Embattled Pinnick learns fate today

Festus Abu

The  Nigeria Football Federation President Amaju Pinnick will learn his fate during  the  federation’s emergency meeting with sports minister Solomon Dalung in  Abuja  on Tuesday.

Pinnick has come under heavy criticism for the past one week  after publicly revealing  that Nigeria  would be giving  their  vote to Madagascar FA president Ahmad Ahmad in the March 16 Confederation of African Football presidential election.

Ahmad  is the sole challenger to incumbent CAF president Issa Hayatou, who is seeking an eighth term in office.

Pinnick’s nomination for the CAF Executive Committee election sparked protests in the NFF, with the federation’s technical  committee chairman Chris Green  believed to be a major opponent of the former Delta State Sports Commission Chairman.

With the NFF boss battling to deal  with dissenting voices from within, nine    Nigerian CAF members believed to be Hayatou’s loyalists attacked Pinnick  on Monday for revealing who he  would vote for in the presidential election in Addis Ababa.

In a statement, Sani Lulu, Aminu Maigari, Dominic Oneya,  Amos Adamu, Paul Bassey, Bolaji Ojo-Oba, Amanze Uchegbulam, Aisha Falode and Green, said Pinnick did not consult them before pledging Nigeria’s support for  Ahmad.

Our correspondent  has learnt  that the minister, Dalung, who had questioned Pinnick’s nomination for the election, is also not happy with the NFF’s boss  support for  Ahmad – and could declare  the country’s position on the continental poll in today’s meeting.

It was learnt that NFF members  opposed to Pinnick’s bid to become an executive member of the African football ruling body have   allegedly joined forces  with some of the CAF members, whose positions could be under threat  with a an Ahmad victory, to pressure  Dalung to back Hayatou.

It was also learnt members of the NFF are working with outside forces for the impeachment of the NFF president.

It was learnt that Pinnick  is at a crossroads following the stiff opposition  to his choice of candidate in the poll.

Veteran sports journalist Bassey, who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, criticised Pinnick for his action, saying he should have consulted football stakeholders in the country before  declaring Nigeria’s support for Ahmad.

“We are not against his choice of candidate for the election but he should have done so as an individual,” he said.

Spokesperson for the minister Nneka Anibeze, who confirmed that her boss would meet with the NFF board today, said she was not aware of the agenda of the meeting.

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Source: Punch

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