By Albert Akota
Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup –bound squad members have been taken through the paces of the world body’s integrity initiative, as they were fully briefed by the Assistant Director (Legal) of the Nigeria Football Federation, Barrister Okey Obi in London on Thursday last week.
The session took place at the team’s Hilton London Wembley hotel in the evening, with Obi sharing the kernel of FIFA’s effort at fighting match manipulation with the players and officials.
“I must say that I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the keen interest and attention that the players and officials paid to the presentation, and the level of acceptance that I could deduce thereafter.
“Players and officials excitedly downloaded the FIFA Integrity App on their phones and my attention was in fact drawn to the collective sharing of ideas on the presentation by the players. Immediately they had access to their phones, they downloaded the App and started talking about it among themselves.”
Players and officials sat with rapt attention through the 30-minute, 21-slide presentation, and Obi’s task was made easier by Captain Mikel John Obi leading the sense of absolute involvement in the programme.
All 26 players in the team camp in London as at Thursday night attended the briefing. Officials present were Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr; Salisu Yusuf (Chief Coach); Jean-Luc Royer (Assistant Coach); Imama Amapakabo (Assistant Coach); Alloy Agu (Goalkeepers’ Trainer); Enrico Pionetti (Assistant Coach); Bernard Gines (Assistant Coach); Dayo Enebi Achor (Team Administrator); Ibrahim Gyaran (Team Doctor); Nnaemeka Anozie (Team Physiotherapist); Pascal Patrick (Team Coordinator); Toyin Ibitoye (Media Officer); Hassan Suleiman (second Physiotherapist)and; Chidi Ngoka (Equipment Manager).
Barrister Obi is Nigeria’s Single Point of Contact (SPoC) on integrity matters for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup finals. Dr. Christian Emeruwa, the National Integrity Officer, will also be at the FIFA World Cup.