FIFA: Pinnick Insists Kalu, Odegbami Must Meet Conditions | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FIFA: Pinnick Insists Kalu, Odegbami Must Meet Conditions

Posted: Sep 30, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Tony Ezimakor


President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has warned  former Abia state governor, Orji- Uzor Kalu and fellow aspirant to exalted FIFA president seat, Segun Odegbami (MON) that the politics of the office they are dreaming to occupy “is highly intense and require global goodwill and friendship,“ to achieve.

He insisted that both candidates must show proof they were qualified to run for the office in the first place as well as the capacity to carry Nigeria and African banners before the NFF pledges its support.

He said that the NFF set the stringent conditions to underscore the seriousness of the matter, adding that Nigeria cannot afford to go out there and fail as had been the routine in CAF Executive committee position.

Former NFF Presidents, Ibrahim Galadima and Aminu Maigari, he said all failed to clinch CAF executive committee positions in the last three years despite the country’s towering stature in the continent , saying there would not be a repeat of the situation.

Pinnick said that the federation would back any candidate who meets the criteria, adding that until that was done the NFF would not shift its stance.

“We agreed to support a Nigerian candidate; Nigeria is a very, very important country in the international community; it is one of the most important nations in the world, we are the most populous black nation in the world, with a population of 170-180 million people. For every five blacks, one is a Nigerian. So we don’t just want to go there and participate, we want to go there and win. If Nigeria is going there, we must go there and win,” he stressed.

He said that the country had to get it right by consulting widely and not create impression that we were the only people that would challenge for such position in Africa.

“We should stop thinking within the narrow confines of Nigeria; it goes beyond Nigeria, goes beyond Africa. Every day I receive calls from people who want to come and see us. I even got intimidated when I got letter from Prince Ali… I am not emphasizing that you must have plenty money, no but you must have goodwill and friendship to win FIFA Presidency.”

Pinnick stressed that any prospective candidate must be ready to galvanize the African football family into a unit and also be able to reach out to Europe, Asia, CONCACAF and other football blocks to be able to win.

NFF wants the aspirants to show proof of their eligibility on the basis of article 13 of status, get endorsement of the NSC and CAF before it can secure NFF support.