FG needs to support Pinnick’s bid for FIFA Council, says Oneya
Former Chairman of the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and former Military Governor of Kano and Benue states, General Dominic Obukadata Oneya (Retd), has called on the Federal Government to support Amaju Pinnick in his bid to become a member of FIFA council at the 43rd Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) billed for Rabat, Morocco, on March 12.
Gen. Oneya spoke with The Guardian yesterday, just as the former chairman of the Technical Committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Christopher Green, described Pinnick’s bid as a ‘Nigerian project.’
Oneya was NFA Chairman when the Super Eagles participated in Korea/Japan 2002 FIFA World Cup. He also headed the Ministerial Committee on Reforms in Nigerian Football recently. He has served in various capacities at CAF committees.
He told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday that Pinnick’s bid to become the third Nigerian to sit on the FIFA Council after Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo and Dr. Amos Adamu, should be supported by the Federal Government both morally and financially.
“There is need for the Federal Government to throw its support behind Pinnick because the nation stands to benefit if he wins,” Oneya said. “The sports minister should make a pronouncement as quickly as possible even if government is not going to give Pinnick money for his campaign. Let other nations feel the impact of our government’s support for Pinnick in this race. We should see it as a national assignment.”
On his part, Green, who is Governor Nyesom Wike’s Special Adviser on Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt, stated that the nation stands to benefit a lot if Pinnick becomes a member of FIFA Council.
“I want the Federal Government and every Nigerian to see it as a major project that needs our support,” Green said. “If Amaju Pinnick wins, it will be a major boost for our football, because he is not going there to represent himself alone. He will develop Nigerian football.
“Those who understand international football politics will know the importance of having someone in FIFA Council. It will serve the nation well for us to have a strong say in an international body like FIFA. And as I said earlier, the Federal Government needs to come into the picture as quickly as possible because it is a Nigerian project,” Green told The Guardian.
In November 2020, Pinnick, a former First Vice President of CAF, announced his intention to vie for a seat on the FIFA council watering down speculations he would contest again to be NFF president.
FIFA Review Committee declared Pinnick eligible for the position last month after he passed the integrity test conducted by the World Football governing body.
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