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Infantino charges Pinnick on role for better Fifa

Elated by his victory, the Fifa president Gianni Infantino has charged NFF president Amaju Pinnick to make meaningful  and lasting contribution to the development of football after the latter’s  election as a member of the Fifa Council.

Pinnick clinched the plum seat after defeating Malawian FA president Walter Nyamilandu during the 43rd Caf General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco.

With his victory, 50-year-old Pinnick became the third Nigerian administrator to achieve the feat after Oyo Orok Oyo (1980-1988) and Amos Adamu (2006-2010).

Infantino hailed  the victory of the NFF boss , saying he looked forward  to working with him as he aims to take football across the world to a greater height.

“I would like herewith to reiterate my warmest congratulations to you for your election as Member of the Fifa Council, at the 43 Caf Ordinary and Elective General Assembly, held on Friday in Rabat,” Infantino said.

“I have no doubt that your experience, your knowledge, not to mention your passion, your sense of consensus and your personal qualities, will help you to meet future challenges at the service of the world football community.

“I am convinced that, as Fifa Council Member, you will make an important contribution to Fifa and, most importantly, to the development of our sport, which unites us all.

“Sending you my best wishes of luck, courage and success for all the challenges that lie ahead, I look forward, dear Pinnick, to working with you already at the next meeting of the Fifa Council, which will be held by videoconference this Friday, 19 March.”

Pinnick will be joined by Egypt’s Hany Abou Rida, Morocco’s Fouzi Lekjaa, Mali’s Mamoutou Toure, Benin’s Mathurin De Chacus and Sierra Leone’s Aisha Johansen in the main decision-making organisation of the world football governing body.

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Prior to his success at the election, Pinnick’s ambition was backed by the Federal Government in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, Nebolisa Anako.

“On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, and all Nigerians, we hereby pledge our unflinching support to Mr Pinnick because his victory would be our collective victory,” a part of the statement read.

“[Sports Minister] Mr Dare believes Amaju can use his position and connections in Caf and Fifa to help promote and develop Nigeria and African football in all ramifications.

“Let us be resolute and firm in our support…This is no time to stand on the fence, but to be partakers in the scheme of things.”

Pinnick was re-elected as the NFF boss in 2018 and he is currently serving his second term after his first victory in 2014.

He previously served as Caf vice-president in Ahmad Ahmad –led  administration between September 2018 and July 2019, before he was removed and succeeded by Constant Omari.

Aside his role as a member of Caf Executive Committee, the Delta-born administrator is also a member of the Organising Committee for Fifa competitions.

Pinnick began his football administration journey as the chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission in 2010 before his appointment as chairman of Delta State Football Association a year later.

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