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FIFA president, Confederations chieftains and FA top shots celebrate Amaju Pinnick at 52

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The Diplomatic Club, Pearl, State of Qatar

At the sumptuous and waterfront The Diplomatic Club at the outskirt of Doha, biggest names in football administration gathered to celebrate former Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick as he clocked 52 on Thursday.

The informal occassion was graced by FIFA president,  Gianni Infantino who came with his wife.

Also in attendance was the  President of CONCAF, Victor Montegliani, whose North and Central American confederation will host the largest World Cup in history and the first to be co-hosted by three countries.

The General Secretary of FIFA, Fatma Samoura of Senegal as well as some other FIFA secretariat staff members were in attendance. They include the Deputy General Secretary,

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 FIFA General Secretary, Mathias Graftstrom as well as CAF Vice president,  Souleman Waberi.

The other football chieftains include FIFA Council member, Hani Aborida and his wife as well as the presidents of Romania FA who is also a FIFA and UEFA council member Razvan Bearleneau.

Not left out was Carlos Cordera a former US Soccer Federation President and special adviser to the FIFA President.

At the simple but impressive event were the Germany football boss as well as the head of Chinese FA administration, Mr. Frank and Mrs Lekjaa, wife of Fouzi Lekjaa, President of Morrocco FA and FIFA council member.

Infantino praised the virtues of Pinnick, describing him as one of those who had unalloyed loyalty to him.

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He presented him with a customized Qatar 2022 match ball on which there is the inscription: “Amaju Pinnick at 52”.

Also earlier, there was a birthday greeting letter personally signed by the FIFA boss.

It reads: “Congratulations for your 52nd birthday! May this special day bring you happiness, health and success, both personally and professionally.

In this FIFA World Cup year, I am most appreciative of your support and collaboration in making this tournament such a successful and unique event, carrying a message of hope, unity and solidarity.

I wish you a wonderful day with your loved ones, and I sincerely hope we will continue to work together for the development and growth of this beautiful game that unites us all.

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Looking forward to seeing you very soon again to congratulate you in person.

Yours in football,

Gianni Infantino”

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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