Sack or No Sack, Pinnick on Duty at Russia 2018

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President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Member, Executive Committee of Confederation of African Football, Mr. Amaju Pinnick, is unfazed by happenings at home.

As a member of FIFA’s Organising Committee, the former Chairman of Delta Sports Commission has been appointed as the Match Commissioner for Friday’s quarter-final clash between France and Uruguay at the Nizhny Novgorod Arena.

Earlier, he was in-charge of the group phase encounter between European champions Portugal and Iran in Saransk penultimate Monday as well as the Group G match between Tunisia and Panama in the same city on Thursday. Portugal and Iran drew 1-1 while Tunisia, one of Africa’s five flag-bearers, edged Panama 2-1.

Pinnick was also in charge of the Round of 16 encounter that pitched Sweden against Switzerland at Saint Petersburg on Tuesday July 2.

The NFF President will also take charge of the first semi final match, scheduled for Saint Petersburg’s Zenit Arena on Tuesday, 10th July, as well as the third place match at the same venue on Saturday, 14th July.

Since becoming a Member of the CAF Executive Committee on March 2017, Pinnick has facilitated the appointment of several Nigerians into FIFA and CAF Committees.

A former Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Philips is a Member of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber) while Shehu Dikko, NFF 2nd Vice President, is a Member of the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee.

NFF 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi is a Member of the CAF Committee for Youth Compeitions; Shehu Dikko is a Member of the Club Competitions and Club Licensing System Committee; Ibrahim Gusau is a Member of the CHAN Organizing Committee; Yusuf Ahmed Fresh is a Member of the CAF Technical and Development Committee; Obinna Ogba is a Member of the Futsal and Beach Soccer Committee; Dr. Peter Singabele is a Member of the CAF Medical Committee and; Chisom Ezeoke is a Member of the CAF Women Football Committee.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, A. U. Mustapha is the President of CAF Appeal Board and Samson Adamu is now the Director of Competitions of CAF.

Pinnick has now been nominated for the CAF 1st Vice Presidency following the resignation of Nyantakyi – a big step towards his being elected as a Member of the FIFA Council, the most powerful group in world football.

Meanwhile, the crisis in the NFF may have gone beyond mere power tussle as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday invited its embattled Pinnick.

Pinnick who is still in Russia as Executive Member of FIFA has been informed about the invitation and is expected to jet in soon.

A source in position to know, confirmed the commission has been inundated by weighty petitions which only the CAF Executive member can provide answers to.

The invitation is coming less than 24 hours after the football fraternity across the globe woke up to behold a change of guard at the Nigerian football Federation Secretarial popularly known as the Glass House in Abuja with Ambassador Chris Giwa now firmly in charge in compliance with court order and directive from the Minister of Sports, arrister Solomon Dalung.

Although the content of the petitions and the petitioners cannot be ascertained as at now, there are hints that the issues raised could include but not limited to issues of due process, financial transactions and administrative actions among others.

The world cup in Russia which kicked off on June 14 will be rounded off on July 15 and Executive members of the World soccer ruling body will be expected to stay put till the end and even attend a closing meeting before departing Russia.

Aside from that Pinnick has been appointed match commissioner for Friday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup quarter final match between France and Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod.

The former Delta State FA chairman will also take charge of the first semi final match, scheduled for Saint Petersburg’s Zenit Arena on July 10, as well as the third place match at the same venue on July 14, an indication that he may not return till the end of the World Cup.

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