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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:16 pm 
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How I stopped Eagles from playing alamala football – Pinnick
https://punchng.com/how-i-stopped-eagles-from-playing-alamala-football-pinnick/
Published February 9, 2020


Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick talks on a wide range of issues concerning Nigerian football in this interview with ’TANA AIYEJINA

What’s your opinion of the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifying group, which has Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia?

First thing we should know is this, there are no more minnows in football across the world. A few years ago, Cape Verde were the number one (African team) on the log in FIFA ranking for a very long time. We know what they do, they get players of Portuguese origin. Therefore, we don’t want to be deceived. We will prepare as if we are playing Cameroon, England and Brazil. I will not allow us get carried away. We will not settle for less than going to the World Cup. We would not get carried away. This is a World Cup qualifier. Like I said, any single mistake could be very costly. Even though the group looks cheap, it might end up being a very difficult one. We are playing against Liberia who’s got a president (George Weah) who has played the game before and can decide to channel all his country’s resources into the qualifiers with the aim of qualifying them for the World Cup. One does not joke with such a nation and just feel relaxed about the games. Don’t forget that the same way we go abroad and pick our players is the same way they also go out there to pick theirs. First thing, look at the sizes of these countries and you know, most African nations are well populated, they will have players outside. These are the things we should consider. Look at Benin Republic, we played them in the AFCON qualifiers, we cannot say they are minnows in football any more. So, we are going to step up our preparations, like we are playing in the group of death, because Nigerians will never forgive us if we don’t qualify for the World Cup. We should be prepared. The good news is that we have a bit of time. We also need to look at our ranking. We need to maintain it or even go higher. In June, we have one fixture, though we are talking to some big countries that are weighing the thought of playing against Nigeria in preparation for their European Cup. I spoke with some (federations) presidents who are very excited about playing against Nigeria. The second fixtures would be the AFCON qualifiers and the third fixtures will be in October, the World Cup qualifiers begin against Liberia. We don’t want to take chances.

There are doubts about the future of Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, whose contract expires in June. Will the NFF retain him?

I am the president of the NFF and it is not run by one man. While I have the loyalty of the NFF Executive Committees is that they take decisions that are strategic and they bring to me. This is a very sensitive question. But beyond that, we must respect what’s in a contract. We have a contract with him till June and you will recall that we did not even wait until the 2018 World Cup before we signed an extension with him. I have a very cordial relationship with him, very cordial. And I’m proud of that. The good news is that he is under contract till June. Contract is not done by one person; it must have two parties or more. We will sit down and say. ‘Look at our situation as it is, can you work with this framework?’ If he says ‘yes’, then it’s done. But if not, we cannot kill ourselves. This is the truth. Then we can say, ‘you are not ready.’ One thing we don’t want to do is to put our team in jeopardy. So, in the next few weeks, the first vice president, who is in the legal team, will lead a committee, with chairmen of Technical, Establishment and Marketing, Secretary-General and Head of Legal (unit) to sit down with Rohr and tell him, ‘Look at our situation. Can you do this and that?’ If he agrees, why not? Whether we like it or not, he has done quite a lot. But like I always say to him, he cannot take this credit alone. If we did not provide an enabling environment for him, he will not find it easy. Also, we have made sure that we do not miss any FIFA window and we don’t just play what my friend, Kojo Williams, calls alamala matches. We play quality matches and are not scared of playing the big names. We‘ve played Brazil, Argentina, England, Poland, Serbia and in Africa we have played Senegal and Cameroon. We are not scared and that’s the Warri spirit in me. People come to me and say, ‘President how are we going to play these?’ I simply tell them, ‘Football is 11-11.’ That’s the same spirit in the Super Eagles.That is patriotism. That’s why I don’t joke with Wilfred Ndidi. The same way he plays for Leicester City is same way he plays for the Eagles. We’ve seen players protecting their legs when they play for the Eagles but give all to their clubs. However, we are happy with the crop of players in the Eagles today, because they give their all. We have lots of players coming in to play for the national teams. Today, for every wing, there are about three players to fit into the role. Nigeria is a massive country, we have the human resources. We are not there yet, but we are on the road to our destination. Nigerian football is almost self-sufficient now. Nigeria is a big country, we train all our coaches and help them. However, some Nigerians are hell bent on destroying what we are doing. If you destroy it, I am not the one that you have destroyed. No. I will still remain myself, with my family; it will not make my wife not to love me. They will only succeed in disenfranchising themselves. Everything we do here is for the nation. There was a petition submitted in 2015 to an agency, they went through it thoroughly and invited everybody. But they discarded it. It has been recycled since then. The person who wrote the original one confessed to me that he found out that I was clean. He said he was forced to write the petition against me. So, it’s not about me, though I’m not a perfect guy. However, whatever is written about me not being perfect is basically geared towards ensuring that Nigerian football reaches its destination under my watch. Look at what has been going on for us, you will find out God is with us; like the group we find ourselves for the World Cup qualifiers. If you are fighting us, you are fighting God and if He visits you, you will not like His anger. He said, ‘Do not touch my anointed and do my prophet no harm.’ This is true. People say a lot but all the places I have been to, Abuja, Warri, Sokoto, Port Harcourt, no one has been able to accost me and say, ‘You are a criminal.’ Instead, they tell me, ‘Don’t be discouraged, we know what’s going on.’ These are words of encouragement for us. We are keen on this job. After the remaining years, we want to look back and say, ‘God, thank you.’ Also, with the encouragement of the new minister, we will get there. God loves Nigeria. Once we qualify for the World Cup, I can assure you, we will play in the semis or the final of the World Cup. We would make sure everything is prepared. All we need is support. I will be very happy. If I do eight years in the NFF, I am satisfied.

We have players of Nigerian descent from other parts of the world wanting to play for the Eagles rather than for the country of their birth. What’s the attraction?

My youthfulness. They see me as part of them. What I try to do is study the environment. First, why do we have to go out to pick players? Why do we look at our league and say it is not good enough? You look at what happens in other countries. Who started this? Algeria. If you look at most players who play for Algeria today, (Riyad) Mahrez, he was born in France. Islam Slimani was born abroad too. They went for these players. A couple of years ago, it was Nigeria that demystified them. They went and came back stronger. Morocco adopted it. We will not say because we are patriotic we will allow our players here to take charge. Truth be told, most players from the western climes are better exposed and are highly trained than what we can get here. The equipment they are exposed to is another factor too. What attracts them is the fact that the players talk to themselves. Gone are those days that the Super Eagles will wait at the airport for six hours because they want to travel. Now, when they travel, they move smoothly and enjoy the luxury. Also, we lodge them in the best hotels. When I first got elected, my first assignment was to go to Pointe-Noire in Congo. My assignment was to beat Congo and South Africa, so that we could qualify for AFCON. I called the then NFF General Secretary and he said ‘Oh, this is the airline that we would use.’ However, I was not comfortable with the arrangement. Immediately, I called another airline. Personally, I went to look at the plane and when I saw it met the standards, I told them to pay. I could see surprise on the faces of the players. It was smooth, the whole thing. The cabin crew, air hostess, etc were all great. Within 20-30 minutes, they were on board. Now, when we got to Pointe-Noire I went to my hotel, found out that I was given a big room. So, I went to the players’ hotel and they told me they were kept somewhere. We had to change their hotel to the best. The late Stephen Keshi said to me, ‘You don’t know what you have done for these players.’ I also remember what Mikel Obi said by the pool side, ‘President, this is new, we would give you this game.’ So, they talk to themselves. It’s not just that, we go to their homes. We visited Ahmed Musa when he had challenges with his family. Then, he was not playing regularly for his club. I called the coach and said, ‘Listen, by my understanding, I might be wrong. If a club is not helping a player, it is the country he has served that will help him.’ So, I went to the coach and said, ‘Ahmed is our player and his name must be on that (2018 World Cup) list.’ Why did I say that? It’s because I know his quality. Quality does not leave you. And he scored twice to give us our only win of the tournament. In Asaba, the coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game. So, I didn’t want to call the coach. I told the players I’m in the club, that they should come. They had fun, danced, drank, we did everything together. Because of them, I went to the club with friends too. But I told them, ‘you must bring result.’ They assured me. The next morning I called the coach and told him not to be angry. So, there’s something new going on. If we keep this spirit, bring new players to the team, make it competitive and avoid every obstacles, Nigeria can win the World Cup with the crop of players we have. In Russia, who played in the final? Is it not the Croatia who we played against and at a point were struggling against us? But they played in the final because they got everything right. It is that thing that I am preaching now. Let’s get everything right just by creating an enabling environment, pay and at when due, get the best facilities for them, make use of every FIFA window, build relationships with their clubs and families, make them mentally and physically ready and make sure they are in the right frame of mind. Once that is done, we would have the kind of players that can do us proud.

