The Nigeria Football Federation has been urged to use its new office in CAF to reposition football in Nigeria.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung made the remark when the executive board of the the NFF paid him a courtesy call to thank him for his support during their CAF election campaign.
“As a major player, you must bring to bear not only your wealth of experience but you must assert the corporate integrity of Nigeria anywhere you find yourself taking a decision that affects Nigeria.
“In every diplomatic situation, Nigeria takes the lead and directs but in any political arrangement where you are visibly absent, then certainly your influence is also limited. So our presence on the board is a huge success”.
Barrister Dalung also charged the NFF to upgrade some of its facilities for use at the grassroots level and take competitions to the villages and rural areas.
“Let me use this opportunity to challenge you to use your new office and reposition football in Nigeria. Today, sports is science and there are scientific methods of doing things in sports. If we must go with the world, then we must also update our infrastructural facilities to cope with the dynamics of contemporary football development”.
“Football is the cheapest sports to establish everywhere. Let us create opportunities for our young people in the villages to participate. Once you begin to create football opportunities for them, young people will be clustering there in the evenings and there will be peace and security”.
Earlier, the NFF President Amaju Pinnick thanked President Mohammadu Buhari, the Minister and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for their unflinching support for him during the CAF elections.
Pinnick promised to use his mandate to redefine football in Nigeria.
“I have come here to say thank you for your support and kind advice in this direction. I recall when we met, you told us that Nigeria is too massive not to have members not only in football but in all the federations in their global or continental bodies .
“We realized that we have been shortchanged in so many ways and if we had a Nigerian there, all those things will be in the past. With your support and your blessing, a Nigerian has been elected. Not just a peripheral member but a frontal, vocal and authoritative member of the new CAF.
“On behalf of the NFF I want to assure you that we will not let you down. We will make sure that this mandate, apart from redefining football in Africa, some of the trickle and auxiliary benefits of course, will come to Nigeria which is my primary constituency.” Amaju said.
The NFF President later presented his certificate of election to the Minister.