Following trending insinuations on the social media that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, may have diverted the sponsorship fund that the Rivers State Government paid for the farewell game that the Super Eagles played against Congo last Monday in Port Harcourt, the state has come out with information to the contrary.
In a media statement from the office of the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, the government denied all the insinuations in the trending news.
The statement reads: “It has come to the notice of the Rivers State Ministry of Sports, stories circulating in some sections of the media, that the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick received funds meant for the federation’s prosecution of the International friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Congo DR held in Port Harcourt on Monday, May 28, 2018.
“The reports claim that money was delivered to Mr Pinnick at his residence in Lagos.
“In his reaction, Rivers State Sports Commissioner, Hon. Boma Iyaye described the reports as untrue.
“At no time was money from the Rivers State Ministry of Sports paid into the account of Mr Pinnick or delivered to him personally in his residence.
“All monies meant for the successful prosecution of the international friendly game between Nigeria and Congo DR were paid directly into the CBN Remita bank account of the NFF and handled by the Rivers State Ministry of Sports,” Honourable Iyaye clarified.
Hon. Iyaye further stated that Rivers State decided to support the hosting of the international friendly match in Port Harcourt because the Super Eagles commenced their quest to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the City with a preliminary round game against Swaziland.
“It also came against the backdrop of the launching of the partnership between Rivers State and Real Madrid for the establishment of a world-class football academy in Rivers State which was attended by key NFF chieftains who also attended the international friendly game played earlier on the same day in Port Harcourt.
Hon Iyaye concluded by advising the media to always cross check their stories to ensure that facts are reported accurately and guarantee that the image of Nigerian football is not damaged through false reports.