President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, will return to the country tuesday after a four-week medical trip to the United Kingdom.
Based on reports by THISDAY, a domestic accident four years ago has compelled the Delta State-born administrator to undergo regular ear surgery and the recent exercise has been as successful as previous ones.
“I want to commend the 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, who has been acting in my stead, and other members of the NFF Executive Committee who have been working very hard, as well as the General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, who has been brilliant as head of the secretariat.
“I also want to commend the media for its wonderful support for the NFF administration and Nigeria football generally. I have always said that we cannot do it alone, and the support of the media and other stakeholders has been very important to whatever we have achieved in the past seven months,” observed the NFF boss.
Pinnick’s passion and commitment to Nigeria football development meant that even while on medical visit, he maintained the tempo of meetings, consultations and development initiatives at a pace allowed by doctors’ advice.
“I am shocked that at this age and with the global awareness that sport plays a principal role in unity, co-operation and integration among nations, some persons could be wondering why I had to meet with the FIFA President and the Chairman of The Football Association.
“I had a very useful meeting with the FIFA President and another with the Chairman of The FA, Mr Greg Dyke. The key points from both meetings have been well -reported. I have said several times that Nigeria is a very important nation and can no longer afford to be a silent player in international football. Similarly, we have a lot to learn from England and co-operation between our two national associations is key to our capacity-enhancing programmes and desire to replicate the enviable football culture that obtains in England in our own country.”
Going to the home of FIFA in Zurich, Pinnick had to travel all the way and back to London by train as medical advice forbade air travel.
“I was told by doctors that I must not, under any circumstances, travel by air within four weeks after the operation. That would have been risking permanent damage to my ears. It is not like I didn’t want to return to the country all along.
“In any event, we are in an e-world and nothing has been left undone by my medical trip. I was not in the United Kingdom for jamboree. We are on auto-pilot with our vision and mission and I have absolutely no doubt that we are on the right path with all our plans to take Nigeria football to heights never attained before,” concludes Pinnick.