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Pinnick gets FG nod to run CAF ticket

*Hayatou may not get Nigeria’s vote at last

By Oluwole Francis

NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, has finally and occicially gotten the nod of the Federal Government to contest for a seat on the Executive Committee of Confederation of African Football (CAF), at the polls scheduled for this month’s Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

At a meeting convened by Youth and Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, in Abuja Wednesday, Pinnick and members of his Executive Committee briefed the Minister, after which Dalung said the Government of Nigeria has given its blessing to Pinnick’s quest and will fully support him.

With regards to the CAF presidential election also coming up at the same Congress in Addis Ababa, the gathering advised, just as the NFF Executive Committee had done in its meeting of Tuesday, 7th February 2017, that the NFF boss should use his discretion to vote for the candidate who will best serve Nigeria’s footballing interest. This translates to Issa Hayatou may not get the Nigerian vote.

Though, it was agreed, theoretically and best on paper, that the interest of Nigeria should be paramount in all calculations.

Incumbent CAF President, Issa Hayatou, the former 400m and 800m champion of Cameroon who has been in office since 1988, for seven consecutive tenures, is being challenged by Mr. Ahmad Ahmad, president of the Malagasy Football Federation.

The meeting also resolved that other stakeholders in Nigerian football who have suggestions, advice and recommendations should tender same through the NFF and not in the media.

The session was attended by all members of the NFF Executive Committee, except Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande and Mr. Chidi Offor Okenwa.

Pinnick will challenge Beninoise Anjorin Moucharafou for a seat on the CAF seat at the 39th Ordinary Congress of CAF in Addis Ababa on 16th March, 2017.

Only two Nigerians – Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo and Dr. Amos Adamu have sat on the CAF Executive Committee in the body’s 60 years of existence. An attempt by former NFF President, Aminu Maigari, to join the club in 2013 ended badly. Former NFA Chairman, Ibrahim Galadima had contested the same seat to no avail in the past.

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