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NFF president Pinnick Told to Resign Over 2022 World Cup Failure

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NFF president Pinnick Told to Resign Over 2022 World Cup Failure

Nigerian football stakeholders have asked Nigeria Football Federation President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick to resign immediately from his exalted office over the recent failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Super Eagles’ failure did not go down well with millions of disappointed Nigerians, including the number one citizen, President Muhammadu Buhari, who had stormed the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja to give support to their darling team.

Consequently, as soon as the match ended, some of the fans could not bear the pain of the monumental loss as they invaded the pitch and vandalised facilities at the stadium.

The players were also not spared as some of the angry fans attempted to attack them physically but were restrained due to the timely intervention of the security personnel on duty.

As a follow-up, most football stakeholders immediately called on the president of the NFF, Pinnick and his board members to resign without further ado as they blamed the failure of the Super Eagles on the football federation’s ineffective leadership.

However, instead of the board resigning, it decided to terminate the appointment of members of the technical crew and announced that in a short while, new coaches would be appointed to lead the senior national team.

Some believe the sack of coach Augustine Eguavoen and his assistants was nothing more than a diversionary tactic.

Consequently, calls for Amaju to resign from his position have continued unabated.

Such Nigerians are upset that apart from losing the 2022 World Cup ticket and national pride, NFF’s ineptitude has cost the country over €12.2m (N5.6bn) bonus, which would have accrued to the football federation had the Super Eagles qualified for the 2022 World Cup.

Among the first to call for his resignation was a former Secretary-General of the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Dr Tijani Yusuf, who said that in other countries, the NFF president would have resigned long ago.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Trust, the university don said “This is the time for the government to step in. In a normal situation, the first person who should have tendered his resignation honourably is the NFF president.

“If it were in other climes, Pinnick should have resigned immediately. But in Nigeria, people don’t resign; they are pushed out by force. I expect him to resign together with his board members. He has done his best but it is not good enough so let him resign immediately.”

In the same vein, the Guild of Sports Editors, the umbrella body of managers of sports in Nigeria’s major media organisations, called on members of the executive committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to resign from their positions. In a statement signed by the guild’s Vice President, Adekunle Salami, the editors stated unequivocally that “Nigerian football is bigger than any individual and should not be tied to the fortunes of anybody.

On his part, a former Director of Sports in Katsina State, Alhaji Aliyu Kofar-Soro said the only way forward is for Pinnick and his ‘friends’ to resign and never contemplate contesting elections again to lead Nigerian football.

A former member of the House of Representatives from Plateau State, Hon. Lumumba Adeh also blamed the latest sporting disaster on the mediocre leadership of those at the helm of affairs of Nigerian football and called for their resignation.

This is not the first time Nigerians are calling on the NFF president to resign. It will be recalled that similar calls were made in the past when the Super Eagles failed back-to-back to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

The male and female national teams also failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the Golden Eaglets and the Flying Eagles could not qualify for their respective world championships.

On all occasions, aggrieved Nigerians called on the NFF president to resign. However, he refused to take the path of honour.

But Pinnick may be forced to drop his ambition because the first time Nigeria failed to qualify for the World Cup, which was Germany 2006, the then NFA Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima lost his plum job. It is against this background that most football stakeholders in Nigeria are of the opinion that the Super Eagles’ failure has put Pinnick’s third term ambition in serious jeopardy.

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