The President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR on Thursday congratulated the new president of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick on his ascendancy, and assured that the Federal Government would afford even more support to Nigeria football.
In a meeting at the Presidential Villa, also attended by Minister of Sports/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, Jonathan charged Pinnick and his new executive committee to work extra hard at driving Nigeria football to new heights.
“I congratulate you on your coming into office, but it means a lot of work. You have to invest a lot of energy into building on past successes and reaching new heights. You can count on the support of the government.
“However, I am even more motivated by your pledge to seek greater support from Corporate Nigeria. You know very well how much our people love the game of football, and it is now your responsibility to work really hard to see how our people can derive greater joy from watching the National Teams play.”
Speaking earlier, the NFF president heaped plaudits on President Jonathan for his keen love for support for Nigeria football, which has been amply demonstrated over the years.
“Mr. President, on behalf of the Nigeria football family, I wish to express deep appreciation to you and your administration for the huge support that has been given to Nigeria football and the national teams over the years. You have indeed been Nigeria football’s Number One Supporter for several years now.
“We remember your tremendous efforts, then as Vice President, to ensure that Nigeria hosted the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in 2009. Since then, you have never looked back.”
Pinnick also praised the support and understanding of the Sports Minister and the Director General, NSC, Gbenga Elegbeleye.
“The NFF is indebted to the leadership of the National Sports Commission for the much that they have done and always ready to do for the NFF, especially in bringing to an end the crises of the past few months. They have been marvelous.”
When President Jonathan attended the training session of the Super Eagles at the National Stadium, Abuja in September 2012, he made history as the first Nigeria leader to do so since General Yakubu Gowon met with the Green Eagles prior to the 2nd All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 1973.
President Jonathan also surprised the Super Eagles in October 2013, by attending their training session at the Addis Ababa Stadium on the eve of a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia.
Beyond these, the President has consistently motivated and rewarded players and officials of the National Teams for impressive performances at international competitions, hosting them to dinner at the State House with financial packages and national awards to go with it.