NFF Heaps Blame on FG for AFCON Failure

by on April 1, 2016

As the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), continues to lament its failure to ensure that Nigeria’s flag is hoisted at the Africa Cup of Nations venue for the second consecutive time, the federation has blamed the series of interferences by higher authorities as responsible for the situation.
Nigeria has missed out in two consecutive AFCON editions, beginning with the Equatorial Guinea 2015 where former Coach Stephen Keshi failed to lead the Eagles to defend the trophy they won in 2013 in South Africa.
Just last Tuesday, the Super Eagles were beaten 1-0 by the Pharaohs of Egypt in Alexandria, after a 1-1 draw in Kaduna; and finally lost out again to represent Nigeria for the 2017 edition of the continental championship billed to hold in Gabon in January 2017.
NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, at a media parley in Abuja, expressed regrets the incessant interference by the Federal Government in the affairs of the football federation. He cited the decision to sack former coach Stephen Keshi which was stopped after the intervention from powers above, saying, it was the beginning of the federation’s failure to actualize its goals.
Pinnick, who however apologized to Nigerians for the NFF failures, also noted that the series of litigation which the federation was confronted with, also acted against its smooth working environment, hence it could not be focused on the targets ahead.
“If at the first time the technical committee recommended that we should allow Keshi to go, if we had allowed it, we would not have found ourselves in this situation. There were interferences that time and it caused us a lot. I was almost going for a brand new coach before I got a call from a most superior office, instructing me to halt my move. The highest office in Nigeria was then dictating to us; now see where it has taken us to. If we had moved on with that plan, Oliseh would not have come into the picture.
“We were also distracted for over nine months with series of litigation which ended up at CAS. On several occasions, I was arrested and questioned over certain decisions we took as NFF board members”. Pinnick regretted.

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