Pinnick eyes CAF, FIFA seats

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Pininck, is eyeing membership of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee and FIFA Council seat respectively.

This is even as Pinnick claimed that absence of any Nigerian at both CAF and FIFA decision-making echelons was the reason Nigeria failed to qualify for the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

The NFF boss told reporters in Abuja that the federation was working hard to ensure Nigeria has representatives at the umbrella bodies. Asked if he is nursing ambition to be CAF Executive Member during a media parley, Pinnick replied:“Is it bad thing for a Nigerian to be among the CAF and FIFA executive members?

“I can assure you, if a Nigerian is among the executive at CAF level, we might finish as the best loser in the group of African qualifiers for 2017 AFCON in Gabon.

“Because Nigeria ended with 11 points some other countries that qualified ended with less than 10 points but there was no Nigerian at the executive level to fight our course.

“For instance, when Chad pulled out of the qualifiers, I spoke with some of my colleagues asked them why they failed to protect Nigeria’s interest? They replied that the absence of Nigeria from the executive caused it. Because there was money CAF use to give each federation and such money could have been used to sponsor Chad to play, but there was nobody to speak for the country.

“So, if NFF board gives me go ahead why not?” Pinnick said. He added, “We noticed that one of the things Nigeria lack in sport is global recognition which of course we are getting right now.

“FIFA and CAF happened to be umbrella bodies and FIFA has come to the country. We have global reach which we also have with CAF.” Meanwhile, NFF secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, has revealed that there was no rift between Nigeria and the CAF President, Issa Hayatou.

“The first person I talked to after the confirmation that FIFA President, Giovanni Infantino, was coming to the country was Issa Hayatou, I also informed him that some federation presidents in Africa would also be in the country. He congratulated me.

“People should stop read meaning to the absence of Hayatou. Last week in Brazil, during the Olympics in Rio I had a very good conversation with him,” Sanusiexplained.