*Hayatou was too old for CAF job
*Congratulates Ahmad, Pinnick
Africa’s pillar of Sports and former Abia State governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has charged the new leaders of African football to rise to the air of change in the continent while hitting at the government of his state not rising to help coach Kelechi Emeteole in his sickness.
Dr Kalu who sent the congratulatory message through a WhatApp Group wants Nigeria to apologise to Ahmad for not supporting him before the election despite the deep need for change in the leadership structure of CAF.
The renowned politician and APC stalwart berated the Nigeria government for publicly declaring their support for ousted former, CAF president, Cameroon’s, Issa Hayatou.
Kalu used the opportunity to congratulate the newly elected president Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar and NFF president Amaju Pinnick, describing both as very bold young men who knew what they wanted and went for it with all they had.
He however did not spare Nigeria sports minister Solomon Dalung for publicly declaring Nigeria’s support for Hayatou, two days to the elections in Addis Ababa.
“The Nigerian government through the sports minister Solomon Dalung, did not play the politics of the game as it should be done. They have no reason whatsoever to publicly announce their choice candidate in a secret ballot election. Whoever advised them to tow that path has made us a laughing stock before the international community and if you ask me, I will advise the Federal Government through the sports minister to immediately send an unreserved apology to Ahmad”
Kalu is happy that after the exit of Dr. Amos Adamu from the CAF executive committee, another Nigerian, Amaju Pinnick, who defeated Mousharafou Anjorin of Benin Republic by 32-17 has now become an executive committee member. That is the wind of change that is blowing across the world and hopefully this young men, will bring the innovations needed to drive African football to where we all want it to be.
The African pillar of sports who as executive governor of Abia state between 1999 and 2007, led Enyimba of Abia to win the CAF champions league back to back in 2003 and 2004, said during these period, he built a very cordial relationship with Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou who has been at the helms of African football for 29 good years.
“Hayatou is still my friend but at 71 years, there is little he can offer African football more so when, it is obvious his health has deteriorated seriously in recent years” Kalu said.
The success story of Enyimba of Aba during his time as Abia state governor, remains a big reference point till date especially as no Nigerian team have won the trophy since the Aba elephants last won it in 2004.
“We committed so much into achieving that success he said. We knew what we wanted and we went for it. Until we can find a governor with such level of commitment, no Nigerian state owned club can achieve such feat” he said.
On the former Heartland of Owerri coach, Kelechi Emeteole, who is currently battling with throat cancer and will need close to N10m to be flown abroad for proper treatment but the state government have done absolutely nothing to help his plight. This is very unfortunate.
“When I was governor of Abia state, I know what I did when matters like this arises. Unfortunately, I am no longer there and it is difficult to ask me why the state government has done nothing to his plight because I am not the state governor”