Still shocked with the Super Eagles failure to qualify for the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon, the Nigeria Football Federation under the leadership of Amaju Pinnick and Nigeria’s Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung have engaged in a war of words recently.
This isn’t the first time that the two parties will be having a mini misunderstanding between them considering the fact that both of them had a rift over claims of instability in the glass house following the resignation of former Super Eagles boss, Sunday Oliseh.
The three-time African champions were knocked out of the qualifying race for the bi-annual tournament after the team lost 1-0 to the Pharaohs of Egypt in Alexandria on Tuesday.
Nigeria last qualified for the Nations Cup in 2013 where they defeated Burkina Faso to win the trophy in South Africa and have since missed the 2015 edition in Equatorial Guinea and now the 2017 edition in Gabon.
An embittered sport’s minister, who could not hide his anger and frustration, lamented that the present NFF administration under Pinnick has no reason to fail the country.
“Nigerians cannot accept any reason for failure from anybody so we either deliver or we give way to those who can deliver success,” he began in a series of tweets.
“We have no good reason not to qualify if we had planned well and also organized ourselves rather it was crisis all the way”.
“After this abysmal performance at AFCON qualifiers it’s important we return to the drawing board to plan the future of football in Nigeria.
“I personally apologized to Nigerians for the inability of the Super Eagles to qualify for the campaign to AFCON. We must plan better again.
Meanwhile, the former Delta Sport administrator and NFF president has appealed to Nigerians despite reports that he should quit his position, to give him more time in order to reshape the nation’s football.
Also, it was alleged that the Sports Minister has indirectly requested for the resignation of Pinnick since he couldn’t deliver the Africa Cup of Nations to Nigerians.
“I was elected by the Congress of the Nigeria Football Federation for a four-year team and I don’t see why I should be asked to resign with over two years to serve,” said Pinnick.
“With all due respect, I don’t think we have done badly in these past one and half years that we have been in office and I have a four-year mandate which I intend to see through. When we came in we had a case running for nine months and this affected us. In between we won the FIFA Under 17 World Cup, we won the African Women’s Championship and we also qualified for the women’ s Under 17 and U20 World Cups coming up this year.
“I think we have achieved. Again we have very young Super Eagles players that should be the future of the game in the country,” he added.