President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick has expressed the gratitude of the Federation to the Presidency and various other individuals and groups who contributed to the Super Eagles’ qualifi cation for Russia 2018 World Cup finals.
Th e Super Eagles pipped hard –fi ghting Zambia 1-0 at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo on Saturday to become the fi rst African team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup fi nals.
But Pinnick noted the Eagles would not have been able to make light work of the so –called Group of Death without the support of so many people and institutions.
Pinnick praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his keen love and support for the team, while also commending Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Sports Minister Solomon Dalung and the sports committees of the National Assembly.
“Mr. President was always there for the team and for the NFF; he supported us not only by providing whatever we asked for but also by keenly following the progress of the team.
We remain eternally grateful to him.
“Th e Vice President came to see the team at training session during one of the qualifying matches and showed immense interest in the team’s welfare.
Th e Senate President personally attended the matches against Algeria and Zambia and sent representatives to the other qualifying matches, “ he said while adding that the sports minister was a pillar for the team and the NFF during the qualifying series.
Meanwhile, Pinnick will on Wednesday heads to Cairo, Egypt where he will preside over his fi rst meeting as President of the Organizing Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Following the toppling of the old order at CAF seven months ago, leading to the enthronement of new blood headed by Mr. Ahmad, Nigeria’s Pinnick also won election as Member of the Executive Committee, and two months later was appointed the President of AFCON.
It is the fi rst time that the Organizing Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations is not headed by the CAF President.
Th e Committee on AFCON is the largest in CAF, having about 35 members, and most of them being presidents of Member Associations.
Th e 1st Vice President is South Africa FA boss, Dr. Danny Jordaan while Zimbabwe FA boss, Dr. Philip Chiyangwa is the 2nd Vice President.
Th e principal agenda for Wednesday’s meeting at the CAF Headquarters is the AFCON 2019 and the issues around it, including the facility audit company to be appointed for auditing of the facilities that Cameroon has put forward for the hosting, and a decision to be taken on when the company will visit that country