President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare and the leadership of the Nigerian football Federation (NFF), at the State House, Abuja where he congratulated Mr. Amaju Pinnick over his election into FIFA Executive council.
According to President Buhari “Let me congratulate you on the new position Nigeria has secured in the FIFA Council. Mr. Amaju Pinnick, I congratulate you on your election victory and your new position as the third Nigerian to secure such position.
“I’m delighted, I am sure millions of Nigerians, lovers of football are also delighted.This position on the FIFA Council will provide benefits.This position comes at a time Nigeria is determined to turn the fortunes of her sports development around through better infrastructure, more investment in both public, private and government incentives.
“This is why we re-classified sports from mere recreation to business. A new business model will soon be ready. I believe in the potential of sports to promote peace, unity and enhance good health”.
He concluded thus “I want to see football develop and move in a more dynamic trajectory. Nigeria needs a football masterplan that will ensure youth football development”
In his response, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare commended President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the election of FIFA Executive Committee member, Mr. Amaju Pinnick.
“Mr President, we thank you for supporting Amaju’s election into FIFA Executive Committee. Nigeria now has a well-deserved seat at the decision table of one of the greatest sports in the world. Thank you also for approving the re-classification of sports as business thereby, paving the way for a reviewed National Sports Industry Policy.
“A reviewed National Sports Industry Policy that will give our sports development a business model will soon be ready for presentation to you, Mr. President,”.
The Minister added “We want to attract necessary investments and provision of proper structures in line with the Federal Government’s plan to deliver a new policy. A football development masterplan at all levels is being prepared. We want to use football to fully engage our talented youth”.
The Minister also used the occasion to solicit support for the National team’s participation in the Nations Cup and the World Cup, as well as several qualifiers/friendlies line up for the team.