The Rivers State Government on Saturday debunked reports that it handed money meant for prosecuting the international friendly game between Nigeria and the Congo in Portharcourt on May 28, to Nigerian Football Federation(NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick in his residence.
The government through its Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, described the reports as untrue disclosed that the money was paid directly into the NFF’s account domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN).
“At no time was money from the Rivers State Ministry of Sports paid into the account of Mr Pinnick or delivered to him personally in his residence.
“All monies meant for the successful prosecution of the International friendly game between Nigeria and Congo DR were paid directly into the CBN remita Bank account of the NFF and handled by the Rivers State Ministry of Sports,” Iyaye said.
Iyaye said the Rivers State decided to support the hosting of the International friendly match in Port Harcourt because the Super Eagles commenced their quest to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the City with a preliminary round qualifying game against Swaziland.
“It also came against the backdrop of the launching of the partnership between Rivers State and Real Madrid for the establishment of a world class football academy in Rivers State which was attended by key NFF chieftains who also attended the international friendly game played earlier on the same day in Port Harcourt,” Iyaye stated.
He advised journalists to always cross check their stories to ensure that facts are reported accurately and guarantee that the image of Nigerian football is not damaged.