‘We’ve made football 80% self-independent’

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

  • LMC signs sponsorship deal with Bitnob

President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, says its board has restructured the country’s soccer at the federal level from being over-dependent on government funds for sustenance to about 80% self independent The Trumpet gathered.

Amaju made this statement on Tuesday at the unveiling and official signing of the sponsorship deal between the League Management Company (LMC) and Bitnob, a financial tech company, at Radisson Blu Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos.

NFF President conceded that though his administration met a series of challenges that affected Nigerian football for years, his NFF-led board have recorded tangible improvements in the sport.

He said, “Despite the challenges, we have been able to lift the game. When we came on board, football at the federation level was run 100% on government funds, we are now 80% self independent.”

“The NFF will be totally protective of this partnership and ensure that Bitnod get all the leverages they deserved,” he added.

However, LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko, during the event, disclosed that the contract with Bitnob under the Tech category will run for three years adding that there are other sponsors in various categories.

He highlighted that one of the reasons that the LMC had to abolish the title sponsorship deal was to create an avenue for other sponsors to come in.

“I want to congratulate Bitnob for believing in us. Bernard walked into my office and said he won’t leave until the deal is closed, that was how much he believed in us,” Dikko said at the event.

“When we abolished the title sponsor, a lot of people still don’t understand our aims. We open the league to multiple sponsors and different brands. We now have Bitnob under Tech and we have deals with other brand sectors.

“It’s a three years contract starting from next season with Bitnob putting up their commitment with the league this season. It’s an undisclosed amount as agreed with Bitnob,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bernard Parah, Chief Executive Officer  of Bitnob financial Tech Company, has commended the sponsorship deal which will see one of their brands, Fintech, promoted in the Nigerian topflight league.

Parah reiterated that football as the hope of lots of people needs commitment from notable institutions like Bitnob to add value to the sport.

He said, “Today is a big day for me and my team. We are here to work with the LMC as we believe that football, being hope for lots of people cannot be overlooked.

“This partnership takes us to the people that need our solutions and helps us work with the NPFL to develop our league for more possibilities.

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“Bitcoin, just like football, is about hope, oneness, and freedom, and at Bitnob, we are excited to be making this happen to inspire hope and showcase possibilities in our own league.

If we don’t believe in what is ours, then who will?”, he added. Barrister Danlandi Usman, Chairman of NPFL Club Owners, appreciated Bitnob for the laudable gesture while pledging the full support of the association to the sponsorship deal.

He said, “I want to sincerely appreciate you on behalf of the 20 NPFL clubs for deeming it fit to partner with the LMC, we are 100% in support of this deal as it is an exciting time for us all.”

The partnership, further strengthens the core belief of Bitnob by venturing into where no one else in their industry has gone.

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