How do you feel watching the likes of Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi churn out excellent displays regularly?

It’s a thing of joy. Some of these players came through the ranks of our junior teams. That’s why when people say Nigeria did not qualify, Nigeria did not go beyond second round in U-17, it’s unfortunate. The age grade competition is meant to provide players for the senior national team. These are developmental competitions. England won the last U-17 in 2017 but did not even qualify for the last one. There was no noise about it. We in Nigeria, we make these players feel like they have arrived, but they are just starting.

Did your time as Delta Sports Commission boss shape you up for the NFF job?

Yes, indeed. It helped me to become more mature, while handling things. In fact, when signing correspondence, it taught me to read through. It prepared me. If you have to be NFF president, you need to have experience. In spite of what the former (sports) minister (Solomon Dalung) did to me, I never one day challenged him. Why? In government, once he’s your senior, he’s always your senior. I cannot see him tomorrow and disrespect him, never. I call him sir. In spite of the past, one just has to maintain one’s maturity with being prayerful. That’s the truth. Thus, the Delta job prepared me for the NFF job. It laid a good foundation for me. If I didn’t have that foundation, then no way for me.

Looking at your second term in office, how challenging is the NFF president’s job?

It is truly taxing. Extremely challenging. But as a Warri boy, I will not regret it and have not regretted it. Trust me, God has been with me. All challenges are phases of life to me. We see a lot of things. I forgive people and I preach for forgiveness. I know that they know that we are not what they think. I have lots of businesses. In 1993, I was the head of the team that brought Fela Kuti to the University of Benin. It’s not hidden. In 1991, we brought Shina Peters to University of Benin. He was number one then. We paid him N25,000 then. From that show, I got two bikes. Then I was barely 20 years old. So, when people say things, I just look at them. It’s not as if I’m from some poor family. I’m a bit of an Ivy League family. My dad was one of the first black managers of UAC in Nigeria. What I will say is, ‘Think Nigeria, don’t think Amaju Pinnick.’ Whatever we do comes good or bad for this country. They know what’s going on in CAF and FIFA, all they are trying to do is just to trample on us. In due course, all these things will play out for Nigerians to see.

What plans do you have for the domestic league?

I just set up a meeting recently. There’s a big company ready to come in. We are working very hard to bring back TV.

If you were to leave NFF today, what legacy would you leave behind?

A youthful Super Eagles. I will make sure Nigeria is the best in Africa and global football, as well as a comprehensive developmental programme. The most important one is for us to have a self-sufficient NFF.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:47 pm 
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Thanks for the red highlights. I didn't read the whole thing, but I skimmed.
It is shocking to think a NFF president can go against the coach's wishes and invite players out for a night of clubbing and drinking the night BEFORE a game!! All based on Okocha's testimony that he once played a good game after clubbing?! Amaju sounds like a complete illiterate!!
So what if they had lost? We would have all blamed Rohr, not knowing what had happened behind the scenes.
Wow! Smh.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:07 pm 
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He sounds boastful. Wish he talked in more detail about development at the grass-root level and local football in Nigeria rather than poaching talent developed by other countries.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:07 pm 
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bushboy wrote:
Thanks for the red highlights. I didn't read the whole thing, but I skimmed.
It is shocking to think a NFF president can go against the coach's wishes and invite players out for a night of clubbing and drinking the night BEFORE a game!! All based on Okocha's testimony that he once played a good game after clubbing?! Amaju sounds like a complete illiterate!!
So what if they had lost? We would have all blamed Rohr, not knowing what had happened behind the scenes.
Wow! Smh.

Hey be careful there, you are about to touch the anointed one!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:32 pm 
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DIMKA76 wrote:
He sounds boastful. Wish he talked in more detail about development at the grass-root level and local football in Nigeria rather than poaching talent developed by other countries.

Pinnick has no plan for the highlighted!!!!

When he was in charge of Delta State sports commission, he imported athletes from America.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:42 pm 
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Enugu II wrote:
Quote:
How I stopped Eagles from playing alamala football – Pinnick
https://punchng.com/how-i-stopped-eagles-from-playing-alamala-football-pinnick/
Published February 9, 2020


Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick talks on a wide range of issues concerning Nigerian football in this interview with ’TANA AIYEJINA

What’s your opinion of the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifying group, which has Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia?

First thing we should know is this, there are no more minnows in football across the world. A few years ago, Cape Verde were the number one (African team) on the log in FIFA ranking for a very long time. We know what they do, they get players of Portuguese origin. Therefore, we don’t want to be deceived. We will prepare as if we are playing Cameroon, England and Brazil. I will not allow us get carried away. We will not settle for less than going to the World Cup. We would not get carried away. This is a World Cup qualifier. Like I said, any single mistake could be very costly. Even though the group looks cheap, it might end up being a very difficult one. We are playing against Liberia who’s got a president (George Weah) who has played the game before and can decide to channel all his country’s resources into the qualifiers with the aim of qualifying them for the World Cup. One does not joke with such a nation and just feel relaxed about the games. Don’t forget that the same way we go abroad and pick our players is the same way they also go out there to pick theirs. First thing, look at the sizes of these countries and you know, most African nations are well populated, they will have players outside. These are the things we should consider. Look at Benin Republic, we played them in the AFCON qualifiers, we cannot say they are minnows in football any more. So, we are going to step up our preparations, like we are playing in the group of death, because Nigerians will never forgive us if we don’t qualify for the World Cup. We should be prepared. The good news is that we have a bit of time. We also need to look at our ranking. We need to maintain it or even go higher. In June, we have one fixture, though we are talking to some big countries that are weighing the thought of playing against Nigeria in preparation for their European Cup. I spoke with some (federations) presidents who are very excited about playing against Nigeria. The second fixtures would be the AFCON qualifiers and the third fixtures will be in October, the World Cup qualifiers begin against Liberia. We don’t want to take chances.

There are doubts about the future of Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, whose contract expires in June. Will the NFF retain him?

I am the president of the NFF and it is not run by one man. While I have the loyalty of the NFF Executive Committees is that they take decisions that are strategic and they bring to me. This is a very sensitive question. But beyond that, we must respect what’s in a contract. We have a contract with him till June and you will recall that we did not even wait until the 2018 World Cup before we signed an extension with him. I have a very cordial relationship with him, very cordial. And I’m proud of that. The good news is that he is under contract till June. Contract is not done by one person; it must have two parties or more. We will sit down and say. ‘Look at our situation as it is, can you work with this framework?’ If he says ‘yes’, then it’s done. But if not, we cannot kill ourselves. This is the truth. Then we can say, ‘you are not ready.’ One thing we don’t want to do is to put our team in jeopardy. So, in the next few weeks, the first vice president, who is in the legal team, will lead a committee, with chairmen of Technical, Establishment and Marketing, Secretary-General and Head of Legal (unit) to sit down with Rohr and tell him, ‘Look at our situation. Can you do this and that?’ If he agrees, why not? Whether we like it or not, he has done quite a lot. But like I always say to him, he cannot take this credit alone. If we did not provide an enabling environment for him, he will not find it easy. Also, we have made sure that we do not miss any FIFA window and we don’t just play what my friend, Kojo Williams, calls alamala matches. We play quality matches and are not scared of playing the big names. We‘ve played Brazil, Argentina, England, Poland, Serbia and in Africa we have played Senegal and Cameroon. We are not scared and that’s the Warri spirit in me. People come to me and say, ‘President how are we going to play these?’ I simply tell them, ‘Football is 11-11.’ That’s the same spirit in the Super Eagles.That is patriotism. That’s why I don’t joke with Wilfred Ndidi. The same way he plays for Leicester City is same way he plays for the Eagles. We’ve seen players protecting their legs when they play for the Eagles but give all to their clubs. However, we are happy with the crop of players in the Eagles today, because they give their all. We have lots of players coming in to play for the national teams. Today, for every wing, there are about three players to fit into the role. Nigeria is a massive country, we have the human resources. We are not there yet, but we are on the road to our destination. Nigerian football is almost self-sufficient now. Nigeria is a big country, we train all our coaches and help them. However, some Nigerians are hell bent on destroying what we are doing. If you destroy it, I am not the one that you have destroyed. No. I will still remain myself, with my family; it will not make my wife not to love me. They will only succeed in disenfranchising themselves. Everything we do here is for the nation. There was a petition submitted in 2015 to an agency, they went through it thoroughly and invited everybody. But they discarded it. It has been recycled since then. The person who wrote the original one confessed to me that he found out that I was clean. He said he was forced to write the petition against me. So, it’s not about me, though I’m not a perfect guy. However, whatever is written about me not being perfect is basically geared towards ensuring that Nigerian football reaches its destination under my watch. Look at what has been going on for us, you will find out God is with us; like the group we find ourselves for the World Cup qualifiers. If you are fighting us, you are fighting God and if He visits you, you will not like His anger. He said, ‘Do not touch my anointed and do my prophet no harm.’ This is true. People say a lot but all the places I have been to, Abuja, Warri, Sokoto, Port Harcourt, no one has been able to accost me and say, ‘You are a criminal.’ Instead, they tell me, ‘Don’t be discouraged, we know what’s going on.’ These are words of encouragement for us. We are keen on this job. After the remaining years, we want to look back and say, ‘God, thank you.’ Also, with the encouragement of the new minister, we will get there. God loves Nigeria. Once we qualify for the World Cup, I can assure you, we will play in the semis or the final of the World Cup. We would make sure everything is prepared. All we need is support. I will be very happy. If I do eight years in the NFF, I am satisfied.

