Infantino's visit to Nigeria greeted with protests

By Daily Sports on July 25, 2016

Views: 1,877

The working visit of FIFA president Gianni Infantino to Nigeria has been overshadowed by a protest demanding the resignation of Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick over his illegal stay in office and incompetence on Sunday.

The protesters, led by former Nigeria international Emeka Ezeogu, besieged the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, following the arrival of the Fifa boss and  secretary general Fatma Samoura. FIFA executive assistants Mattias Grafstrom and Veron Mosengo-Omba were also part of Infantino's entourage.

The FIFA President and the Secretary General landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 4:30pm from Switzerland ahead of his two-day working visit to the country. 

Infantino's visit is his first official appearance in Africa since he was elected as the new FIFA president on February 29, replacing Sepp Blatter. He will also meet with federation heads of several other African countries during the trip.

The protest of Ezeogu is the second held this year since the Nigeria Sports Marketers Association requested for the resignation of Pinnick for 'incompetence' during a meeting with the sports minister in April.

Many questions have continued to trail the dipping fortunes of Nigerian football, especially with national teams' recent poor outings despite the improving men's topflight domestic league and a long list of aspiring talents around the world.

With the country's football obviously facing heavy structural defects and administrative crisis, football analysts and fans believe the widely-advertised visit of the FIFA President was wrongly timed.

Most troubling of all is the financial burden of hosting the FIFA President, the Secretary General, 17 African Football Association Presidents alongside government officials at a time when the NFF has not been able to pay coaches' salaries and players' bonuses.

•Culled from Photo shows Ezeogu leading the protesters

Source Daily Sports

Posted July 25, 2016


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