FIFA wants Nige­ria to end vi­o­lence, in­se­cu­rity at match venues

Daily Trust - - SPORT - By Isi­aka Wak­ili

The world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body, FIFA has urged the Nige­rian au­thor­i­ties to pay at­ten­tion to in­fra­struc­ture and find a last­ing so­lu­tion to the prob­lem of vi­o­lence and in­se­cu­rity at match venues.

FIFA Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino made the call at the Aso Rock Pres­i­den­tial Villa in Abuja yes­ter­day when he and the Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral of the world foot­ball body, Fatma Sa­muora, met with Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari.

In­fantino and Sa­muora were ac­com­pa­nied by Nige­rian Min­is­ter of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung, Nige­rian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Pres­i­dent Amaju Pin­nick and Nige­ria Olympic Com­mit­tee Pres­i­dent Habu Gumel.

“I fore­see Nige­ria as bedrock for the de­vel­op­ment of the game in Africa. How­ever in­fra­struc­ture, sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity are needed to make this hap­pen,” In­fantino stated.

Pres­i­dent Buhari as­sured the vis­it­ing FIFA boss that the Fed­eral Govern­ment would pay keen in­ter­est to ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency with a view to fast­track­ing foot­ball de­vel­op­ment in Nige­ria.

Pres­i­dent Buhari chal­lenged foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tors to fash­ion out strate­gic pro­grammes to de­velop the game.

Be­sides wel­com­ing In­fantino’s pro­gramme to re­form the world game through trans­parency, an­ti­cor­rup­tion and good gov­er­nance, Buhari con­grat­u­lated In­fantino and Samoura on their elec­tion, par­tic­u­larly the lat­ter who is the first African and fe­male to be elected FIFA Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral.

Buhari pledged Nige­ria’s sup­port to FIFA pres­i­dent’s re­form agenda, say­ing they were sim­i­lar to those his pres­i­dency had out­lined to re­sus­ci­tate Nige­ria.

“Ma­jor­ity of Nige­ri­ans are mar­ried to foot­ball. In the ru­ral ar­eas, when there is no elec­tric­ity and there is a game to watch, Nige­ri­ans go to the ex­tent of rent­ing small gen­er­a­tors, pop­u­larly known as ‘I bet­ter­pass-my neigh­bour’ to watch the game.

“We will take the de­vel­op­ment of foot­ball very se­ri­ously and I en­cour­age the Nige­ria Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (NFF) to be­have it­self and or­gan­ise ef­fec­tive com­pe­ti­tions for the good of the game. Ac­count­abil­ity is se­ri­ous busi­ness and I wel­come you (In­fantino) into the club of ac­count­able Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cers,” Pres­i­dent Buhari said.

Pres­i­dent of the Se­nate Bukola Saraki re­ceives a sou­venir from FIFA Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino dur­ing the lat­ter’s cour­tesy call on Saraki in Abuja yes­ter­day

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