As 14 candidates jostle for six slots
Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Dr. Mohammed Sanusi says everything is looking well in Amaju Pinnick’s bid to clinch one of the available seats in the FIFA Council at the 43rd Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) holding in Rabat, Morocco tomorrow.
Fourteen candidates from different parts of Africa are contesting for six seats in the exalted chamber of football’s world governing 37-member council tomorrow. Pinnick is contesting against opponents from five Anglophone countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and The Gambia. If he succeeds in the venture, Pinnick will be the third Nigerian to occupy that post after the Late Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo and Dr. Amos Adamu.
The NFF boss was one of the 17 football personalities from the African continent cleared by FIFA’s Review Committee headed by Mukul Mudgal in the build up to the FIFA Council election.
Sanusi, who is already in Morocco, told The Guardian yesterday that he was optimistic Pinnick will get one of the seats at the end of the election tomorrow.
He said: “Pinnick has a very bright chance, and I am optimistic he will win. We are still working here.”
The FIFA integrity test in January this year was the third for Pinnick. It involved rigorous eligibility checks and thorough scrutiny of the social, moral and political credential, as well as public service records of those seeking positions into elective posts.
Pinnick first passed the integrity test when appointed into the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions. The second time was when seeking election into the CAF Executive Committee where he rose to the position of first Vice President.
The Guardian further gathered that some of those contesting against Pinnick were considering withdrawing from the race yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has cleared Algeria’s Khireddine Zetchi to contest for FIFA Council seat. It brings the number of contestants to 14.
Zetchi will battle for a position in the Arab/Portuguese/Spanish bloc. Those to contest with him include Equatorial Guinea FA boss, Gustavo Ndong, Morocco FA boss, Fouzi Lekjaa and the former Egypt FA president, Hany Abo Rida.
Cameroon’s Seidou Mbombo Njoya and Guinea’s Mamadou Antonio Souare are among those hoping to contest for places on CAF’s Executive Committee in the election.
The coast is clear for South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe to be elected as CAF president unopposed at the election.