President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, said on Monday that his administration remains very much focused on giving the Super Eagles the maximum support to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
While acknowledging that failure to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (second time in succession) was quite painful, Pinnick said the objective of reaching Russia 2018 was non –negotiable.
“We cannot afford any distractions, not from anywhere. We have an objective of qualifying for Russia 2018 and that is not what we can negotiate. That is one of the reasons I am in the office today. The Board has to look at various areas of the preparation as we countenance the draw for the group phase of the series that is coming up on 24th June.”
Pinnick addressed the media in his office at the Glass House, in company with NFF Executive Committee members Chris Green, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, Sunday Dele-Ajayi, Babagana Kalli and Ahmed Yusuf Fresh. There were also Bola Oyeyode (director of competitions), Ademola Olajire (director of communications), Tunde Aderibigbe (coordinator of political matters), Chikelue Iloenyosi (special assistant on security), Okey Obi (chief legal officer) and Nasiru Jibril (personal assistant to NFF President).
Pinnick also drew positives from the two international friendly matches the Super Eagles played in Europe against Mali and Luxembourg, saying the two games unveiled a young, vibrant team capable of taking Nigeria football to new levels of excellence.
The NFF President, in company with his Board members and the General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, later held a meeting with the Staff of the Federation.