By Taofeek Babalola
The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has said that $500,000 to each of the 211 member countries by Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) to member associations was not a palliative as widely speculated.
“As part of our efforts to remain transparent with financial dealings and because I have seen a few enquiries about FIFA’s release of funds to member associations, I feel it’s my duty to update on how things stand,” Pinnick explained in a series of tweets via @PinnickAmaju.
He added: “Every year, there are statutory allocations that federations receive from FIFA, for the smooth running of football in different federations. However, these funds come with statutory specific areas of obligations.
“What FIFA has done now, though, is to release funds that were meant to be released later in the year, earlier. This is part of FIFA’s plans to help ameliorate hardships that this novel coronavirus has and will cause. It is not a palliative, as some have speculated.”
But Pinnick’s stance is however at variance with the FIFA release of April 24 which quoted its President Gianni Infantino as saying that the $500,000 to each of the 211 member countries was to cushion the effects of COVID-19.
“The pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for the entire football community and, as the world governing body, it is FIFA’s duty to be there and support the ones that are facing acute needs,” said Infantino.
Yet Pinnick said the fund was not a palliative, promising judicious use of the funds from FIFA:” “In the coming days, weeks and months, the Nigeria Football Federation board will be doing all we can to mitigate the pressures on Nigeria’s football due to this novel virus.
“As I have always tried to do, everything we do will be above board. Again, these funds aren’t relief funds,” he noted.