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FlyJ

I dumped Nigerian games for Wembley Because – NFF boss

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FlyJ    72

NFF-president-Amaju-Pinnick-360x225.jpg

 

The Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has fired back at those who criticised his trip to England to watch the Community Shield game between Arsenal and Chelsea rather than watching any of the two Nigerian teams that were involved in international matches on Sunday.

 

The U-23 Eagles and the Super Falcons were involved in matches leading up to the Rio 2016 Olympic games on Sunday. Some Nigerians who spoke on different radio and television programmes insisted that it would have made better sense if Pinnick had settled for the Enyimba/Rangers match in Aba rather than the game in London, which he watched with the new Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh.

 

But Pinnick, who was spotted via a picture posted on Twitter during the game in Wembley, said on Monday that it became necessary for him to respond to the barrage of criticisms to make the critics understand that he was in London for business.

 

He first reacted via Twitter before the NFF made a full response on their website.

 

“Hello all, no doubt I am an Arsenal fan but I will never relegate my calling at NFF for Arsenal,” he said.

 

“When Arsenal was playing against Manchester some months ago, I was on the road to Ibadan to watch 3SC against Rangers.”

 

While Pinnick was in London, the Falcons, lost 2-1 to Equatorial Guinea in Bata and missed a chance to participate in the 2016 Olympics, but the U-23 team led by Samson Siasia held the Congolese to a 0-0 draw in Pointe Noire, to qualify for the final round of the Rio 2016 qualifiers billed for Senegal.

 

“We had a number of meetings with some groups who have indicated interest in Nigerian football,” Pinnick explained.

 

“It is my responsibility to expatiate on the direction that we want to take Nigerian football, and Oliseh is our head coach now and they needed to listen to his own development plans as well.

 

“The meetings we have had so far have been positive, and we expect great results. Ideally, it is not every move we make, or every plan we have, that we throw out there into the public.”

 

Pinnick then congratulated the U-23 team for qualifying for the Senegal stage.

 

“We are excited by the team’s qualification for the African U-23 Championship. But we have to keep a level head as there is still a lot of work to ensure quality preparation for the championship in order for the team to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

 

“The truth is I actually wanted to travel with the Falcons, if not for the meeting in the UK. I had developed a special bond with the team from the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The NFF is proud of the team’s glorious achievements over the years.”

 

Nigeria failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics in both football events.

 

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