We have players of Nigerian descent from other parts of the world wanting to play for the Eagles rather than for the country of their birth. What’s the attraction?

My youthfulness. They see me as part of them. What I try to do is study the environment. First, why do we have to go out to pick players? Why do we look at our league and say it is not good enough? You look at what happens in other countries. Who started this? Algeria. If you look at most players who play for Algeria today, (Riyad) Mahrez, he was born in France. Islam Slimani was born abroad too. They went for these players. A couple of years ago, it was Nigeria that demystified them. They went and came back stronger. Morocco adopted it. We will not say because we are patriotic we will allow our players here to take charge. Truth be told, most players from the western climes are better exposed and are highly trained than what we can get here. The equipment they are exposed to is another factor too. What attracts them is the fact that the players talk to themselves. Gone are those days that the Super Eagles will wait at the airport for six hours because they want to travel. Now, when they travel, they move smoothly and enjoy the luxury. Also, we lodge them in the best hotels. When I first got elected, my first assignment was to go to Pointe-Noire in Congo. My assignment was to beat Congo and South Africa, so that we could qualify for AFCON. I called the then NFF General Secretary and he said ‘Oh, this is the airline that we would use.’ However, I was not comfortable with the arrangement. Immediately, I called another airline. Personally, I went to look at the plane and when I saw it met the standards, I told them to pay. I could see surprise on the faces of the players. It was smooth, the whole thing. The cabin crew, air hostess, etc were all great. Within 20-30 minutes, they were on board. Now, when we got to Pointe-Noire I went to my hotel, found out that I was given a big room. So, I went to the players’ hotel and they told me they were kept somewhere. We had to change their hotel to the best. The late Stephen Keshi said to me, ‘You don’t know what you have done for these players.’ I also remember what Mikel Obi said by the pool side, ‘President, this is new, we would give you this game.’ So, they talk to themselves. It’s not just that, we go to their homes. We visited Ahmed Musa when he had challenges with his family. Then, he was not playing regularly for his club. I called the coach and said, ‘Listen, by my understanding, I might be wrong. If a club is not helping a player, it is the country he has served that will help him.’ So, I went to the coach and said, ‘Ahmed is our player and his name must be on that (2018 World Cup) list.’ Why did I say that? It’s because I know his quality. Quality does not leave you. And he scored twice to give us our only win of the tournament. In Asaba, the coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game. So, I didn’t want to call the coach. I told the players I’m in the club, that they should come. They had fun, danced, drank, we did everything together. Because of them, I went to the club with friends too. But I told them, ‘you must bring result.’ They assured me. The next morning I called the coach and told him not to be angry. So, there’s something new going on. If we keep this spirit, bring new players to the team, make it competitive and avoid every obstacles, Nigeria can win the World Cup with the crop of players we have. In Russia, who played in the final? Is it not the Croatia who we played against and at a point were struggling against us? But they played in the final because they got everything right. It is that thing that I am preaching now. Let’s get everything right just by creating an enabling environment, pay and at when due, get the best facilities for them, make use of every FIFA window, build relationships with their clubs and families, make them mentally and physically ready and make sure they are in the right frame of mind. Once that is done, we would have the kind of players that can do us proud.

How do you feel watching the likes of Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi churn out excellent displays regularly?

It’s a thing of joy. Some of these players came through the ranks of our junior teams. That’s why when people say Nigeria did not qualify, Nigeria did not go beyond second round in U-17, it’s unfortunate. The age grade competition is meant to provide players for the senior national team. These are developmental competitions. England won the last U-17 in 2017 but did not even qualify for the last one. There was no noise about it. We in Nigeria, we make these players feel like they have arrived, but they are just starting.

Did your time as Delta Sports Commission boss shape you up for the NFF job?

Yes, indeed. It helped me to become more mature, while handling things. In fact, when signing correspondence, it taught me to read through. It prepared me. If you have to be NFF president, you need to have experience. In spite of what the former (sports) minister (Solomon Dalung) did to me, I never one day challenged him. Why? In government, once he’s your senior, he’s always your senior. I cannot see him tomorrow and disrespect him, never. I call him sir. In spite of the past, one just has to maintain one’s maturity with being prayerful. That’s the truth. Thus, the Delta job prepared me for the NFF job. It laid a good foundation for me. If I didn’t have that foundation, then no way for me.

Looking at your second term in office, how challenging is the NFF president’s job?

It is truly taxing. Extremely challenging. But as a Warri boy, I will not regret it and have not regretted it. Trust me, God has been with me. All challenges are phases of life to me. We see a lot of things. I forgive people and I preach for forgiveness. I know that they know that we are not what they think. I have lots of businesses. In 1993, I was the head of the team that brought Fela Kuti to the University of Benin. It’s not hidden. In 1991, we brought Shina Peters to University of Benin. He was number one then. We paid him N25,000 then. From that show, I got two bikes. Then I was barely 20 years old. So, when people say things, I just look at them. It’s not as if I’m from some poor family. I’m a bit of an Ivy League family. My dad was one of the first black managers of UAC in Nigeria. What I will say is, ‘Think Nigeria, don’t think Amaju Pinnick.’ Whatever we do comes good or bad for this country. They know what’s going on in CAF and FIFA, all they are trying to do is just to trample on us. In due course, all these things will play out for Nigerians to see.

What plans do you have for the domestic league?

I just set up a meeting recently. There’s a big company ready to come in. We are working very hard to bring back TV.

If you were to leave NFF today, what legacy would you leave behind?

A youthful Super Eagles. I will make sure Nigeria is the best in Africa and global football, as well as a comprehensive developmental programme. The most important one is for us to have a self-sufficient NFF.

Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: theeditor@punchng.com


This my friend Pinnick jos dey tok anyhow anyhow. :veryangry: :boo: :boo:

He needs to understudy successful teams and see how they do things.

I have always maintained that indiscipline from the Administrators down to the players is what is hindering us from achieving anything at the senior level.

We have bunch of enablers.

_________________
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:12 pm 
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Cellular wrote:
Enugu II wrote:
Quote:
How I stopped Eagles from playing alamala football – Pinnick
https://punchng.com/how-i-stopped-eagles-from-playing-alamala-football-pinnick/
Published February 9, 2020


Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick talks on a wide range of issues concerning Nigerian football in this interview with ’TANA AIYEJINA

What’s your opinion of the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifying group, which has Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia?

