NFF President Amaju Pinnick's Plea For Extension Snubbed By Delegates

There was mild drama at the Nigeria Football Federation’s Annual General Assembly in Lagos on Thursday as the NFF chose September 30 for election into the board of the federation, but members of the factional players unions were barred from the congress.

The election into the NFF board will hold in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

At the congress, NFF president, Pinnick Amaju, whose tenure ends September 20, pleaded for a six-month tenure extension, for the electoral process to be duly observed, but his request was vehemently turned down by delegates at the AGA.

He also pleaded for forgiveness from members of the board he had offended in the past.

However, the congress agreed for a 10-day extension and for two committees – electoral and appeals – to be set up before the election billed for September 30 in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Our correspondent also gathered that an ‘emergency meeting’ would hold on August 30, where the statutes would be amended. That same day, the electoral and appeals committee would be inaugurated.

The congress will also be enlarged to 22 members, while no board member will serve in committees.

Our correspondent learnt that the NFF made a last minute move to stop the All Nigeria Players Union on Wednesday from attending the congress in a bid to avoid litigation from the other faction Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria, led by former Super Eagles winger, Tijani Babangida.

But a founding member of ANPU, Monday Kanu, and Olisa Anuchukwu showed up at the congress and were barred by security operatives at the entrance of the elevator at the reception of the Best Western Hotel, Victoria Island, venue of the congress.

Kanu caused a scene and needed to be held back by Anuchukwu at the hotel’s lobby after he saw the Katsina State FA chairman, Aminu Kurfi, allowed into the congress despite turning up late.

Retired footballer Kanu, however, declined to speak on the matter with our correspondent.

PFAN president, Babangida, who also came for the congress despite not invited, was also denied access into the assembly, when he tried to get in.

It was also learnt that the former Ajax winger, who was in company with fellow ex-footballers Edema Fuludu, Austin Popo and Harrison Jalla, was later granted access to the congress as an Observer, but he declined the invitation.

Babangida insisted Thursday’s congress lamented his exclusion from the congress as head of PFAN.

Babangida said after the congress as cited by Sports Central: “I have no idea of what happened because I was not invited for the congress as the president of the players union. I don’t know what to tell my people I represent. “PFAN is one of the five statutory bodies that make up the NFF, along with the coaches union, referees, the clubs and the state FAs.

He addedb “I don’t know why they see us as factions now, but they paid PFAN the FIFA palliative during COVID-19 and are signatories to the players union. And that has not changed, but we are waiting for their communiqué so we know the next line of action.

The legal adviser of PFAN Rumson Baribote, added that the congress was “null and void”, following the exclusion of the players union.

He said: “The congress held today (Thursday) was just an academic exercise where some delegates came to celebrate wasting of public funds. “Article 10.1 of the NFF constitution states that there are five statutory members that make up the federation; meaning that they are foundational members of the federation.

He added: “So, without one arm, the players union, the NFF cannot hold a valid congress, and should they go ahead like they have, it is null and void. “Excluding the players union from the congress is a fundamental error on their part, which nullifies all they have done in the congress.