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Saraki counsels Nigerian football administrators

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Monday, appealed to the warring factions in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), to sheathe their swords in the interest of football development in the country.

Saraki, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, made the call, when the President of NFF, Mr Amaju Pinnick led the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, and Secretary General, Ms Fatma Samoura on a visit to the National Assembly in Abuja.

Saraki urged the NFF executives to explore the international recognition accorded Nigeria by the visit of the FIFA leadership to put the crisis plaguing the association behind them and commit to providing leadership for gainful football administration in the country.

“Apart from the major issue of reform and accountability, the key issue remains the development of our own football and I think Africa, as you said, is the greatest place such can come from.

“We are going to play our own role in creating the enabling environment. I am happy that fellow presidents of football associations in different African countries are here. I think your visit clearly shows that you are keen and you want to work with us in Africa. We must play our own role and that is why we must give all the support we can.

“And I think it gives me an opportunity to talk to the members of NFF that we must solve our problems. I think that with this kind of world recognition we have today, the only thing we can do is to show example here in Nigeria, how we think a football association should be run and we must put an end to the crisis we are going through.

“A lot of you professionals sometimes blame politicians that when we lose elections we don’t want to accept. But now we politicians are now reformed. When we lose elections we accept. I think football professionals too should learn from us.”