Amaju Pinnick, Appointed FIFA Committee Member

World football-ruling body, FIFA, has named the president of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, into one of its most important committees – the organising committee for competitions. 

Before now, the world body had different committees for organisation of its several competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFA U20 World Cup, FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, FIFA U17 World Cup, FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. Pinnick was a member of the organising committee for the FIFA U20 World Cup. 

However, at its 66th congress in Mexico City on May 12 – 13, 2016, and in accordance with the revised FIFA statutes that came into force on April 27, 2016, the model of the standing committees was reviewed, cutting the number from 26 to 9. 

The new model has only the following committees: governance, finance, development, member associations, referees, players’ status, football stakeholders, medical, organising committee for FIFA competitions. 

Pinnick’s letter of appointment, dated January 18, 2017, and signed by Fatma Samoura, the secretary general, read inter alia: “We are very pleased to inform you that you have been appointed member of the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions. We wish you our sincere congratulations on this appointment.

“The FIFA administration is at your disposal through the following Administration Officer, who will be in contact with you regarding the upcoming meetings and any further aspects relating to your office as member of this committee: Colin Smith, Chief Competitions Officer. 

“We wish you great success and enjoyment in this role at FIFA and look forward to welcoming you soon to Zurich.” 

The Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions is headed by Aleksander Ceferin, president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The tenure of members is for 2017-2021. 

In line with the new FIFA reforms, each proposed member of any of the committees was made to go through a comprehensive integrity check conducted by several organisations of global relevance and stature. 

Pinnick’s appointment, and in particular the thorough and painstaking checks that he passed with full marks, is a big thumbs-up for Nigerian Football, and puts out the light on the unsavoury innuendoes and deliberate mischief of a few individuals intent on putting the country’s game under a cloud.

As a member of the CAF organising committee for the Africa Cup of Nations, Pinnick is presently at the 31st Africa Cup finals ongoing in Gabon, and will be the match commissioner for Saturday’s potentially explosive West African derby between Mali and Ghana. 

The new member of the organising committee for FIFA competitions, who swivelled through the ranks of football administration (from board member to second vice chairman, first vice chairman and chairman of Delta State Football Association, to executive chairman of Delta State Sports Commission before his election as President of Nigeria Football Federation in September 2014), is also a candidate for election into the executive committee of Confederation of African Football.

The CAF elections will take place at the 39th ordinary general assembly of the organisation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 16.


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