Amaju Pinnick’s many battles

By Daily Sports on April 11, 2016

Views: 4,243

Let me confess that though I am not a fan of the embattled Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) supremo, Amaju Pinnick, I have started feeling for him over the many wars confronting only him. While he told Nigerians that he would squarely face the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifiers, those that said he is occupying the position illegally have got a judgment from the court that unseats him. He has since appealed, seeking for the status quo to remain. However, he acts like an emperor as his word is final.

Permit me not to bother you with the genesis of what he is currently facing because they have been in the public domain for some time now. However, the latest sack by the Federal High Court Jos and his subsequent appeal came off the 2014 election imbroglio.

According to those that took part in the said polls, it was marred by irregularities but all said and done, Pinnick was declared winner. I won’t further bother you on that, dear readers.

It will be an over-statement to say that there has been conflict in the Football House; this regime has not known peace. The leadership does not have the acumen to manage it accordingly. For instance, Amaju discarded all those that contested against.

To be honest with you, they are his better in all ramifications in national and international football administration; in short, they are tested and also trusted. Amaju knows that. His greatest undoing remains his headiness not to work with these men of substance that would have given their vast input in the game, which would have saved the country all the embarrassment she has experienced from a rookie like Amaju Pinnick since he mounted the saddle.

It has been from one woeful outing to the other. His penchant for not having any regard for people has helped to further worsen his situation. It is no hidden fact that he has dragged Nigerian football to the mud.

He has no apology in his dictionary, which makes him more enemies than friends because he is Mr. Know All. That was how he held Delta State Sports hostage for many years without giving Warri Wolves FC any direction. The club despite billions of naira that went into it remains an under-performing team.

Unfortunately, without needed experience of the game at the national level he found himself landing the plum job, heading the most influential FA in the continent. It entered his head: instead of embracing those that know the terrain inside-out, true to type, he is doing it himself and on a wrong footing. Those that have the knowledge of the game, the politics and sundry in the continent and the world, are on the sidelines keenly watching him navigating our football into troubled waters. The game, you will not be wrong, is sinking steadily.

In my candid opinion, the court battle may likely serve as a great reprieve for football in the land. It is an opportunity to re-organise the game adequately but it will affect the players and our clubs that would not participate in any international championships if FIFA wields its hammer.  

It will be a two-edged sword, for good, and for bad. It is the surgery our football needs at the moment if we must move forward – the truth being that what Amaju Pinnick is exhibiting with our supposedly reverend football leaves a sour taste in the mouth. He has been overwhelmed. In this column last week, I said he ought to be praying that this cup should pass him by; now he also would be mixing Psalm chapters 23 and 27 together as the burden and pains are becoming too heavy for him. But he is the architect of his present situation.

It is widely believed that no man is an island but to the NFF President, nobody matters not – evening minding that he is a nobody in the administration of football. Shamefully, what is happening to our football is by extension what we have been experiencing in the larger polity: anxiously expecting a change that never came, which embarrassingly brought so much sufferings and pains, with people quickly regretting their actions and inactions, which has forced them to ask: Buhari, when will these pains end? I digress.

It worries the mind and makes one’s heart summersault several times and drop as if one is about having cardiac arrest but God forbid! Simply because of the way and manner pretenders headed by Amaju Pinnick have been bungling the administration of the beautiful and money-spinning game in the country that houses over 80 million fans of the sport.  

It is instructive to note here that there are some people like the very experienced and goal-getting like Felix Anyansi-Agwu, the chairman of Nigeria’s CAF Champions League representative, Enyimba, in the executive committee but their concrete views are swept under the carpet by Amaju and his fifth columnists. Anyansi-Agwu is a busy man preoccupied with how Enyimba International FC would bring home for the third the premier African club championship trophy and ultimately fly the continent’s flag at the 2016 world club football summit. He has his mind firmly fixed there and he has not left anybody in doubt about it; it is also a national assignment, after all.

From all indications, and without any prejudice, before the game would come out of this round of crisis, it would be heavily bruised and may be left lifeless. There must be urgent truce to save the game for the sake of the players and fans – not for these destroyers for whom what only matters is what goes into their private pockets.

Amaju must henceforth form an all-inclusive government that would embrace the most exposed in the management of the game thorough and thorough. Such individuals contested against him and they were either muscled out through the back door or with money which played a leading role during the better forgotten Warri 2014 NFF Congress and elections.  

These people have held exalted offices in the body and proved their worth. If Amaju continues to pretend he would do without their input, he is living in a fool’s paradise. If these kinds of people were around him, we would not have lost out in AFCON 2017. This is the time he must be told in clear terms that he should discard his winner takes all syndrome.

He should forget relying on the judgment of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) I am seeing the hand of Esau in the whole set-up. It seems some powers that be want him out and after the deed must have been done, Nigeria will abide by FIFA’s terms and conditions; by then the game would be up for Amaju and his lame duck executive committee.

As it is now, very few are crying for him, majority are clapping and doing hearty laughter, praying that the end comes quickly for this regime that knows next to nothing about football administration. This is the reign of gloom in the history of football in the nation. He can only survive this one if he can use his tongue and count his teeth, otherwise he is nearing being drowned, and party men are piling pressure to unseat him. He caused whatever that may befall him. Of course, he is the target not; really Nigerian football – once he is cleared off the route, people that run all-embracing football government would emerge. No condition is permanent.

Amaju and his committee members are in the eye of the storm this moment. It is not funny and he is not at ease at all. His house is on fire that is spreading to consume him. He is not being pitied because of his not-too-good character while dealing with people.

This drama is being instigated and if he does not watch it carefully and follow suit with wisdom, FIFA and its rules cannot save him. People at the top are beating this drum for the boys acting the script, for the soul of Pinnick and his board. Meanwhile, we wait!!

•Victor Enyinnaya can be reached via 08055068145 (sms only) or by e-mail via

Source Daily Sports

Posted April 11, 2016

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