FIFA Presidency: NFF gives Odegbami conditional support

Taiwo Adelu

Segun Odegbami: gunning for FIFA presidency

The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, met in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Tuesday and resolved to give its full support to Nigerians aspiring for any elective post in FIFA, but with certain conditions to be met by such candidates.

Recently, former Nigerian international, Olusegun Odegbami indicated his interest to contest in the coming election for FIFA presidency. He hinged his decision on the fact that apart from being qualified, it is now high time an African gunned for the world football governing body’s plum job.
However, at an Executive Meeting held at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt and presided over by its president Amaju Pinnick, the NFF noted that the  aspiration of Odegbami and indeed “other Nigerians who may come out to indicate interest in contesting in the FIFA presidential election is in tandem with the conviction of the present NFF Executive Committee that our country can no longer be a silent member of the international football community.
“In truth, there is nothing wrong with any qualified Nigerian aspiring to rule the world in any given sector.
“The Executive Committee noted with deep concern that over the past four years, two prominent Nigerian football administrators had lost elections to be on the FIFA/CAF Executive Committees. The NFF believes these losses can be put down to lack of extensive consultations.
“Against the foregoing, the Executive Committee is determined that Nigeria will no longer be exposed to such defeats in international football politics, as they inevitably reduce our stock.”
To guard against future loss in such election, the NFF said in a communiqué released at the end of the Executive Committee that Nigeria won’t be allowed to suffer such undeserved embarrassment and being reduced to a fringe player at international level.
“The Committee unanimously resolved that aspirants for the Office of Presidency of FIFA fulfill the following conditions before the NFF can consider giving its endorsement: letter of endorsement from the relevant state Football Association,  provision of evidence of fulfillment of the FIFA Presidential election eligibility provisions, endorsement by continental football governing body, CAF which the NFF can facilitate meetings with CAF top hierarchy and letter of support from the National Sports Commission.
“Should any of the aspiring prominent Nigerians fulfill the above conditions, the Nigeria Football Federation will, unfailingly, throw its weight behind this candidate (only one person can be endorsed by the NFF) and vigorously campaign for the particular candidate to win election into the seat of the FIFA Presidency.”
Apart from president Pinnick, other members of the board that attended the meeting included Seyi Akinwunmi, 1st Vice President, Shehu Dikko, 2nd Vice President, Emeka Inyama (Member), Ahaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau (Member), Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande (Member), Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu (Member), Chris Green (Member), Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed ‘Fresh’ (Member), Otunba Sunday Dele Ajayi (Member), Alhaji Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Member), Alhaji Babagana Kalli (Member), Alhaji Hussaini Modibbo (Member), and Chris Andekin, the acting secretar