction and filed for the discontinuance of the suits.
“In full alignment and agreement with the above, I’m aware that the NFF statutes is the supreme law for the administration of football in Nigeria, subject of course to any conflict with the laws of Nigeria. By virtue of the NFF status, the annual general assembly as currently constituted is the supreme legislative body for the NFF.”