First thing we should know is this, there are no more minnows in football across the world. A few years ago, Cape Verde were the number one (African team) on the log in FIFA ranking for a very long time. We know what they do, they get players of Portuguese origin. Therefore, we don’t want to be deceived. We will prepare as if we are playing Cameroon, England and Brazil. I will not allow us get carried away. We will not settle for less than going to the World Cup. We would not get carried away. This is a World Cup qualifier. Like I said, any single mistake could be very costly. Even though the group looks cheap, it might end up being a very difficult one. We are playing against Liberia who’s got a president (George Weah) who has played the game before and can decide to channel all his country’s resources into the qualifiers with the aim of qualifying them for the World Cup. One does not joke with such a nation and just feel relaxed about the games. Don’t forget that the same way we go abroad and pick our players is the same way they also go out there to pick theirs. First thing, look at the sizes of these countries and you know, most African nations are well populated, they will have players outside. These are the things we should consider. Look at Benin Republic, we played them in the AFCON qualifiers, we cannot say they are minnows in football any more. So, we are going to step up our preparations, like we are playing in the group of death, because Nigerians will never forgive us if we don’t qualify for the World Cup. We should be prepared. The good news is that we have a bit of time. We also need to look at our ranking. We need to maintain it or even go higher. In June, we have one fixture, though we are talking to some big countries that are weighing the thought of playing against Nigeria in preparation for their European Cup. I spoke with some (federations) presidents who are very excited about playing against Nigeria. The second fixtures would be the AFCON qualifiers and the third fixtures will be in October, the World Cup qualifiers begin against Liberia. We don’t want to take chances.

There are doubts about the future of Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, whose contract expires in June. Will the NFF retain him?

I am the president of the NFF and it is not run by one man. While I have the loyalty of the NFF Executive Committees is that they take decisions that are strategic and they bring to me. This is a very sensitive question. But beyond that, we must respect what’s in a contract. We have a contract with him till June and you will recall that we did not even wait until the 2018 World Cup before we signed an extension with him. I have a very cordial relationship with him, very cordial. And I’m proud of that. The good news is that he is under contract till June. Contract is not done by one person; it must have two parties or more. We will sit down and say. ‘Look at our situation as it is, can you work with this framework?’ If he says ‘yes’, then it’s done. But if not, we cannot kill ourselves. This is the truth. Then we can say, ‘you are not ready.’ One thing we don’t want to do is to put our team in jeopardy. So, in the next few weeks, the first vice president, who is in the legal team, will lead a committee, with chairmen of Technical, Establishment and Marketing, Secretary-General and Head of Legal (unit) to sit down with Rohr and tell him, ‘Look at our situation. Can you do this and that?’ If he agrees, why not? Whether we like it or not, he has done quite a lot. But like I always say to him, he cannot take this credit alone. If we did not provide an enabling environment for him, he will not find it easy. Also, we have made sure that we do not miss any FIFA window and we don’t just play what my friend, Kojo Williams, calls alamala matches. We play quality matches and are not scared of playing the big names. We‘ve played Brazil, Argentina, England, Poland, Serbia and in Africa we have played Senegal and Cameroon. We are not scared and that’s the Warri spirit in me. People come to me and say, ‘President how are we going to play these?’ I simply tell them, ‘Football is 11-11.’ That’s the same spirit in the Super Eagles.That is patriotism. That’s why I don’t joke with Wilfred Ndidi. The same way he plays for Leicester City is same way he plays for the Eagles. We’ve seen players protecting their legs when they play for the Eagles but give all to their clubs. However, we are happy with the crop of players in the Eagles today, because they give their all. We have lots of players coming in to play for the national teams. Today, for every wing, there are about three players to fit into the role. Nigeria is a massive country, we have the human resources. We are not there yet, but we are on the road to our destination. Nigerian football is almost self-sufficient now. Nigeria is a big country, we train all our coaches and help them. However, some Nigerians are hell bent on destroying what we are doing. If you destroy it, I am not the one that you have destroyed. No. I will still remain myself, with my family; it will not make my wife not to love me. They will only succeed in disenfranchising themselves. Everything we do here is for the nation. There was a petition submitted in 2015 to an agency, they went through it thoroughly and invited everybody. But they discarded it. It has been recycled since then. The person who wrote the original one confessed to me that he found out that I was clean. He said he was forced to write the petition against me. So, it’s not about me, though I’m not a perfect guy. However, whatever is written about me not being perfect is basically geared towards ensuring that Nigerian football reaches its destination under my watch. Look at what has been going on for us, you will find out God is with us; like the group we find ourselves for the World Cup qualifiers. If you are fighting us, you are fighting God and if He visits you, you will not like His anger. He said, ‘Do not touch my anointed and do my prophet no harm.’ This is true. People say a lot but all the places I have been to, Abuja, Warri, Sokoto, Port Harcourt, no one has been able to accost me and say, ‘You are a criminal.’ Instead, they tell me, ‘Don’t be discouraged, we know what’s going on.’ These are words of encouragement for us. We are keen on this job. After the remaining years, we want to look back and say, ‘God, thank you.’ Also, with the encouragement of the new minister, we will get there. God loves Nigeria. Once we qualify for the World Cup, I can assure you, we will play in the semis or the final of the World Cup. We would make sure everything is prepared. All we need is support. I will be very happy. If I do eight years in the NFF, I am satisfied.

We have players of Nigerian descent from other parts of the world wanting to play for the Eagles rather than for the country of their birth. What’s the attraction?

My youthfulness. They see me as part of them. What I try to do is study the environment. First, why do we have to go out to pick players? Why do we look at our league and say it is not good enough? You look at what happens in other countries. Who started this? Algeria. If you look at most players who play for Algeria today, (Riyad) Mahrez, he was born in France. Islam Slimani was born abroad too. They went for these players. A couple of years ago, it was Nigeria that demystified them. They went and came back stronger. Morocco adopted it. We will not say because we are patriotic we will allow our players here to take charge. Truth be told, most players from the western climes are better exposed and are highly trained than what we can get here. The equipment they are exposed to is another factor too. What attracts them is the fact that the players talk to themselves. Gone are those days that the Super Eagles will wait at the airport for six hours because they want to travel. Now, when they travel, they move smoothly and enjoy the luxury. Also, we lodge them in the best hotels. When I first got elected, my first assignment was to go to Pointe-Noire in Congo. My assignment was to beat Congo and South Africa, so that we could qualify for AFCON. I called the then NFF General Secretary and he said ‘Oh, this is the airline that we would use.’ However, I was not comfortable with the arrangement. Immediately, I called another airline. Personally, I went to look at the plane and when I saw it met the standards, I told them to pay. I could see surprise on the faces of the players. It was smooth, the whole thing. The cabin crew, air hostess, etc were all great. Within 20-30 minutes, they were on board. Now, when we got to Pointe-Noire I went to my hotel, found out that I was given a big room. So, I went to the players’ hotel and they told me they were kept somewhere. We had to change their hotel to the best. The late Stephen Keshi said to me, ‘You don’t know what you have done for these players.’ I also remember what Mikel Obi said by the pool side, ‘President, this is new, we would give you this game.’ So, they talk to themselves. It’s not just that, we go to their homes. We visited Ahmed Musa when he had challenges with his family. Then, he was not playing regularly for his club. I called the coach and said, ‘Listen, by my understanding, I might be wrong. If a club is not helping a player, it is the country he has served that will help him.’ So, I went to the coach and said, ‘Ahmed is our player and his name must be on that (2018 World Cup) list.’ Why did I say that? It’s because I know his quality. Quality does not leave you. And he scored twice to give us our only win of the tournament. In Asaba, the coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game. So, I didn’t want to call the coach. I told the players I’m in the club, that they should come. They had fun, danced, drank, we did everything together. Because of them, I went to the club with friends too. But I told them, ‘you must bring result.’ They assured me. The next morning I called the coach and told him not to be angry. So, there’s something new going on. If we keep this spirit, bring new players to the team, make it competitive and avoid every obstacles, Nigeria can win the World Cup with the crop of players we have. In Russia, who played in the final? Is it not the Croatia who we played against and at a point were struggling against us? But they played in the final because they got everything right. It is that thing that I am preaching now. Let’s get everything right just by creating an enabling environment, pay and at when due, get the best facilities for them, make use of every FIFA window, build relationships with their clubs and families, make them mentally and physically ready and make sure they are in the right frame of mind. Once that is done, we would have the kind of players that can do us proud.

How do you feel watching the likes of Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi churn out excellent displays regularly?

It’s a thing of joy. Some of these players came through the ranks of our junior teams. That’s why when people say Nigeria did not qualify, Nigeria did not go beyond second round in U-17, it’s unfortunate. The age grade competition is meant to provide players for the senior national team. These are developmental competitions. England won the last U-17 in 2017 but did not even qualify for the last one. There was no noise about it. We in Nigeria, we make these players feel like they have arrived, but they are just starting.

Did your time as Delta Sports Commission boss shape you up for the NFF job?

