Pinnick talks Super Eagles, 2018 FIFA World Cup, grassroots football etc in new interview.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick was on a breakfast show of Channels Television on Monday, May 14 where he discussed a wide of topics including, Super Eagles preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and development of grassroots football.
These are 10 important things he said on the TV appearance.
Pinnick has played down injury worries for the Super Eagles of Nigeria ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
“You can see yesterday (Sunday, May 13), all our players were blazing. (Kelechi) Iheanacho, (Alex) Iwobi and the boy from Plateau United (Junior) Lokosa, Ahmed Musa, Moses Simon they all scored yesterday,” the NFF boss said.
“The injuries are not to be worried about and their spirit is amazing, they are thinking about the World Cup and that gives us so much joy."
The NFF boss refused to state an outright target for the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the World Cup and said the federation are just doing all they can to encourage the players.
Pinnick also revealed that from the $8m expected from FIFA, the Super Eagles are to get 30% of it, about $8m for their 2018 World Cup bonuses.
This was agreed after a meeting between the NFF and senior players.
During the interview on Channels TV, Pinnick stated that the vision of his NFF is to make football the integral part of the Nigerian economy.
“In 1992, when the Premier League started, they requested $200m from the British government, not to give to the clubs but to develop their infrastructure,” Pinnick said.
“Today the British Government rake in between $2.5b to $3bn pounds on taxes and other direct activities relating to football annually.
“It adds to their GDP and that’s exactly what I wanted to do. Our programs include the QIP, the quick impact programmes which of course means we want to qualify Nigeria for all major tournaments because sporting successes also impact on your cooperate existences.”
Pinnick revealed that the NFF ready to commission six football houses (secretariats for state FAs) in the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The NFF have also commenced the building of more 12 of these houses across Nigeria.
“This is important because the problem we have is for example if you go to your state, you discover a player, you don’t nurture that player to greatness,” Pinnick said.
“There is what is called the FIFA connect program. Whereby every football stakeholders are already registered under the FIFA Connect programme.
“If you are discovered as a six-year-old, you get connected to a FIFA connect program and at that level, the state starts nurturing you.
“You cannot change the age of the player, you cannot change the name of the players because the player is being monitored by FIFA through NFF and through the state FA till he becomes a star."
Pinnick revealed that the NFF will not be ‘spending a dime’ for the friendly game between Super Eagles Team B and Atletico Madrid.
DR Congo players will be tested for Ebola Virus on arrival in Port Harcourt for the friendly game against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Pinnick also revealed that the NF get half of their annual budget from corporate sponsorship.
“Our budget in a year is about between N5.5b to N6b and as I speak to you the NFF is about doing about N3.5b from corporate sponsorship,” Pinnick said.
“Within the next one and a half year, our target is to be 100% self-funding.”
While denying reports that Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr has been pressuring players to sign with an agent so they can make the World Cup squad, Pinnick revealed that he has been pressured by some agents to make sure their clients are in the list.
“I told them that I am the wrong person to meet. It is the call of the coach,” Pinnick said.
10: Ignoring court case distraction
Pinnick refused to respond to questions about the court cases he is facing and said their only focus is on the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“We want to focus just one the World Cup because we believe that for the first time, Nigeria can focus on the World Cup,” he said.