•Says Nigeria must consider regional interest
•Green believes Hayatou has done well for Nigeria
Youth and Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung has countered the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF president, Amaju Pinnick on his position on the forthcoming CAF election, stating that Pinnick’s position is personal to him.
Pinnick had during the week said Nigeria, whose vote he is carrying to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia next month for the CAF election, will be backing Madagascar FA boss, Ahmad against incumbent president, Issa Hayatou because, according to him, CAF needs a “new generation” of leadership.
Dalung and Amaju Pinnick
However, in a press statement issued by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, Barrister Dalung stated that he was dismayed by press statements and interviews granted by some officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (a veiled reference to Pinnick) committing Nigeria to supporting a candidate.
He added that 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 and its sub regional neighbours.
“As it is today, Nigeria has not taken a stand on the candidature of anybody contesting the presidency and should not be misrepresented by anybody. Those aspiring into various offices of CAF are doing so as individuals and are advised not to use the name or image of Nigeria in other to boost their own political fortunes.
“We will support what is good for football but we will exercise our rights through the laid down democratic process as guaranteed by the rules of the game.
“We are appealing to all candidates to go about seeking their support free of rancour and acrimony but should take the interest of the region into consideration. We wish them the best and God bless Nigeria “ Dalung said.
Meanwhile there appears a crack in the NFF as one of its board members, Barrister Chris Green also came out to criticise Pinnick claiming that the NFF president’s position was “really not the position (of the NFF),” arguing that “I do not think the board sat, deliberated and decided that we should go for a particular candidate – no, we’ve not got there yet.”