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NFF Presidency: 'It's time to move on!' - Pinnick finally drops third term ambition

Pinnick drops third term bid

By EMMANUEL ETIM

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick, has dropped his third term ambition.

Pinnick announced his decision while responding to questions on Arise TV on Friday morning, saying he decided to sacrifice his ambition in the interest of his family.

He had been in office since his first election in September 2014 when he replaced Aminu Maigari, and has indicated interest in contending for the position of the president for a record third time when his tenure expires in September.

Before Friday, Pinnick has been under sustained pressure from Nigerian football stakeholders who want him to resign immediately from his exalted office. A development that is not unconnected with the recent failure of Nigeria’s senior national football team, the Super Eagles, to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

However, the former CAF first Vice President and FIFA Council member has confirmed that it is time to call time on his quest to continue in office as NFF president ofr the third time - a decision he described as 'very regrettable'.

"I'm eligible to run? Yes, I am based on the NFF status. But do I want to run?, It's a no no, because my family is very key to me. They said that i've put in my all and done my best," Pinnick said on Arise TV.

"They said it's taking a toll on me and the family. And they believed that it's time to move on . It's a very regrettable decision," he concluded.

The three-time African champions had drew 1-1 with the Black Stars of Ghana in the return leg of the final round qualifiers for this year’s World Cup and were eliminated on the away goal rule on March 29.

In the aftermath, most football stakeholders called on Pinnick and his board members to resign without further ado as they blamed the failure of the Super Eagles on the football federation’s ineffective leadership.

Consequently, calls for him to resign from his position have continued unabated as Nigerians are upset that apart from losing the 2022 World Cup ticket and national pride, NFF’s ineptitude has cost the country over €12.2m (N5.6bn) bonus, which would have accrued had the Super Eagles qualified for the 2022 World Cup.

In spite of desperate measures by the embattled NFF president to pacify angry stakeholders, the pressure on him to vacate his office has continued to increase leaving him in a quagmire, hence his latest decision to drop from the race.

Despite recording several successes on the continent, many had previously clamoured for the NFF president to resign when the Super Eagles failed back-to-back to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

The male and women's national teams also failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the Golden Eaglets and the Flying Eagles could not qualify for their respective world championships.

Following this new development, the race of who replaces Pinnick by September this year will start immediately and could now take some dramatic dimensions in coming weeks among the football stakeholders in the country.

 

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