FIFA wants Nigeria to end violence, insecurity at match venues
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