By Chijindu Itoroh
NFF president Amaju Melvin Pinnick was a special guest of FIFA president Gianni Infantino as both sat, to savour Nigeria’s brilliant performance against Iceland on Friday in Volgodrad.
Twice, the cameras caught both men exchanging pleasantries on the big screen as they discuss key issues on how to improve the round leather game at the World level.
Pinnick, a CAF executive committee member and one of the strongest FA presidents in Africa, played a massive role in the emergence of the Italian as FIFA president and was key in the election that brought Ahmad Ahmad as president of the confederation of African football CAF.
All three, have built a very solid relationship that cannot be easily penetrated but can only be admired by stakeholders of the beautiful game.
No wonder Infantino insisted during the game, that Pinnick sits by his favoured left hand side, a position reserved for special people on big occasions.
After the match, the FIFA president walked straight to the Super Eagles dressing room closely followed by his beloved friend Amaju Pinnick, NFF first vice president Seyi Akinwunmi and second Vice president Shehu Dikko.
They were there to congratulate the Nigerian team, the second African side that has shown lots of promise so far at this tournament by winning their first match in a convincing manner. Two African teams, Morocco and Egypt have been eliminated leaving just three left in the race.
Infantino shook hands with players and officials of the Super Eagles and watched as the celebration continued even in the tunnel.
Friday’s victory has further raised Nigeria’s profile as one of the Super powers of World football and has catapulted the West Africans to second on the group D log with 3 points from two matches.
Two times world champion Argentina sits bottom of the log with one point and minus three goals.