President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, has emphasised the strategic position of the media in projecting Nigerian football, and sports generally, to the global audience in a positive manner, to engender development.
Delivering paper on ‘Globalising Nigerian Sports: The Challenge for the Nigerian Media’ at a seminar organized by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (Lagos State chapter) as part of its activities to mark this year’s Sports Week sponsored by Winners Golden Bet in Lagos on Wednesday, the NFF boss harped on the need for objective and balanced reporting by the media, as well as a conscious effort towards positive projection of individuals and institutions in the country to the outside world.
“I keep saying this at every opportunity I have: The media is key to the development of any institution or sector. Even the IOC and FIFA recognize that. At every sporting event, the media have more sections of the stadium than any other arm. There are the media tribune, media centre, main press centre, international broadcast centre, mixed zone, press conference room, et cetera.
“What the media puts out goes a long way in moulding opinion of the world about individuals and institutions.
“It is time for the Nigerian media to start to project our leading lights positively, in order for them to take up positions they are appropriately qualified for in international sports bodies. If you project me positively, it is not about Amaju Pinnick, it is about Nigeria,” Pinnick said.
Tracing the history of Nigeria’s participation at global sporting events, especially the Olympic Games, since 1952, and noting the three gold, eight silver and 12 bronze medals so far won, Pinnick reiterated that Nigeria has the potential to be a world beater in sports.
“As a country, we have come a long way. There are countries in the world that don’t have the resources that we have, and cannot present the kind of quality personnel that we are capable of. But they are in influential positions in world sports because their countries’ media projected them to high heavens.
“At all times, we welcome criticisms, but let them be constructive. Criticize fairly and offer solutions so that administrators can take you seriously,” he said.
Director General of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Alhassan Yakmut also delivered a paper at the seminar titled ‘The Future of Nigerian Sports’.