5 ways Pinnick’s NFF has failed Nigerians

NFF president Amaju Pinnick

Barely two years after assuming office as President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has so far struggled to live up to the expectations of Nigerians.

From one calamitous move to the other, the once adored Glass House is gradually becoming a porch for mediocrity and endless deceit under the Delta-born administrator.

“I am so excited winning the election and I will make sure I lift Nigerian football high when I assume office,” Pinnick promised after emerging NFF president in September 2014.

Unfortunately, that has not happened. From the 5th position in Africa and 37th in the world when Pinnick took over, Nigeria is now 17th on the continent and 70 globally on FIFA Ranking.

The Flying Eagles’ failure to reach the 20th Africa U-20 Cup Nations Cup in Zambia is the latest in the tales of woes for which Nigerian football has become synonymous.

Here we highlight five areas the former Delta Football Association boss has failed Nigerians.

1 AFCON misery

Just few months into Pinnick’s administration, the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. Two years after, same ugly incidence played out again.

“The NFF must quit now. They cost us this Nations Cup,” former Nigeria goalkeeper, Idah Peterside, said after another dismal AFCON qualifying campaign in 2016.

2 Kit sponsorship dilemma

One of the side effects of Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2014 AFCON was immediate withdrawal by Adidas as the country’s official kit sponsor. Pinnick once again ridiculed the nation by signing a cryptic deal with American company, Nike. The implications became glaring as players were unable to exchange jerseys with opponents after matches due to shortages and sometimes resorted to washing their jerseys prior to games.

3 Fruitless search for sponsors

Pinnick embarked on countless trips claiming to be soliciting for sponsors for the national teams but apparently none was willing to invest in an already sinking ship. The implication however was backlog of salaries being owed the coaches as well as match bonuses not remitted to players.

“Executive committee approved that henceforth, only the head coaches of the various national teams will be on monthly salary, while assistant coaches will receive only bonuses and allowances,” an NFF communiqué released on Wednesday stated.

4 ‘Pep Guardiola of Africa’

Sunday Oliseh was appointed to replace Stephen Keshi as Super Eagles coach in July last year with Pinnick describing him as the “Pep Guardiola of Africa”.

Seven months later, the former Juventus star said: “I didn’t beg for this job, I didn’t even want this job.”

Oliseh took out his anger on critics in a YouTube video where he said “I call it insanity because you must be insane to start seeking a plebiscite on the future of the national team coach of Nigeria because we lost CHAN.”

5 The Le Guen drama

As if the national embarrassment wasn’t enough, Pinnick and his cohorts extended this to the international community when they announced Frenchman Paul Le Guen as coach without agreeing terms with him. Less than 24 hours after, the former Paris Saint-Germain manager declined the offer.