The present NFF administration has zero-tolerance for corrupt practices and tendencies, as well as any form of high-handedness or impunity, says NFF President Amaju Pinnick.
“In the eight months that we have been in office, I have consistently told my colleagues on the Executive Committee and the members of Management and Staff that there will be no room for corruption in Nigeria football. Corruption has no place in the beautiful game and will not be tolerated at the NFF or anywhere in Nigeria football. I have also given that message to all coaches of the National Teams in clear language.”
The NFF boss said he had to make this clarification after his publicly -voiced support for FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s fifth term bid (that was eventually successful) was badly misinterpreted in sections of the media and the social space.
“In law, a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Yes, there are issues of corruption on ground and a number of officials have been arrested. But Mr. Blatter has neither been indicted nor arrested, and even swiftly moved to suspend those officials who have been arrested. The NFF gave full support to Mr. Blatter because we believe in a strong and focused body committed to using football to promote global peace and making the world a better place for all.
“Should Mr. Blatter be indicted or arrested, he will immediately lose our support.”
Pinnick went further: “The present NFF designed the capacity –enhancing and re-orientation programmes for our referees to bring them up to speed with what is happening in model societies and also root out corrupt tendencies. We have punished a few that fell short of our expectations. Now, the officials know that the match, and not the cash, is King.
“Mr. Blatter has promised to make FIFA stronger and we will work with him to achieve that. The NFF will continue to do all within its power to maintain the ethics of football administration in Nigeria and will continue to work assiduously with FIFA to protect the image of football.”