It was a delightful day for President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick, who at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) congress on Friday, March 12, 2021, elected into the FIFA Council.
At the CAF Congress that was held in Rabat, Morocco, Pinnick beat his only rival and incumbent Walter Nyamilandu of Malawi by 43 votes to eight to win the seat to the FIFA Council, the highest decision-making organ in world football.
The path to the FIFA Council became clearer for Pinnick after four of his five rivals, Lamin Kaba Bajo (The Gambia), Wallace Karia(Tanzania), Nick Mwendwa(Kenya), and Andrew Kamanga(Zambia), threw in the towel before the vote and backed him for the seat.
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Nigeria’s vote for the seat was cast by the General Secretary of NFF, Dr Mohammed Sanusi.
Pinnick’s seat is for a four-year term and automatically makes him a Member of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football.
With this latest victory, the Delta-State born football administrator continues his remarkable rise in the global football boardroom.
From chairing the Delta Sports Commission in 2010 and then the Delta State Football Association the following year, Pinnick rose to become the number one football man in Nigeria when he became President of the NFF in 2018.
With his position as head of Nigeria’s football body, he made several swoops into CAF positions.
He won the election as a Member of the CAF Executive Committee and still serves as the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions.
He served as CAF’s First Vice President under then-president Ahmad Ahmad, but a fallout with his boss saw him dropped from that position in July 2018 after his first tenure.
According to a statement from the NFF, Pinnick’s tenure elongation was not proposed by the CAF President because of fundamental differences in focus and direction.
His fallout with Ahmed saw him back South African mining billionaire and Africa’s 10th richest man Patrice Motsepe for the president of CAF.
“He has more superior qualities than me,” Pinnick told BBC Africaabout his support for Motsepe.
“It’s not about me, it’s about African football If you have someone with superior qualities, you have to learn from him and queue behind him and wait for your time.”
Now, just a few hours before he won his election into the FIFA Council, Pinnick saw Motsepe, the South African club owner, Mamelodi Sundowns get the CAF Presidency unchallenged.
Motsepe’s challengers Augustine Senghor of Senegal, Ahmed Yahya of Mauritania and Jacques Anouma of Cote d’Ivoire had all withdrawn from the race before Friday’s poll.
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