Nigeria's Pinnick gunning for FIFA seat

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick is gunning for a seat on the FIFA council.

This is the real reason FIFA president Gianni Infantino and 17 African FA presidents were invited to the country last month.

There were mixed reactions when the embattled NFF boss hosted the FIFA president in Abuja last month, as it came as a surprise seeing that the country wasn’t hosting or bidding to host any major international football competition.

The NFF also invited 17 presidents of football associations across the continent for the visit and curiously, the CAF president Issa Hayatou (FIFA senior vice-president) was neither present nor represented.

Curiously also, there were no representatives from Francophone countries (with the exception of Augustin Senghor of Senegal, who came at the personal request of new FIFA secretary general, Fatma Samoura, who is also from Senegal) and North Africa.

Investigations have however now revealed that the visit of the FIFA boss was only a ruse intended in getting the FA presidents together to seek for alliances and allegiance ahead of the polls for the two vacant African slots at the FIFA Council (formerly FIFA Executive Committee).

Elections to determine two additional African representatives into the world football governing body will hold on September 29, and investigations have revealed that Pinnick is gunning for one of the tickets.

There were protests against the visit and against Pinnick right from the airport to the hotel where Infantino and the FA presidents stayed, and one of the FA presidents, dismayed at the reception, said: “You guys should be happy that your man (Pinnick) is going to FIFA and not these protests.”

It is also interesting to note that for the FIFA president’s visit, none of the African representatives on the FIFA Council – Issa Hayatou (Cameroon); Hany Abo Rida (Egypt); Tarek Bouchamaoui (Tunisia); and Constant Omari (DRC) – were present.

“Pinnick is absolutely gunning for one of the FIFA tickets and it is the real reason for the FIFA president’s visit and that of 17 FA presidents. He needs an alliance with several FA presidents to stand a chance,” a top source informed

The deadline for the submission of applications was June 30, and it is also understood that Pinnick is one of those to have submitted their applications.

“He has submitted his application and it is left to see if he will get the nomination,” the source added.

The last Nigerian representative at the FIFA Council was Amos Adamu, who was handed a three-year ban from football activities in 2010 after he was found guilty to have breached FIFA’s ethics and code of conduct.
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