Embattled NFF president Amaju Pinnick
Monday Feb 27, 2017. 16:05
The executive committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will Tuesday be expected to disown president Amaju Pinnick’s position to back Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar in next month’s CAF presidential polls, AfricanFootball.com has specially gathered.
The NFF executives will meet in Abuja tomorrow in consultation with Nigerian sports minister Solomon Dalung and top officials have now told only AfricanFootball.com they will thereafter dissociate themselves from the position taken by their boss.
“It will be a stormy meeting and the person at the receiving end will be Pinnick. He has clearly upset the Nigerian football establishment and he will be told that in no uncertain words at this meeting,” a top official informed AfricanFootball.com
“A statement to that effect will be issued after this meeting.”
Dalung has already dismissed Pinnick’s position on the CAF polls and at the weekend, top Nigerian officials holding down CAF portfolios made it abundantly clear they did not endorse the NFF president’s support for Ahmad Ahmad.
“The Nigerian members of CAF” included four former NFF presidents – Amos Adamu, Dominic Oneya, Sani Lulu and Aminu Maigari – issued a press statement condemning Pinnick, while pledging their support for incumbent CAF boss Issa Hayatou.
They also argued that the interest of Nigerian football should be paramount over any personal interest and consideration.
“We have consulted widely within the executive of the NFF, the sports ministry and indeed football stakeholders in Nigeria and discovered to our dismay that there is no evidence where Mr Pinnick was mandated to commit this country to supporting Mr Ahmad,” the statement read in part.
“Mr Pinnick as an individual has a right to declare support for whoever he pleases but when such support is made in the name of Nigeria then there is need for extreme caution given the political colouration of CAF elections of which we are well grounded and versed in.
“CAF Elections are not about individuals. Countries support their candidates, finance such elections, set up various committees led by ministers, diplomats and football people to lobby and canvass across the continent in high level diplomatic sojourns armed with manifesto publications and letters of introduction etc.
“Regrettably, we cannot claim to have done any of the above, yet the election is less than a month away.
“No Nigerian member of CAF has been consulted nor informed out of courtesy about the ambitions of the NFF President.
“We do not remember Mr Ahmad visiting Nigeria to solicit or canvass for votes nor do we have any record of Mr Ahmad’s pedigree in the running of football in Africa that would have led Mr Pinnick to dangerously throw all of Nigeria’s eggs in his basket. We stand dangerously threatened.”
The top officials praised Hayatou instead, saying Nigeria have every reason to continue to support him as he has been “a pillar of support” and “true friend of Nigerian football”.
They further listed the country’s staging of the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2009, the election of Nigerians into the CAF and FIFA Executive Committees, (Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo, Amos Adamu) as well as the resolution of sensitive issues involving our country at FIFA level to the advantage Nigeria in 2010 as some of what the country have benefited under Hayatou.