By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
Candidate for a seat on the venerable FIFA Council, the highest decision-making organ in football in the universe, Amaju Melvin Pinnick will on Saturday be honoured with a Special Recognition Award at the maiden edition of the Sportsville Awards in Lagos.
Chairman of Sportsville Communications (organizers of the Awards), Hon. Frank Ilaboya, said the award is in recognition and appreciation of the tireless efforts of the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) towards putting Nigeria in a prominent place of pride in world football both on the field and in the boardroom.
“Sportsville Communications is not unaware of the boundless energy and the unflagging enthusiasm with which Mr Pinnick has been pursuing the issue of uplifting Nigerian Football to a higher pedestal on the field and in the boardroom, since he was first elected as President of NFF in September 2014. He scores high in aggressive marketing and is matchless in seeking high visibility for Nigeria in football’s high table,” stated Ilaboya.
A total of 10 prominent Nigerians will be honoured at the awards ceremony holding at the Ibis Royale Hotel on Saturday. Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu; NOC President and IOC Member, Engineer Habu Ahmed Gumel; NBBF President Musa Kida; Nigeria Women Football League boss, Aisha Falode; NFF Executive Member and Enyimba FC Chairman, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu; foremost media entrepreneur and owner of Radio Brila, Dr Larry Izamoje; Mr Ebi Egbe of Monimichelle Ltd and; foremost Supporters Club president, Dr Rafiu Olalere Oladipo are the others.
“We have put in place measures to ensure full compliance with COVID-19 protocols and guidelines at the Awards. All the measures and protocols as outlined and instructed by the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports will be observed at the event,” Ilaboya added.
Pinnick, who is both Member of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football and Member of the influential Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, was on Tuesday issued a clearance letter by world governing body, FIFA, as being eligible to contest for a seat on the 37-member FIFA Council that is the supreme body for football administration in the universe.
Clearance for committee appointments or candidacy for positions in FIFA usually come after rigorous eligibility checks and thorough scrutiny of the social, moral and political credentials, as well as public service records of the individuals concerned. Pinnick has now passed the tough tests on three occasions: for appointment into the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, for election into the CAF Executive Committee and for the forthcoming FIFA Council election.
The FIFA Council elections come up in Rabat, Morocco on Friday, 12th March 2021 during the 43rd Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football, and on the eve of the commencement of the U17 Africa Cup of Nations in that country.
Only two Nigerians have sat on the world’s supreme football –decision making organ previously: Sir Oyo Orok Oyo and Dr Amos Adamu.