Amaju Pinnick, the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has confessed he once influenced the coach of the national team to pick Ahmed Musa.
The 51-year-old has been under pressure to step down from his position, after the Super Eagles failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup.
After missing out on Qatar 2022 ticket, reports emerged some top officials in NFF were influencing the selection of the squad by interim coach Augustine Eguavoen. Pinnick has come out to clarify the matter.
“Eguavoen even said on television, Amuneke also said it. As President of the Federation, I’m a major stakeholder, I know what football is,” Pinnick told Arise News as quoted by allnigeriasoccer.com.
“I may not be a coach but I ask simple questions that a layman will ask. Ahmed [Musa] has been the only player that played against Ghana so understand their mentality and physique.
“I asked a simple question, ‘how many minutes can he play?’ then I said I rest my case. I have never and no member of the Federation has influenced the selection.”
He further admitted he once asked German coach Gernot Rohr to include Ahmed Musa in his squad for the 2018 World Cup.
“What they do when they select a player they send it to me, the only time, let me confess today, I objected to a list was the list sent by Gernot Rohr without Ahmed Musa before the World Cup in 2018, when Ahmed Musa had domestic issues, and he said he wasn’t going to invite him for one of the qualifying matches,” Pinnick continued.
“I said no if a player has issues in his club it’s the country that will help him especially, those players that have performed in the past.
“There was a small argument and he invited Ahmed Musa. The rest is history today because Ahmed Musa was the star in the last World Cup. That was the only time I intervened.”