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Nigerian Football

Dalung Tasks Pinnick To Reposition Nigerian Football

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The Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick, has been urged to use its new office in CAF to reposition football in Nigeria.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung made the remark when the executive board of the NFF paid him a courtesy call to thank him for his support during their CAF election campaign.
“As a major player, you must bring to bear not only your wealth of experience but you must assert the corporate integrity of Nigeria anywhere you find yourself taking a decision that affects Nigeria.
“In every diplomatic situation, Nigeria takes the lead and directs but in any political arrangement where you are visibly absent, then certainly your influence is also limited. So our presence on the board is a huge success”.
Barrister Dalung also charged the NFF to upgrade some of its facilities for use at the grassroots level and take competitions to the villages and rural areas.
“Let me use this opportunity to challenge you to use your new office and reposition football in Nigeria. Today, sports is science and there are scientific methods of doing things in sports. If we must go with the world, then we must also update our infrastructural facilities to cope with the dynamics of contemporary football development”.
“Football is the cheapest sports to establish everywhere. Let us create opportunities for our young people in the villages to participate. Once you begin to create football opportunities for them, young people will be clustering there in the evenings and there will be peace and security”.
Earlier, the NFF President Amaju Pinnick thanked President Mohammadu Buhari, the Minister and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for their unflinching support for him during the CAF elections.
Pinnick promised to use his mandate to redefine football in Nigeria.
“I have come here to say thank you for your support and kind advice in this direction. I recall when we met, you told us that Nigeria is too massive not to have members not only in football but in all the federations in their global or continental bodies .
“We realized that we have been short-changed in so many ways and if we had a Nigerian there, all those things will be in the past. With your support and your blessing, a Nigerian has been elected. Not just a peripheral member but a frontal, vocal and authoritative member of the new CAF.
“On behalf of the NFF I want to assure you that we will not let you down. We will make sure that this mandate, apart from redefining football in Africa, some of the trickle and auxiliary benefits of course, will come to Nigeria which is my primary constituency.” Amaju said.
The NFF President later presented his certificate of election to the Minister.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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