Ex-international Emeka Ezeogu has led protest at the Transcorp Hotel asking for the resignation of the NFF boss citing his many failings following the arrival of Fifa president Gianni Infantino, Goal.com reports.
The working visit of Fifa president Gianni Infantino to Nigeria has been overshadowed by a protest demanding the resignation of the Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick over his illegal stay in office and incompetence on Sunday.
The protesters led by former Nigeria international Emeka Ezeogu besieged the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja following the arrival of the Fifa boss and his secretary general Fatma Samoura in Nigeria. Fifa executive assistants Mattias Grafstrom and Veron Mosengo-Omba were also part of Infantino’s entourage.
The Fifa President and his secretary general Samoura had landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 4:30pm from the Fifa headquarters in Switzerland ahead of his two-day working visit to the country.
Infantino’s visit is his first official appearance in Africa since he was elected as the new Fifa president on February 29 after he replaced Sepp Blatter.
The president and secretary general were immediately whisked away from the airport upon arrival and failed to speak to the media due to security report of a planned disruption.
Under his two-year watch, Pinnick saw the Super Eagles crumble to 70th position on the Fifa world ranking after failing to qualify the country to a second consecutive Africa Cup of Nations since winning the continental showpiece in 2013.
Earlier, the Falcons missed the Olympics for the second time in a row and owed both past and present coaches including late Stephen Keshi and Shaibu Amodu till date.
The Super Eagles are with no substantive coach three months to 2018 World Cup qualifier opener and the scandalous handling of Paul le Guen’s hiring, seeing how the Frenchman reject the plum coaching job.
On Saturday, seven-time champions Flying Eagles failed to qualify for the U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Zambia next year. This means Nigeria and reigning U17 world record scorer Victor Oshimen will miss the upcoming U20 Fifa World Cup for the first since 1999.
At least 10 protesters including leader Ezeogu were found displaying placards outside the Transcorp Hilton Hotel during the arrival of the Fifa president, NFF and other FA presidents.
On the placards were written “Infantino – Nigerian football is in shambles”, ‘Amaju Must Go’ and ‘President Buhari Save Nigeria Football’ among others.
The protest of Ezeogu is the second held this year since the Nigeria Sports Marketers Association had requested for the resignation of NFF president Amaju Pinnick over ‘incompetence’ during a meeting with the sports minister in April.
Many questions have continued to trail the crashing trend of Nigeria football, especially with national teams recent poor outing despite the improving men’s topflight league and long list of springing talents around the world.
With the country’s football obviously facing heavy structural defects and administrative crisis, football analysts and fans believe the wide-advertised visit of the Fifa president was wrongly time.
Most troubling of all is the financial burden of hosting the fifa president, secretary general, 17 African football association presidents alongside government officials in the country’s football and economy’s worse time.
Meanwhile, troubled Pinnick is hoping to use Infantino’s visit to promote his fading acceptability as NFF president despite a Jos’ court order asking him out of office at the expense of his challenger Chris Giwa since he assumed office on September 29, 2014.
However, millions of football fans are worried and amiss about what blessing the visit of the Fifa top officials will bring Nigeria seeing the dwindling fortune of the game in the country.
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