Apparently embarrassed by the barrage of criticisms that greeted its support for Sepp Blatter in last weekend’s FIFA Presidential election, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has swiftly offered an explanation saying the Swiss has neither been indicted nor arrested for corrupt practices.
Blatter won re-election for a fifth term despite a corruption scandal rocking FIFA. Last Wednesday, 14 officials were indicted by the United States Department of Justice, accused of decades-long, widespread corruption.
But the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, while making a clarification on the issue, said, “In law, a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty. “Yes, there are issues of corruption on ground and a number of officials have been arrested.
But Mr. Blatter has neither been indicted nor arrested, and even swiftly moved to suspend those officials who have been arrested.”
The NFF, he emphasized, gave full support to Blatter “because we believe in a strong and focused body committed to using football to promote global peace and making the world a better place for all.”
“Should Mr. Blatter be indicted or arrested, he will immediately lose our support,” Pinnick added. The present NFF administration, he pointed out, has zero-tolerance for corrupt practices and tendencies, as well as any form of high-handedness or impunity.
He said: “In the eight months that we have been in office, I have consistently told my colleagues on the Executive Committee and the members of Management and Staff that there will be no room for corruption in Nigeria football.
“Corruption has no place in the beautiful game and will not be tolerated at the NFF or anywhere in Ni• Pinnick geria football.”