By Femi Atolagbe
The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)has expressed immense gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his keen interest in the affairs of Nigeria Football Federation and the various National Teams.
Members unanimously commended the support and encouragement that President Buhari has always given to the Nigeria Football Federation and Nigerian Football generally, and particularly during the recent contrived crisis.
They also praised the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (GCON), who as Acting President, transmitted to world football –governing body, FIFA, the letter that averted a worldwide suspension of the NFF from international football.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of executive committee meeting of the NFF held at the association’s Secretariat, in Abuja
The communique reads in part, the Executive Committee also commended the fortitude, unflinching commitment to association football and unity of purpose exhibited by Members of the NFF Congress, as well as the patience and understanding of all NFF Partners and Sponsors during the impasse.
The members of NFF Management who stood firm in the face of intense pressure and remained true to the tenets of association football also received kudos.
Board directed the Secretariat to work assiduously towards making adequate arrangements for Players and Officials of the Super Eagles for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Seychelles in Victoria on Friday, 7th September 2018.
For ease of logistics and in consideration of convenience, Board approved that the players (as well as team officials not based in Nigeria) fly direct into Seychelles from their bases in Europe while the one player from Nigeria and Nigeria –based match officials fly from Nigeria aboard commercial aircraft.
In commitment and keen desire to cover ground lost during the recent crisis, Committee mandated the Organizing, Technical and Development, Finance, Marketing, Football and Ethics and Fairplay sub –committees to meet during the week to come up with workable plans and programmes to fully rev the engine of football back to life across the length and breadth of the country.
The roadmaps designed by these sub-committees would be thoroughly scrutinized by the Emergency Committee early next week with a view to approving and streamlining feasible work –plans.
The Technical and Development Committee, working in harmony with the Strategy Committee, is to come up with a definite venue for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Senior National Team of Libya, scheduled for 10th October 2018. Committee mandated the sub-committees to hold meetings with relevant stakeholders in possible host cities and revert back with an agreed venue within the next 10 days.
In view of the fact that Nigeria must submit names of her representatives in the next CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup competitions latest 15th October, and granted the ground lost to the recent troubles which made any domestic football impossible, Board mandated the League Management Company and the NFF Football Committee to hold important meetings thus month (August) 2018, to look at various options and strategies of ensuring a credible conclusion to the various Leagues in this Football Season. The League Management Company is to interface and agree with relevant groups to conclude the Nigeria Professional Football League season while the NFF Organizing Committee was also mandated to ensure a seamless National Finals of the AITEO Cup Competition.
Executive Committee directed the Technical and Development Committee to request from the Head Coach of the Super Falcons, Mr. Thomas Dennerby, a comprehensive training/preparation programme towards Nigeria’s successful defence of the Women Africa Cup of Nations title at the 11th Championship scheduled for 17th November – 1st December 2018.
Committee insists that no stone must be left unturned to ensure Nigeria successfully defends the title and qualifies for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals which will be staged in France.
With the conclusion of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests for the new set of players of the U17 National Team concluded and the contingent billed to travel out to Niamey, Niger Republic on Friday for the 2019 Africa U17 Cup of Nations qualifying tournament starting this weekend, the Board charged the Manu Garba –led technical crew to work hard towards conquering every opposition there and delivering the ticket that will qualify the team to the finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Tanzania.
IN ATTENDANCE: Amaju Melvin Pinnick (President); Seyi Akinwunmi (1st Vice President); Shehu Dikko (2nd Vice President); Ibrahim Musa Gusau (Member); Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande (Member); Christopher Green (Member); Yusuf Ahmed ‘Fresh’ (Member); Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Member); Babagana Kalli (Member); Musa Duhu (Member); Aisha Falode (Member); Mohammed Alkali (Member); Chidi Ofo Okenwa (Member); Mohammed Sanusi (Secretary)