Ahead of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) elections, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung has called for an emergency meeting with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The mandatory emergency meeting which is to hold on Tuesday 28th, February 2017 at the Minister’s conference room, National Stadium Abuja, will have all the executive board members of the Glass House in attendance.
Before now, the Ministry of Youth and Sports says it has received with dismay press statements and interviews granted by some officials of the Nigeria Football Federation committing Nigeria to supporting a candidate.
The NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, had on Thursday openly declared his support for Madagascar FA Boss, Ahmad Ahmad, who is contending with the incumbent president Issa Hayatou for the position at CAF.
“I’m a hundred percent in support of Ahmad Ahmad and I don’t have any regrets about it. [If he wins the election] It’s not going to be Ahmad that wins it is African football,” Pinnick declared while speaking on CNN.
Pinnick’s statement caused an uproar in some quarters, a situation that led to NFF releasing a statement expressing that it has given its president the blank cheque to vote for any candidate of his choice.
“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,” the NFF statement read.
In the statement released from the office of the Minister of Sports on Friday, which was signed by his director of press, Tolu Makinde, the Minister stated that the views purportedly expressed by the President of NFF as to who to support or not are “his personal opinion and do not represent the position of the government and people of Nigeria.”
The minister warned that the interest of Africa and sub-regional neighbours will determine Nigeria’s position in matters regarding the upcoming CAF elections.
“Elections into CAF have a long tradition and Nigeria as a major actor has always taken a position that will not only promote unity and international integration but also take into consideration the interest of Africa and its sub-regional neighbours,” the statement added.
However, Issa Hayatou has ruled Caf since 1988, and attempting to win an eighth term in office in the elections, with Ahmad Ahmad standing on his way this time.
The Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) has also publicly endorsed Ahmad Ahmad, with the view of “support what is good for African football.”
The CAF elections will take place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on March 16.
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