The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation met via video conferencing on Friday (April 24, 2020) to deliberate on important issues in Nigerian Football and resolved as follows:
1. The Executive Committee praised the Federal Government on the various policies, strategies and methods that have been put in place to combat the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) that has ravaged most of the nations of the world in the past weeks, noting that the FG’s measures have been professional, practical and all-encompassing, and meeting with considerable success. Members also commended the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and all the public health workers in the frontline in reducing community transmission and saving lives.
2. In deep appreciation of the realities that are bound to unfold after the COVID-19 pandemic and the resumption of football activities, and the various scenarios possible in the circumstances (for which the discerning can already glean a sneak preview), the Board set up an ad-hoc committee headed by the President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to interface with the Federation’s partners and sponsors in the next weeks with a view to appraising, balancing and optimising the relationship each way with a model that will take care of the interest of all parties within the realities on ground.
3. Board mandated the General Secretary to, within the next four (4) weeks, and armed with the realistic projections derivable from the meetings with the partners/sponsors and equipped with new figures from probable subvention from Government and expected grants from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and world –governing body FIFA, submit to the Board a revised budget for the Federation for the year. This will form the new working document/financial estimate that will be submitted to the NFF Congress for approval at a virtual meeting within the next five weeks, and will guide the operations of the NFF for the remaining part of the year. Extensive sensitisation and mobilisation of stakeholders in the football family will be done for everyone to understand, align with and ingest the new workplan.
4. In line with these new realities, the Federation will prioritize programs, activities and competitions in which to partake, with the engagement of the senior teams being the fulcrum. The President and General Secretary are mandated to cut down expenses from all areas possible and enforce belt-tightening measures in the running of the Federation, to ensure the Federation operates only within the framework of guaranteed revenue.
5. The Board received and endorsed the report of a virtual meeting of the League Management Company and NPFL clubs held on Thursday, 23rd April 2020 and at which decisions were taken including commitment to: conclude the League season after the COVID-19 and resumption of football activities; consider the most plausible format for conclusion of the remaining games; continue to communicate with the Clubs and ensure commitment by the clubs to continuous payment of the salaries of their players, coaches and backroom staff under the current circumstances; arrange testing for all players, coaches and backroom staff (about 1,200 persons in all) before the commencement of matches, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC; await realities thence to determine whether matches will be played with crowds or not immediately after the restart; give priority to privately-funded clubs for special funds if the LMC secures any exceptional support and; ensure that the LMC and NPFL continue to cogitate on the best way forward for the game this season and coming seasons.
6. In the same vein, the Chairmen of the Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and Nigeria Nationwide League also presented their projections, with all the three prepared to adjust their programs to align with the 6-8 weeks window agreed with at a virtual meeting of the NFF Board and the Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare on Thursday, 16th April 2020.
7. The Committee mandated the President to meet with the Federation’s Official Optimum Partner, AITEO specially to discuss matters involving the AITEO Cup 2020 competition and payment of coaches’ salaries. The NFF will create windows for the various stages of the AITEO Cup competition to run its full course in order for Nigeria to register her representatives for next season’s CAF Confederation Cup competition. Similarly, the NFF/Zenith Bank Future Eagles Championship, which state competitions have already been concluded (with some zones having also completed their competitions) will run its full course immediately after the COVID-19 and resumption of football activities.
8. Following a report by the General Secretary on the recent visit of the FIFA West Zone B Coordinator to Nigeria in respect of NFF’s FIFA Forward Project, the Board approved the commencement of construction of the new projects in Delta and Kebbi States, renewed attention to the abandoned project in Bauchi and the renovation of the Goal Project inside the National Stadium Complex, Abuja (complete with a new pitch and pavillion).
IN ATTENDANCE: Amaju Melvin Pinnick (President); Seyi Akinwunmi (1st Vice President); Shehu Dikko (2nd Vice President); Ibrahim Musa Gusau (Member); Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande (Member); Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Member); Ganiyu Majekodunmi (Member); Emmanuel Ibah (Member); Chidi Ofo Okenwa (Member); Aisha Falode (Member); Mohammed Alkali (Member); Mohammed Sanusi (Secretary)
ABSENT WITH APOLOGY: Yusuf Ahmed ‘Fresh’ (Member); Musa A. Duhu (Member)