The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has said that he did his best for Nigerian football.
The NFF leadership under him has come under heavy criticism in recent times due to the Super Eagles’ inability to impress on both the African and global stages.
Recently, Nigeria failed to move beyond the round of 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and fell short in securing a ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Super Eagles technical team was disengaged following their World Cup play-off performance against Ghana, but the country’s football federation didn’t not escape backlash from supporters and the local media.
Pinnick, while detailing some of the effort he’s made to provide the best for the national team, says his family is against his third term bid despite being eligible to run and added that the job is a ‘thankless’ one.
“I did my best and posterity will judge,” Pinnck, who’s led the NFF since 2014, said. “I just want to do what I need to do and finish strong. I am still an integral part of football. I am a member of the FIFA Council, I’m also a member of the Executive Committee. I am also the Vice President of the AFCON committee. So, I’m very deep in football. But there’s time for everything.
“It was a very tough decision, but my wife, my kids and extended family believe I have put in so much, and it’s a job that’s thankless. I don’t want to go into the nitty gritty but God knows that we did quite a lot,” the 51-year-old said, in response to the blacklash.
“Especially this last game [against Ghana in the World Cup play-off], what did we do that we were not supposed to do? We made sure Ghana left the best hotel for Nigeria. Officiating was fair and firm in both legs. The atmosphere and weather was clement.
“We were not supposed to go on the field and play. In terms of motivation, the players were told clearly, if you win this game, FIFA is going to give some amount, and you guys will take 35%, that’s about $3.5million. So what else do you want the NFF to do? Accommodation was difficult, I had to go to CBN, appeal to CBN for them to pay directly for the accommodation. Even before CBN paid, some of us had to deposit our own money so the rooms won’t be given out.
“We’ve done quite a lot, but like I said, posterity will judge whether our best was good enough for Nigeria or not.
“In the near future, a book will come out about me, especially about my sojourn in Nigerian football, so people will see and know that we went beyond our extreme in trying to make Nigerians happy.”