Newly-elected FIFA Council member Amaju Pinnick is looking forward to making his debut at the highest decision-making organ of the world football body on Friday (today).
It is the FIFA Council’s 15th meeting since the change of name from FIFA Executive Committee in 2016.
It will be the first session that Pinnick will be attending as a member, after he defeated incumbent Walter Nyamilandu from Malawi at the 43rd General Assembly of CAF last Friday in Rabat, Morocco.
Today’s session will be held as a virtual meeting.
Pinnick, the Nigeria Football Federation president, attended the pre-Council training on Thursday and is looking forward to his first meeting with the other 35 members of the Council.
“We just finished the pre-Council training (on Thursday) and I’m excited ahead of my first meeting with other members of the Council on Friday (today),” Pinnick told The PUNCH.
The agenda for the meeting includes the ratification of the decision of the Bureau of the Council regarding the situation of the Haitian FA, Ivoirian FA, Egyptian FA and the Pakistan Football Federation.
The body will also decide on the 2021 and 2023 editions of the U-20 World Cup and the U-17 World Cup, the slot allocation for the Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023, as well as COVID-19 and the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
Africa has seven members at football’s highest decision-making body, with CAF president Patrice Motsepe one of its six vice presidents.
The other members from the continent are Pinnick (Nigeria), Hany Abo Rida (Egypt), Fouzi Lekjaa (Morocco), Mamoutou Toure (Mali), Mathurin de Chacus (Benin Republic) and Isha Johansen (Sierra Leone).
The next FIFA Council meeting holds in May.
Buhari celebrates national flag designer, Akinkunmi @85
The President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday congratulated the designer of the national flag, Michael Akinkunmi, on his 85th birthday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari congratulates designer of national flag, Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, on 85th Birthday.’
Adesina quoted the President as saying that Akinkunmi upholds the values that every Nigerian emulate for nation building.
The statement read, “On behalf of all Nigerians and the government, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm felicitations to Michael Akinkunmi, OFR, on his 85th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with the designer of the National Flag, whose creativity and patriotism remain remarkable.
“Akinkunmi, who is an honourary Life Presidential Adviser, upholds the values that every citizen should emulate for nation-building, which include humility, selflessness, integrity and a keen interest in seeking greater good for country and humanity.”
Buhari further prayed that God grants the octogenarian and retired civil servant longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation he loves so much.
Recall that Akinkunmi designed the Nigerian flag in 1959.
Then a 23-year-old engineering student at Norwood Technical College in London, Akinkunmi sent his entry for a competition to design the Nigerian flag.
His entry was selected; sealing his place in Nigeria’s history books.
Chidinma speaks on becoming gospel singer, says ‘I’ve had enough fame’
Popular Nigerian singer, Chidinma Ekile, has announced her switch to full-time gospel ministration, saying she regrets `wasting’ so much time doing secular music.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the singer turned actress stated that “the devil has been winning too long.”
She said, “Our God is faithful; He never lies and He does whatever He says. So, I’m here today. It’s been a long journey. I had an opportunity to spend time with Him; it’s a rare privilege to spend time with Him and He told me a lot of things and He said He has been waiting for me.”
The songstress made it known that she is not going into gospel music for the fame as she has had “enough of all of that”.
“God has been very intentional about me. He is very mindful of me. I’m not here because I want fame. I’ve had all of that and I think I’ve had enough of all of that. So, right now is the time to work for my Father. He is the one who has called me I did not bring myself here. As a matter of fact, I did not want to be here, but I’m going into ministry in full force,” Chidinma stated.
She added, “So, most of you might not understand my ways because you don’t know where I’m coming from, and that is because a lot of time has been wasted. So, I need to catch up with time. I’m moving with time, there is no time. The enemy has been winning for too long. I’ve had my share of influence and all of that, but now I’m using all of that.
“Everything the enemy thought he had given to me though was given to me by God, while he was lying that he gave them to me. Now I’m using all of that to work for my father. So, when you see me doing some very extreme things, just understand where I’m coming from, there is no time.
“There are too many people out there we have to bring back into the house. Jesus is coming soon; sooner than you expect. So, we cannot allow them to miss out on that. Now is the time to do the work.”
Chidinma is currently signed on with the Eezee concept and has released her first gospel song titled: “Jehovah overdo.”
Messi’s record-breaking boots auctioned for £125,000
Lionel Messi’s boots which scored him his one-club record-breaking goal have been bought for £125,000 at an auction.
The Barcelona captain scored his 644th goal for the club in last year’s December 3-0 win over Real Valladolid. The goal broke past record by Pele, who had netted 643 times for Santos, and set Messi as the player to have scored the most goals for a single club.
According to reports by ESPN, the pair of boots were donated to a charity for children’s health by the player, and sportswear company Adidas. They were thereafter exhibited in Cataluña’s Museum of Art (MNAC) in Barcelona for the auction which began on April 19 with a starting price of £40,000.
While the auction house, Christies, estimated the boots to sell for a maximum of £70,000, bids swamped in for the online auction at the last hour and bumped up the price till it was finally sold for a whopping £125,000 on Friday.
According to Christies.com all the proceeds from the sale are going to Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebrón Hospital where it will be used to “help children with cancer or other serious illnesses, as well as their families.”
Before the auction, Messi in a press statement released by Christie’s said, “Reaching the historic milestone of 644 goals with the same club gives me a lot of joy, but what’s really more important is being able to give something back to the kids struggling with their health, we hope this will raise a lot of awareness for this great cause.”
Applauding the generosity of the star player, Dr Albert Salazar, Managing Director of the beneficiary hospital said, “For the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, the funds raised through this auction will help us to continue to improve the health of many children and their families through the arts. I am sure that the generosity of Lionel Messi and Adidas will allow us to initiate further projects related to Arts and Health which are proven to have such a meaningful impact”
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