David Dein, a former vice chairman of Arsenal, 71, has thrown his weight behind the ambition of Delta FA Chairman, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to become the next president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The Elective Congress of the NFF has been slated to hold on Tuesday, September 30 in Warri where the next executive committee members of the Nigerian federation will be elected to run the country’s football for the next four years.
Dein, a former English FA vice-chairman who was also vice-chairman of Arsenal between 1983 and 2007, said that the election of Amaju as NFF president will add value to the game in Nigeria “because of his exposure and contacts in Europe and elsewhere.”
The former Gunners’ boss said that the youthful Delta FA chairman was very passionate about the game.
“I met Amaju for the first time 15 years ago. He has remained dedicated to the game and is very ambitious. These are attributes I believe are good for someone who wants to contribute to the benefit of Nigerian football,” observed Dein who has visited Nigeria a couple of times in the last four years as a resource person at seminars for the professional league.
He singled out Pinnick’s contribution to the human capital development of coaches and referees in Delta State as another area to also benefit stakeholders in the country.
“Amaju is widely travelled and has contacts in Europe to help develop Nigerian coaches and referees,” stressed Dein as reported by www.allafrica.com.
“As a passionate Arsenal fan, I know Amaju has the capacity to drive whatever he believes will help Nigerian football to grow. If he wants to open a relation with Arsenal, such can be tabled at the appropriate time,” observed Dein.
The football administrator and consultant also adds that he remains passionate over Nwankwo Kanu’s stint at Highbury.
“I have fond memories of (Nwankwo) Kanu’s time at Arsenal. I still have warm relationship with him (Kanu). He is a very nice man.”
The NFF elections are expected to go ahead despite recent setbacks in the football house.