African Football: FG Endorses NFF President Amadu Pinnick For CAF Position

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The Federal Government has endorsed the President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick, to contest for an elective position in the Confederation of African Football, CAF, election.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung disclosed this at an emergency meeting of NFF convened by the minister in his office at the Abuja National Stadium on Tuesday.

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The meeting was called by the minister to address the controversy which trailed Mr. Pinnick’s ambition and decision.

“The board, after extensive deliberation, reaffirms its earlier decision that Pinnick should contest the executive position in CAF and we collectively wish the president well in his bid.”

He, however, advised him to vote in the interest of Nigeria.

“On the issue of Nigeria’s position in the CAF election, the board also mandated the president, who is a delegate to the election, to exercise his vote in the interest of Nigeria.”

Mr. Dalung also noted that Pinnick’s support for Ahmad Ahmad against the incumbent CAF President, Issa Hayatou, was on personal grounds.

“Pinnick, as a person, has the right to support anybody based on the quality he has seen on that person.”

After the emergency meeting of the Nigeria Football Federation executive, convened by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Sports, Obinna Ogba, also advised delegates to the CAF election to vote a candidate that will support Nigeria’s agenda.

“We need somebody, who will relate to us and carry the country along. Before voting, we should first think of what the incumbent has done for Nigeria.

“Think of the years he (Hayatou) has spent and how long he has carried Nigeria since he was the acting president of FIFA what did he do? We must take all these things into consideration before voting,” he said.

Mr. Ogba also commended Ahmad Ahmad for the courage to challenge the incumbent (Issa Hayatou).

CAF president
CAF President Issa Hayatou

“It takes a man that has the courage to challenge an incumbent, so I congratulate the man, no matter the outcome of the result.”

“Ahmad can win the president of CAF if he plays his game well. And if people that are supporting him are strong enough to win him the position, why not,” he added.

Madagascar’s football boss, Ahmad, is challenging the longest-serving Hayatou for the CAF presidency at the 39th Ordinary General Assembly of CAF, slated for March 16 in Ethiopia.

Ahmad, 57, who is into his third term as Madagascar FA president said in an interview with the BBC that Mr. Hayatou had done all he could for CAF.

“In life, there is a limit. Typically in politics, everyone has his chance – maybe it is time [for Hayatou to depart],” he said.

The Cameroonian Hayatou, 70, who has been CAF’s president for over two decades was first elected in 1988.

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Issa Hayatou who has overseen successful FIFA World Cup appearances by Senegal, Nigeria, and Cameroon, and pushed for African places in the finals to increase from two to five, is currently seeking an eighth consecutive term as head of African football.

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