“Pinnick loves Nigeria” – GFA President wants NFF boss to seek third term

The Nigerian football administrator has been in charge of the country’s number one football body since 2014

President of the Ghana Football Association, GFA, Kurt Okraku has expressed shock that his Nigerian counterpart Amaju Melvin Pinnick has decided not to run for a third term as President of the Nigeria Football Federation.

Pinnick was first elected as the NFF boss in 2014 after spending four years as Chair of the Delta State Football Association. The 51-year-old was reelected in 2018, with the highlight of his tenure being guiding the Super Eagles to the 2018 FIFA World Cup and a bronze medal finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Pinnick is statutorily permitted to seek a third term in office, but he has come under intense pressure lately after Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Ghana’s Black Stars beat the Super Eagles to the qualification ticket on the away goal rule in March, weeks after the Eagles were eliminated at the second round of the 2021 Afcon.

And Mr. Pinnick hinted on Arise TV earlier in the week that despite being eligible to contest for the NFF Presidency for the third time, he would not be running.

However, GFA boss Okraku is convinced Pinnick has more to offer Nigerian football and has urged Nigerians to support the Delta State-born to take the country to greater heights.

“That’s unfortunate if he (Amaju Pinnick) really said he is quitting the NFF,” Mr. Okraku told Brila FM in a radio interview.

“I would be one of those people who would go up to him to tell him to rethink that decision.

“I know Pinnick loves Nigeria; he loves Nigerian football. He wants to see the Super Eagles dominate African football. That’s his dream and it’s the dream of every Nigerian, including the President of the country.

“In this challenging period, it calls for cool heads. It also calls for everybody to stand with each other. This is time to offer solutions and Nigeria will get back to its feet.”

Despite Pinnick’s many troubles, CAF President Patrick Motsepe only recently nominated the Nigerian to be part of the newly established FIFA Working group on Normalisation Committees.

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