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Pinnick explains NFF’s excitement over deal with MTN

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Pinnick. Photo: SPORTSHINDU

There was so much excitement among members of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Friday, at the Merriot Hotel, Ikeja. The NFF board members and other stakeholders had gathered at the hotel to unveil yet another sponsorship deal for the country’s football.

A day earlier, the federation had unveiled a pact with the country’s largest airline, Air Peace, which is now the official airline of Nigerian football.

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The NFF has an existing pact with oil and gas outfit, AITEO, GAC Motors, Zenith Bank, and Nigerian Breweries, among others. However, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, believes the deal with MTN is a game-changer.

According to Pinnick, who was accompanied to the event by NFF’s Second Vice President, Shehu Dikko, Chairperson of the Nigerian Women Football League (NWFL), Aisha Falode, who was compere on the day, and Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Obinna Ogba, Nigerian football has long been yearning for marriage with MTN.

He said: “This is one of the most sought-after partnerships in African football and we are very excited about it.

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“We believe that in carrying out sustainable sports development, you need a company that has gone through all levels of growth. That is MTN.

“When we came into the NFF board, all our existing partners were exiting from their contracts. We had to start from scratch and now we can look back in excitement because of where we are now.

“We are not done yet. We want to see Nigerian football achieving 90 per cent financial independence… we have gained so much respect in the world.

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“We are glad that as we start our Qatar 2022 World Cup journey, MTN is starting with us.”

Pinnick, who disclosed that the deal is worth N500 million yearly and graduates by five per recent yearly, added that there are other values that cannot be quantified easily. He pledged that NFF would work hard to ensure the partnership worked to everybody’s benefit.

“This is the starting point. Since MTN is now into Nigerian football, the next step is to see how we can get them into the league.”

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Earlier, MTN’s Chief Operating Officer, Karl Toriola, described his company’s ‘growing relationship with Nigeria’s dynamic football ecosystem’ as an honour to invest in and support a platform that unites Nigerians.

He said: “Football is a unifying national obsession. It brings people together, breaks down boundaries, creates conversations, and inspires. We are privileged to have this opportunity to partner with the NFF and to be able to support all Nigeria’s national football teams over the next three years.

“This is the start of what we hope will be an inspiring, productive, and value-adding partnership that can combine the role that technology plays, with the incredible experiences that football provides for the millions of Nigerians who follow the national teams.”

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