Yes, indeed. It helped me to become more mature, while handling things. In fact, when signing correspondence, it taught me to read through. It prepared me. If you have to be NFF president, you need to have experience. In spite of what the former (sports) minister (Solomon Dalung) did to me, I never one day challenged him. Why? In government, once he’s your senior, he’s always your senior. I cannot see him tomorrow and disrespect him, never. I call him sir. In spite of the past, one just has to maintain one’s maturity with being prayerful. That’s the truth. Thus, the Delta job prepared me for the NFF job. It laid a good foundation for me. If I didn’t have that foundation, then no way for me.

Looking at your second term in office, how challenging is the NFF president’s job?

It is truly taxing. Extremely challenging. But as a Warri boy, I will not regret it and have not regretted it. Trust me, God has been with me. All challenges are phases of life to me. We see a lot of things. I forgive people and I preach for forgiveness. I know that they know that we are not what they think. I have lots of businesses. In 1993, I was the head of the team that brought Fela Kuti to the University of Benin. It’s not hidden. In 1991, we brought Shina Peters to University of Benin. He was number one then. We paid him N25,000 then. From that show, I got two bikes. Then I was barely 20 years old. So, when people say things, I just look at them. It’s not as if I’m from some poor family. I’m a bit of an Ivy League family. My dad was one of the first black managers of UAC in Nigeria. What I will say is, ‘Think Nigeria, don’t think Amaju Pinnick.’ Whatever we do comes good or bad for this country. They know what’s going on in CAF and FIFA, all they are trying to do is just to trample on us. In due course, all these things will play out for Nigerians to see.

What plans do you have for the domestic league?

I just set up a meeting recently. There’s a big company ready to come in. We are working very hard to bring back TV.

If you were to leave NFF today, what legacy would you leave behind?

A youthful Super Eagles. I will make sure Nigeria is the best in Africa and global football, as well as a comprehensive developmental programme. The most important one is for us to have a self-sufficient NFF.

Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: theeditor@punchng.com


This my friend Pinnick jos dey tok anyhow anyhow. :veryangry: :boo: :boo:

He needs to understudy successful teams and see how they do things.

I have always maintained that indiscipline from the Administrators down to the players is what is hindering us from achieving anything at the senior level.

We have bunch of enablers.


the problem is that Pinnick is proud to say these things. He sees nothing wrong in them.

_________________
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Barren for 37 yrs no good o

New member and Titled Chief, Distant Gunners Consortium.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:27 pm 
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Peak milk is yarning rubbish. bobo hasn't won nada as nff chairman

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:10 pm 
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bushboy wrote:
Thanks for the red highlights. I didn't read the whole thing, but I skimmed.
It is shocking to think a NFF president can go against the coach's wishes and invite players out for a night of clubbing and drinking the night BEFORE a game!! All based on Okocha's testimony that he once played a good game after clubbing?! Amaju sounds like a complete illiterate!!
So what if they had lost? We would have all blamed Rohr, not knowing what had happened behind the scenes.
Wow! Smh.


Say NO MORE. If that is not undermining the coaches, then I have no clue what undermining means anymore.

_________________
The difficulties of statistical thinking describes a puzzling limitation of our mind: our excessive confidence in what we believe we know, and our apparent inability to acknowledge the full extent of our ignorance and the uncertainty of the world we live in. We are prone to overestimate how much we understand about the world and to underestimate the role of chance in events -- Daniel Kahneman (2011), Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:06 pm 
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Location: Nembe Creek...Oil Exploration. If you call am bunkering na you sabi.
Chief Ogbunigwe wrote:
Cellular wrote:
Enugu II wrote:
Quote:
How I stopped Eagles from playing alamala football – Pinnick
https://punchng.com/how-i-stopped-eagles-from-playing-alamala-football-pinnick/
Published February 9, 2020


Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick talks on a wide range of issues concerning Nigerian football in this interview with ’TANA AIYEJINA

What’s your opinion of the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifying group, which has Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia?

First thing we should know is this, there are no more minnows in football across the world. A few years ago, Cape Verde were the number one (African team) on the log in FIFA ranking for a very long time. We know what they do, they get players of Portuguese origin. Therefore, we don’t want to be deceived. We will prepare as if we are playing Cameroon, England and Brazil. I will not allow us get carried away. We will not settle for less than going to the World Cup. We would not get carried away. This is a World Cup qualifier. Like I said, any single mistake could be very costly. Even though the group looks cheap, it might end up being a very difficult one. We are playing against Liberia who’s got a president (George Weah) who has played the game before and can decide to channel all his country’s resources into the qualifiers with the aim of qualifying them for the World Cup. One does not joke with such a nation and just feel relaxed about the games. Don’t forget that the same way we go abroad and pick our players is the same way they also go out there to pick theirs. First thing, look at the sizes of these countries and you know, most African nations are well populated, they will have players outside. These are the things we should consider. Look at Benin Republic, we played them in the AFCON qualifiers, we cannot say they are minnows in football any more. So, we are going to step up our preparations, like we are playing in the group of death, because Nigerians will never forgive us if we don’t qualify for the World Cup. We should be prepared. The good news is that we have a bit of time. We also need to look at our ranking. We need to maintain it or even go higher. In June, we have one fixture, though we are talking to some big countries that are weighing the thought of playing against Nigeria in preparation for their European Cup. I spoke with some (federations) presidents who are very excited about playing against Nigeria. The second fixtures would be the AFCON qualifiers and the third fixtures will be in October, the World Cup qualifiers begin against Liberia. We don’t want to take chances.

There are doubts about the future of Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, whose contract expires in June. Will the NFF retain him?

I am the president of the NFF and it is not run by one man. While I have the loyalty of the NFF Executive Committees is that they take decisions that are strategic and they bring to me. This is a very sensitive question. But beyond that, we must respect what’s in a contract. We have a contract with him till June and you will recall that we did not even wait until the 2018 World Cup before we signed an extension with him. I have a very cordial relationship with him, very cordial. And I’m proud of that. The good news is that he is under contract till June. Contract is not done by one person; it must have two parties or more. We will sit down and say. ‘Look at our situation as it is, can you work with this framework?’ If he says ‘yes’, then it’s done. But if not, we cannot kill ourselves. This is the truth. Then we can say, ‘you are not ready.’ One thing we don’t want to do is to put our team in jeopardy. So, in the next few weeks, the first vice president, who is in the legal team, will lead a committee, with chairmen of Technical, Establishment and Marketing, Secretary-General and Head of Legal (unit) to sit down with Rohr and tell him, ‘Look at our situation. Can you do this and that?’ If he agrees, why not? Whether we like it or not, he has done quite a lot. But like I always say to him, he cannot take this credit alone. If we did not provide an enabling environment for him, he will not find it easy. Also, we have made sure that we do not miss any FIFA window and we don’t just play what my friend, Kojo Williams, calls alamala matches. We play quality matches and are not scared of playing the big names. We‘ve played Brazil, Argentina, England, Poland, Serbia and in Africa we have played Senegal and Cameroon. We are not scared and that’s the Warri spirit in me. People come to me and say, ‘President how are we going to play these?’ I simply tell them, ‘Football is 11-11.’ That’s the same spirit in the Super Eagles.That is patriotism. That’s why I don’t joke with Wilfred Ndidi. The same way he plays for Leicester City is same way he plays for the Eagles. We’ve seen players protecting their legs when they play for the Eagles but give all to their clubs. However, we are happy with the crop of players in the Eagles today, because they give their all. We have lots of players coming in to play for the national teams. Today, for every wing, there are about three players to fit into the role. Nigeria is a massive country, we have the human resources. We are not there yet, but we are on the road to our destination. Nigerian football is almost self-sufficient now. Nigeria is a big country, we train all our coaches and help them. However, some Nigerians are hell bent on destroying what we are doing. If you destroy it, I am not the one that you have destroyed. No. I will still remain myself, with my family; it will not make my wife not to love me. They will only succeed in disenfranchising themselves. Everything we do here is for the nation. There was a petition submitted in 2015 to an agency, they went through it thoroughly and invited everybody. But they discarded it. It has been recycled since then. The person who wrote the original one confessed to me that he found out that I was clean. He said he was forced to write the petition against me. So, it’s not about me, though I’m not a perfect guy. However, whatever is written about me not being perfect is basically geared towards ensuring that Nigerian football reaches its destination under my watch. Look at what has been going on for us, you will find out God is with us; like the group we find ourselves for the World Cup qualifiers. If you are fighting us, you are fighting God and if He visits you, you will not like His anger. He said, ‘Do not touch my anointed and do my prophet no harm.’ This is true. People say a lot but all the places I have been to, Abuja, Warri, Sokoto, Port Harcourt, no one has been able to accost me and say, ‘You are a criminal.’ Instead, they tell me, ‘Don’t be discouraged, we know what’s going on.’ These are words of encouragement for us. We are keen on this job. After the remaining years, we want to look back and say, ‘God, thank you.’ Also, with the encouragement of the new minister, we will get there. God loves Nigeria. Once we qualify for the World Cup, I can assure you, we will play in the semis or the final of the World Cup. We would make sure everything is prepared. All we need is support. I will be very happy. If I do eight years in the NFF, I am satisfied.

