NFF backs Pinnick on Hayatou rejection

Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande has said the federation is comfortable with its President, Amaju Pinnick, with regards to the forthcoming election into the presidency of the Confederation of African Football. The NFF has strongly confirmed it is backing a challenge to the long-serving President of the Confederation of African Football, Issa Hayatou.

Hayatou is standing for an eighth successive term of office, but faces opposition from Ahmad Ahmad, the head of Madagascar’s FA. The Nigeria’s Football Federation had earlier confirmed it is backing a challenge to Hayatou. The Cameroonian is standing for an eighth successive term of office, but faces opposition from Ahmad Ahmad, the head of Madagascar’s FA. Pinnick’s backing of Ahmad has led to censure by some Nigerians, including one of his predecessors, Sani Lulu. But on Thursday, the NFF released a statement backing its president. Yahaya-Kwande said, “The issue of which of the two candidates the NFF should support came up during our last Board meeting in Abuja, on Tuesday 7th February 2017. Every single member of Board spoke on the issue and expressed support for the NFF President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to use his discretion and vote for that candidate who will best serve Nigeria’s interest during the election. This support was given based on the fact as the NFF President and a member of the CAF Organizing Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations, he is fully in tune with the political play at that level and knows what would be best for Nigeria.

“There was not a dissenting voice in the room that day. Everyone agreed that Mr. Pinnick should go ahead and cast his vote for the candidate he feels would support Nigerian Football to grow the way we want it. It is not correct for anyone to say the matter was not discussed. “The Board spent good time discussing the CAF elections and the importance of Nigeria having someone on the CAF Executive Committee, considering the huge role that our nation has always been playing in peace-keeping and sundry noble programmes on the continent. “There is no division in the NFF Board. We are giving full and unconditional support to Mr. Pinnick to stand for the elections and for him to cast his vote for that candidate whose presidency of CAF would serve the interest of our great nation.”