Former Nigeria international Taribo West has described the lingering struggle for the soul of Nigerian football as an unnecessary battle that should be called off forthwith.
“Both sides are not sincere to themselves, whether Pinnick or Giwa. The war must stop so that we can move our football forward,” Taribo said.
But Taribo was impressed with the Pinnick-led board of the Nigeria Football Federation as the better of the two gladiators fighting for the leadership of Nigerian football.
Said he, “Pinnick has been able to raise the credibility level in the manner things are run,” adding, “for the first time players allowances were paid in a major tournament without rancour. They have also brought a lot of investors to Nigeria football and incredible football summits to Nigeria.
“We have seen FIFA delegates and CAF delegates in this country and they have raised the profile of Nigerian football internationally.”
Of Giwa, Taribo asked, “what is his agenda for Nigerian football? It’s not about fighting to control the NFF because of the spoils of office. Giwa has nothing to offer Nigerian football.”
Taribo said between Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa, “which of them has presented a manifesto that is geared towards football development?
“I was on a television programme one day and I saw how players of a certain team who were being owed up to 6 months salary marched to a certain state house to present their case to the state governor. Security personnel teargassed the players and made them look like street beggers. Yet we have a football federation that is supposed to protect the players.”
The former Inter Milan defender said that Nigerian politicians were not helping the sports men in the country.
“Politicians are packing all the money that was supposed to be invested in sports to their private accounts. Imagine when Nigeria was not as developed as this, we had companies floating football clubs. We had teams like NITEL, NICON, NEPA, Julius Berger and so on. What is the problem?”