We have players of Nigerian descent from other parts of the world wanting to play for the Eagles rather than for the country of their birth. What’s the attraction?

My youthfulness. They see me as part of them. What I try to do is study the environment. First, why do we have to go out to pick players? Why do we look at our league and say it is not good enough? You look at what happens in other countries. Who started this? Algeria. If you look at most players who play for Algeria today, (Riyad) Mahrez, he was born in France. Islam Slimani was born abroad too. They went for these players. A couple of years ago, it was Nigeria that demystified them. They went and came back stronger. Morocco adopted it. We will not say because we are patriotic we will allow our players here to take charge. Truth be told, most players from the western climes are better exposed and are highly trained than what we can get here. The equipment they are exposed to is another factor too. What attracts them is the fact that the players talk to themselves. Gone are those days that the Super Eagles will wait at the airport for six hours because they want to travel. Now, when they travel, they move smoothly and enjoy the luxury. Also, we lodge them in the best hotels. When I first got elected, my first assignment was to go to Pointe-Noire in Congo. My assignment was to beat Congo and South Africa, so that we could qualify for AFCON. I called the then NFF General Secretary and he said ‘Oh, this is the airline that we would use.’ However, I was not comfortable with the arrangement. Immediately, I called another airline. Personally, I went to look at the plane and when I saw it met the standards, I told them to pay. I could see surprise on the faces of the players. It was smooth, the whole thing. The cabin crew, air hostess, etc were all great. Within 20-30 minutes, they were on board. Now, when we got to Pointe-Noire I went to my hotel, found out that I was given a big room. So, I went to the players’ hotel and they told me they were kept somewhere. We had to change their hotel to the best. The late Stephen Keshi said to me, ‘You don’t know what you have done for these players.’ I also remember what Mikel Obi said by the pool side, ‘President, this is new, we would give you this game.’ So, they talk to themselves. It’s not just that, we go to their homes. We visited Ahmed Musa when he had challenges with his family. Then, he was not playing regularly for his club. I called the coach and said, ‘Listen, by my understanding, I might be wrong. If a club is not helping a player, it is the country he has served that will help him.’ So, I went to the coach and said, ‘Ahmed is our player and his name must be on that (2018 World Cup) list.’ Why did I say that? It’s because I know his quality. Quality does not leave you. And he scored twice to give us our only win of the tournament. In Asaba, the coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game. So, I didn’t want to call the coach. I told the players I’m in the club, that they should come. They had fun, danced, drank, we did everything together. Because of them, I went to the club with friends too. But I told them, ‘you must bring result.’ They assured me. The next morning I called the coach and told him not to be angry. So, there’s something new going on. If we keep this spirit, bring new players to the team, make it competitive and avoid every obstacles, Nigeria can win the World Cup with the crop of players we have. In Russia, who played in the final? Is it not the Croatia who we played against and at a point were struggling against us? But they played in the final because they got everything right. It is that thing that I am preaching now. Let’s get everything right just by creating an enabling environment, pay and at when due, get the best facilities for them, make use of every FIFA window, build relationships with their clubs and families, make them mentally and physically ready and make sure they are in the right frame of mind. Once that is done, we would have the kind of players that can do us proud.

How do you feel watching the likes of Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi churn out excellent displays regularly?

It’s a thing of joy. Some of these players came through the ranks of our junior teams. That’s why when people say Nigeria did not qualify, Nigeria did not go beyond second round in U-17, it’s unfortunate. The age grade competition is meant to provide players for the senior national team. These are developmental competitions. England won the last U-17 in 2017 but did not even qualify for the last one. There was no noise about it. We in Nigeria, we make these players feel like they have arrived, but they are just starting.

Did your time as Delta Sports Commission boss shape you up for the NFF job?

Yes, indeed. It helped me to become more mature, while handling things. In fact, when signing correspondence, it taught me to read through. It prepared me. If you have to be NFF president, you need to have experience. In spite of what the former (sports) minister (Solomon Dalung) did to me, I never one day challenged him. Why? In government, once he’s your senior, he’s always your senior. I cannot see him tomorrow and disrespect him, never. I call him sir. In spite of the past, one just has to maintain one’s maturity with being prayerful. That’s the truth. Thus, the Delta job prepared me for the NFF job. It laid a good foundation for me. If I didn’t have that foundation, then no way for me.

Looking at your second term in office, how challenging is the NFF president’s job?

It is truly taxing. Extremely challenging. But as a Warri boy, I will not regret it and have not regretted it. Trust me, God has been with me. All challenges are phases of life to me. We see a lot of things. I forgive people and I preach for forgiveness. I know that they know that we are not what they think. I have lots of businesses. In 1993, I was the head of the team that brought Fela Kuti to the University of Benin. It’s not hidden. In 1991, we brought Shina Peters to University of Benin. He was number one then. We paid him N25,000 then. From that show, I got two bikes. Then I was barely 20 years old. So, when people say things, I just look at them. It’s not as if I’m from some poor family. I’m a bit of an Ivy League family. My dad was one of the first black managers of UAC in Nigeria. What I will say is, ‘Think Nigeria, don’t think Amaju Pinnick.’ Whatever we do comes good or bad for this country. They know what’s going on in CAF and FIFA, all they are trying to do is just to trample on us. In due course, all these things will play out for Nigerians to see.

What plans do you have for the domestic league?

I just set up a meeting recently. There’s a big company ready to come in. We are working very hard to bring back TV.

If you were to leave NFF today, what legacy would you leave behind?

A youthful Super Eagles. I will make sure Nigeria is the best in Africa and global football, as well as a comprehensive developmental programme. The most important one is for us to have a self-sufficient NFF.

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Contact: theeditor@punchng.com


This my friend Pinnick jos dey tok anyhow anyhow. :veryangry: :boo: :boo:

He needs to understudy successful teams and see how they do things.

I have always maintained that indiscipline from the Administrators down to the players is what is hindering us from achieving anything at the senior level.

We have bunch of enablers.


the problem is that Pinnick is proud to say these things. He sees nothing wrong in them.


Chief O., e be like say you know the man?

He wears his Waffiness like a badge of honor. He needs to be a bit more circumspect when he says these things.

He should try to hide his Areaboyness a lil bit.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:29 pm 
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How I stopped Eagles from playing alamala football – Pinnick
https://punchng.com/how-i-stopped-eagles-from-playing-alamala-football-pinnick/
Published February 9, 2020


Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick talks on a wide range of issues concerning Nigerian football in this interview with ’TANA AIYEJINA

What’s your opinion of the Super Eagles’ World Cup qualifying group, which has Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia?

First thing we should know is this, there are no more minnows in football across the world. A few years ago, Cape Verde were the number one (African team) on the log in FIFA ranking for a very long time. We know what they do, they get players of Portuguese origin. Therefore, we don’t want to be deceived. We will prepare as if we are playing Cameroon, England and Brazil. I will not allow us get carried away. We will not settle for less than going to the World Cup. We would not get carried away. This is a World Cup qualifier. Like I said, any single mistake could be very costly. Even though the group looks cheap, it might end up being a very difficult one. We are playing against Liberia who’s got a president (George Weah) who has played the game before and can decide to channel all his country’s resources into the qualifiers with the aim of qualifying them for the World Cup. One does not joke with such a nation and just feel relaxed about the games. Don’t forget that the same way we go abroad and pick our players is the same way they also go out there to pick theirs. First thing, look at the sizes of these countries and you know, most African nations are well populated, they will have players outside. These are the things we should consider. Look at Benin Republic, we played them in the AFCON qualifiers, we cannot say they are minnows in football any more. So, we are going to step up our preparations, like we are playing in the group of death, because Nigerians will never forgive us if we don’t qualify for the World Cup. We should be prepared. The good news is that we have a bit of time. We also need to look at our ranking. We need to maintain it or even go higher. In June, we have one fixture, though we are talking to some big countries that are weighing the thought of playing against Nigeria in preparation for their European Cup. I spoke with some (federations) presidents who are very excited about playing against Nigeria. The second fixtures would be the AFCON qualifiers and the third fixtures will be in October, the World Cup qualifiers begin against Liberia. We don’t want to take chances.

