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NFF board supports Pinnick’s backing for biennial World Cup cycle

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Amaju Pinnick PHOTO:Getty Images


Members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday unanimously endorsed its President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick’s support of a two-year World Cup cycle, brought forward at the FIFA Congress three months ago by FIFA President, Gianni Infantino.

According to thenff.com, the board members at a meeting held via videoconference, supported Pinnick, arguing that the 166 countries that already supported the idea (out of FIFA’s 211 members) were in order.

The report cited CAF President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe and football legends, Lothar Matthaeus and Gary Lineker, are among the leading campaigners to half the current four-year cycle of football’s flagship competition.

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“With the World Cup being played every four years, the opportunity to have this experience is too rare and spread over too great a time. Whole generations of players miss out, sometimes because of one match potentially decided by one incident…the World Cup is played every four years for historic reasons linked with the Olympic cycle…it has been like this for almost 100 years…we can add one more month every four years to organize the most beautiful competition in the world and find ways to protect the players, clubs, leagues, federations and Confederations’ interests and this is neither irrational nor absurd.

“It is a fact that competing at the highest level helps the less developed countries to raise their level. It increases their experience and helps them to learn from mstakes. It is also a key way to bring a country and its key stakeholders behind an objective; including the fans, the sports authorities and also governments,” Pinnick told an online publication, cajnewsafrica.com yesterday.

The NFF supremo, a member of the 37-member FIFA Council that is the highest decision-making organ for world football, also insists that a two-year World Cup will hasten the infrastructural development of host nations – which would be more this time – and also create more wealth, lead to more FIFA projects.

Enable more footballers to play in the World Cup, enable more FIFA World Cup appearance for star players and enable more winners of the coveted, 24-karat gold trophy.

“In 91 years of the FIFA World Cup, only eight countries in all have emerged winners. With a two-year cycle, that number would be overtaken quickly. Also, we had a great player like George Weah who couldn’t play in the FIFA World Cup, ditto for Abedi Pele and Anthony Yeboah. African superstars like Jay Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu could only play in three and Lucas Radebe played in only two. A player of Hadji Diouf’s quality played in only one. With a two-year World Cup, players would have more opportunities.”

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