The president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has assured the country’s football fans that 2017 would be a great year for the sport.
The NFF president, who gave the assurance while speaking in an interview, reviewed performance of the Federation in the outgoing year, saying there would surely be improvements in 2017.
Pinnick who said 2016 witnessed mixed fortune for Nigerian football, noted that NFF performed creditably well in areas of embracing FIFA’s technological driven programs.
He said “though it was a very rough and tough year for the federation, 2017 promised to be a great year. Generally I will say, with all sense of objectivity, that it was a kind of mixed fortune for Nigerian football in 2016.
“In terms of technology and new thinking in global football, we have signed up for the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS), the Intermediary Regulatory Tool (IRT), the FIFA Connect and FIFA Integrity programmes.
“I think the federation has done well in these areas and we are always looking to the future; these are technology driven programs and areas that will enhance football in the country.
“We are the first country in Africa to have signed up for the DTMS. So, in terms of technology and the new thinking in global football, I think we are in the right direction.
“However, in terms of the politics of the game and funding, I won’t rate us very well. That’s the truth. We have not been able to live up to expectation in that area.
“Then in terms of qualifying for events, yes, we started very slowly but now we are on the verge of qualifying for the World Cup. It’s a marathon anyway, but I think we have got to an appreciable distance.”
Pinnick noted that the NFF had its ups and downs in the outgoing year, adding that some of the disappointments were unforeseen.
“In terms of funding, our relationship with Nigeria and the global corporate, I just feel very pained about these because this is not the target of the NFF, that’s the truth.
“We believe at this point (second year running), we should have an appreciable level of financial independence and autonomy,’’ he said.
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