There are doubts about the future of Eagles coach Gernot Rohr, whose contract expires in June. Will the NFF retain him?

I am the president of the NFF and it is not run by one man. While I have the loyalty of the NFF Executive Committees is that they take decisions that are strategic and they bring to me. This is a very sensitive question. But beyond that, we must respect what’s in a contract. We have a contract with him till June and you will recall that we did not even wait until the 2018 World Cup before we signed an extension with him. I have a very cordial relationship with him, very cordial. And I’m proud of that. The good news is that he is under contract till June. Contract is not done by one person; it must have two parties or more. We will sit down and say. ‘Look at our situation as it is, can you work with this framework?’ If he says ‘yes’, then it’s done. But if not, we cannot kill ourselves. This is the truth. Then we can say, ‘you are not ready.’ One thing we don’t want to do is to put our team in jeopardy. So, in the next few weeks, the first vice president, who is in the legal team, will lead a committee, with chairmen of Technical, Establishment and Marketing, Secretary-General and Head of Legal (unit) to sit down with Rohr and tell him, ‘Look at our situation. Can you do this and that?’ If he agrees, why not? Whether we like it or not, he has done quite a lot. But like I always say to him, he cannot take this credit alone. If we did not provide an enabling environment for him, he will not find it easy. Also, we have made sure that we do not miss any FIFA window and we don’t just play what my friend, Kojo Williams, calls alamala matches. We play quality matches and are not scared of playing the big names. We‘ve played Brazil, Argentina, England, Poland, Serbia and in Africa we have played Senegal and Cameroon. We are not scared and that’s the Warri spirit in me. People come to me and say, ‘President how are we going to play these?’ I simply tell them, ‘Football is 11-11.’ That’s the same spirit in the Super Eagles.That is patriotism. That’s why I don’t joke with Wilfred Ndidi. The same way he plays for Leicester City is same way he plays for the Eagles. We’ve seen players protecting their legs when they play for the Eagles but give all to their clubs. However, we are happy with the crop of players in the Eagles today, because they give their all. We have lots of players coming in to play for the national teams. Today, for every wing, there are about three players to fit into the role. Nigeria is a massive country, we have the human resources. We are not there yet, but we are on the road to our destination. Nigerian football is almost self-sufficient now. Nigeria is a big country, we train all our coaches and help them. However, some Nigerians are hell bent on destroying what we are doing. If you destroy it, I am not the one that you have destroyed. No. I will still remain myself, with my family; it will not make my wife not to love me. They will only succeed in disenfranchising themselves. Everything we do here is for the nation. There was a petition submitted in 2015 to an agency, they went through it thoroughly and invited everybody. But they discarded it. It has been recycled since then. The person who wrote the original one confessed to me that he found out that I was clean. He said he was forced to write the petition against me. So, it’s not about me, though I’m not a perfect guy. However, whatever is written about me not being perfect is basically geared towards ensuring that Nigerian football reaches its destination under my watch. Look at what has been going on for us, you will find out God is with us; like the group we find ourselves for the World Cup qualifiers. If you are fighting us, you are fighting God and if He visits you, you will not like His anger. He said, ‘Do not touch my anointed and do my prophet no harm.’ This is true. People say a lot but all the places I have been to, Abuja, Warri, Sokoto, Port Harcourt, no one has been able to accost me and say, ‘You are a criminal.’ Instead, they tell me, ‘Don’t be discouraged, we know what’s going on.’ These are words of encouragement for us. We are keen on this job. After the remaining years, we want to look back and say, ‘God, thank you.’ Also, with the encouragement of the new minister, we will get there. God loves Nigeria. Once we qualify for the World Cup, I can assure you, we will play in the semis or the final of the World Cup. We would make sure everything is prepared. All we need is support. I will be very happy. If I do eight years in the NFF, I am satisfied.

We have players of Nigerian descent from other parts of the world wanting to play for the Eagles rather than for the country of their birth. What’s the attraction?

My youthfulness. They see me as part of them. What I try to do is study the environment. First, why do we have to go out to pick players? Why do we look at our league and say it is not good enough? You look at what happens in other countries. Who started this? Algeria. If you look at most players who play for Algeria today, (Riyad) Mahrez, he was born in France. Islam Slimani was born abroad too. They went for these players. A couple of years ago, it was Nigeria that demystified them. They went and came back stronger. Morocco adopted it. We will not say because we are patriotic we will allow our players here to take charge. Truth be told, most players from the western climes are better exposed and are highly trained than what we can get here. The equipment they are exposed to is another factor too. What attracts them is the fact that the players talk to themselves. Gone are those days that the Super Eagles will wait at the airport for six hours because they want to travel. Now, when they travel, they move smoothly and enjoy the luxury. Also, we lodge them in the best hotels. When I first got elected, my first assignment was to go to Pointe-Noire in Congo. My assignment was to beat Congo and South Africa, so that we could qualify for AFCON. I called the then NFF General Secretary and he said ‘Oh, this is the airline that we would use.’ However, I was not comfortable with the arrangement. Immediately, I called another airline. Personally, I went to look at the plane and when I saw it met the standards, I told them to pay. I could see surprise on the faces of the players. It was smooth, the whole thing. The cabin crew, air hostess, etc were all great. Within 20-30 minutes, they were on board. Now, when we got to Pointe-Noire I went to my hotel, found out that I was given a big room. So, I went to the players’ hotel and they told me they were kept somewhere. We had to change their hotel to the best. The late Stephen Keshi said to me, ‘You don’t know what you have done for these players.’ I also remember what Mikel Obi said by the pool side, ‘President, this is new, we would give you this game.’ So, they talk to themselves. It’s not just that, we go to their homes. We visited Ahmed Musa when he had challenges with his family. Then, he was not playing regularly for his club. I called the coach and said, ‘Listen, by my understanding, I might be wrong. If a club is not helping a player, it is the country he has served that will help him.’ So, I went to the coach and said, ‘Ahmed is our player and his name must be on that (2018 World Cup) list.’ Why did I say that? It’s because I know his quality. Quality does not leave you. And he scored twice to give us our only win of the tournament. In Asaba, the coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game. So, I didn’t want to call the coach. I told the players I’m in the club, that they should come. They had fun, danced, drank, we did everything together. Because of them, I went to the club with friends too. But I told them, ‘you must bring result.’ They assured me. The next morning I called the coach and told him not to be angry. So, there’s something new going on. If we keep this spirit, bring new players to the team, make it competitive and avoid every obstacles, Nigeria can win the World Cup with the crop of players we have. In Russia, who played in the final? Is it not the Croatia who we played against and at a point were struggling against us? But they played in the final because they got everything right. It is that thing that I am preaching now. Let’s get everything right just by creating an enabling environment, pay and at when due, get the best facilities for them, make use of every FIFA window, build relationships with their clubs and families, make them mentally and physically ready and make sure they are in the right frame of mind. Once that is done, we would have the kind of players that can do us proud.

How do you feel watching the likes of Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Joe Aribo, Alex Iwobi churn out excellent displays regularly?

It’s a thing of joy. Some of these players came through the ranks of our junior teams. That’s why when people say Nigeria did not qualify, Nigeria did not go beyond second round in U-17, it’s unfortunate. The age grade competition is meant to provide players for the senior national team. These are developmental competitions. England won the last U-17 in 2017 but did not even qualify for the last one. There was no noise about it. We in Nigeria, we make these players feel like they have arrived, but they are just starting.

Did your time as Delta Sports Commission boss shape you up for the NFF job?

Yes, indeed. It helped me to become more mature, while handling things. In fact, when signing correspondence, it taught me to read through. It prepared me. If you have to be NFF president, you need to have experience. In spite of what the former (sports) minister (Solomon Dalung) did to me, I never one day challenged him. Why? In government, once he’s your senior, he’s always your senior. I cannot see him tomorrow and disrespect him, never. I call him sir. In spite of the past, one just has to maintain one’s maturity with being prayerful. That’s the truth. Thus, the Delta job prepared me for the NFF job. It laid a good foundation for me. If I didn’t have that foundation, then no way for me.

Looking at your second term in office, how challenging is the NFF president’s job?

It is truly taxing. Extremely challenging. But as a Warri boy, I will not regret it and have not regretted it. Trust me, God has been with me. All challenges are phases of life to me. We see a lot of things. I forgive people and I preach for forgiveness. I know that they know that we are not what they think. I have lots of businesses. In 1993, I was the head of the team that brought Fela Kuti to the University of Benin. It’s not hidden. In 1991, we brought Shina Peters to University of Benin. He was number one then. We paid him N25,000 then. From that show, I got two bikes. Then I was barely 20 years old. So, when people say things, I just look at them. It’s not as if I’m from some poor family. I’m a bit of an Ivy League family. My dad was one of the first black managers of UAC in Nigeria. What I will say is, ‘Think Nigeria, don’t think Amaju Pinnick.’ Whatever we do comes good or bad for this country. They know what’s going on in CAF and FIFA, all they are trying to do is just to trample on us. In due course, all these things will play out for Nigerians to see.

What plans do you have for the domestic league?

I just set up a meeting recently. There’s a big company ready to come in. We are working very hard to bring back TV.

If you were to leave NFF today, what legacy would you leave behind?

A youthful Super Eagles. I will make sure Nigeria is the best in Africa and global football, as well as a comprehensive developmental programme. The most important one is for us to have a self-sufficient NFF.

Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: theeditor@punchng.com


This my friend Pinnick jos dey tok anyhow anyhow. :veryangry: :boo: :boo:

He needs to understudy successful teams and see how they do things.

I have always maintained that indiscipline from the Administrators down to the players is what is hindering us from achieving anything at the senior level.

We have bunch of enablers.


the problem is that Pinnick is proud to say these things. He sees nothing wrong in them.


Chief O., e be like say you know the man?

He wears his Waffiness like a badge of honor. He needs to be a bit more circumspect when he says these things.

He should try to hide his Areaboyness a lil bit.


I have been following his comments since he came to the helm, and he has not differentiated himself from the reputation he had previously.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:21 pm 
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Quote:
In Asaba, the [color=#FF0000]coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game.


What sort of professional players ask to go clubbing the night before a big game? No wonder they wind up in turkey and other low level leagues. And then we will say it's because they are Nigerians that's why they are not getting offers from big clubs.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:42 pm 
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1naija wrote:
Quote:
In Asaba, the [color=#FF0000]coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game.


What sort of professional players ask to go clubbing the night before a big game? No wonder they wind up in turkey and other low level leagues. And then we will say it's because they are Nigerians that's why they are not getting offers from big clubs.


Pinnick is taking advice from TMWMP on how to be a professional.

Maybe such crass unprofessionalism (assuming the story is true) is why he never won the African Player of the year?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:48 pm 
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Pinnick is a lightweight. Such poor professionalism.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:27 am 
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Cellular wrote:
1naija wrote:
Quote:
In Asaba, the [color=#FF0000]coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game.


What sort of professional players ask to go clubbing the night before a big game? No wonder they wind up in turkey and other low level leagues. And then we will say it's because they are Nigerians that's why they are not getting offers from big clubs.


Pinnick is taking advice from TMWMP on how to be a professional.

Maybe such crass unprofessionalism (assuming the story is true) is why he never won the African Player of the year?


that's what I was about to mention to Unku 1Jubril. How can Pinnick proudly come and say that he took bad advice from Okocha and proceeded to implement it, while undermining the coach?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:30 am 
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Cellular wrote:
1naija wrote:
Quote:
In Asaba, the [color=#FF0000]coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game.


What sort of professional players ask to go clubbing the night before a big game? No wonder they wind up in turkey and other low level leagues. And then we will say it's because they are Nigerians that's why they are not getting offers from big clubs.


Pinnick is taking advice from TMWMP on how to be a professional.

Maybe such crass unprofessionalism (assuming the story is true) is why he never won the African Player of the year?


Pretty sure he didn't win due to bureaucracy and the francophone hegemony but go ahead and berate and question the dedication of one of Nigeria's greatest servants.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:58 am 
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bushboy wrote:
Thanks for the red highlights. I didn't read the whole thing, but I skimmed.
It is shocking to think a NFF president can go against the coach's wishes and invite players out for a night of clubbing and drinking the night BEFORE a game!! All based on Okocha's testimony that he once played a good game after clubbing?! Amaju sounds like a complete illiterate!!
So what if they had lost? We would have all blamed Rohr, not knowing what had happened behind the scenes.
Wow! Smh.



Simply unbelievable!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:08 am 
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kalani JR wrote:
Cellular wrote:
1naija wrote:
Quote:
In Asaba, the [color=#FF0000]coach (Rohr) said no one should go out at night before we played a game. But some of them (players) came to me and said, ‘President, we need to go out, we need to loosen up.’ If you look at the psychology of these players, if you don’t make them happy, they won’t give you results. Jay Jay (Austin Okocha) once told me that when he was in PSG, he went to a night club, stayed there till early morning, but played the best game of his life when it was time for the game.


What sort of professional players ask to go clubbing the night before a big game? No wonder they wind up in turkey and other low level leagues. And then we will say it's because they are Nigerians that's why they are not getting offers from big clubs.


Pinnick is taking advice from TMWMP on how to be a professional.

Maybe such crass unprofessionalism (assuming the story is true) is why he never won the African Player of the year?


Pretty sure he didn't win due to bureaucracy and the francophone hegemony but go ahead and berate and question the dedication of one of Nigeria's greatest servants.


He would have been revered if he was a tad bit more professional.

Dude saw himself as an entertainer.

Unfortunately, he started attempting to be a professional when he moved to Bolton.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:28 am 
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The night club story can’t be true. Our players are professionals and know not to abuse their body the morning before a match. Nobody needs to tell them to avoid drinking and dancing into the early hours of the day.

And Pinnick’s arrogance will be his downfall. He thinks his “warriness” is all he needs to survive the challenges of the job.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:36 am 
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Lolly wrote:
The night club story can’t be true. Our players are professionals and know not to abuse their body the morning before a match. Nobody needs to tell them to avoid drinking and dancing into the early hours of the day.

And Pinnick’s arrogance will be his downfall. He thinks his “warriness” is all he needs to survive the challenges of the job.

The story is most likely true.

Players going clubbing on the morning of the match is not new.

For instance, in Cricket, there are players who go clubbing in the early hours before a game and still perform very well, Shane Warne and Brian Lara are good examples. Michael Clarke, went clubbing with Warne and Michael could not perform on the pitch, Michael was surprised how Warne was performing well despite the clubbing. Players going clubbing no be new thing.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:48 am 
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Sorry o, but my new sophisticated browser has for some reason put anything 'Pinnick' on delete, so I can't read his interview.
I can only read your comments.

So I see he has been going clubbing with our players the night before a match.
How? Why? Appalling from an NFF Chairman. :boo:

But is there anything else he talks about please?
Help a brother out while I fix this my stupid browser..... :D

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:03 am 
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Damunk wrote:
Sorry o, but my new sophisticated browser has for some reason put anything 'Pinnick' on delete, so I can't read his interview.
I can only read your comments.

So I see he has been going clubbing with our players the night before a match.
How? Why? Appalling from an NFF Chairman. :boo:

But is there anything else he talks about please?
Help a brother out while I fix this my stupid browser..... :D

You mean sey, you don delete your friend Pinnick :mrgreen:, what took you long?

I will only help out, when you reinstate the friendship :taunt: :taunt: :taunt:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:58 pm 
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fabio wrote:
Lolly wrote:
The night club story can’t be true. Our players are professionals and know not to abuse their body the morning before a match. Nobody needs to tell them to avoid drinking and dancing into the early hours of the day.

And Pinnick’s arrogance will be his downfall. He thinks his “warriness” is all he needs to survive the challenges of the job.

The story is most likely true.

Players going clubbing on the morning of the match is not new.

For instance, in Cricket, there are players who go clubbing in the early hours before a game and still perform very well, Shane Warne and Brian Lara are good examples. Michael Clarke, went clubbing with Warne and Michael could not perform on the pitch, Michael was surprised how Warne was performing well despite the clubbing. Players going clubbing no be new thing.


It doesn't make sense. I remember doing the same thing with a few team mates playing for a UK Nigerian team in one of the old UK African Cup competitions in Hackney Marshes. We were all joking about how we should have been home sleeping and getting ready for the game later in the day. Unfortunately we were playing against Sierra Leone with all the ex National team players and I have never felt worse on a football pitch in my life. It was horrible. We lost 7-1.

I don't know about Cricket but I know a professional footballer would struggle to perform at their best against same level of opposition after spending the night clubbing and drinking.

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