Hopes of having a Nigerian in the highly-revered FIFA council is very much on track following the green light given to Amaju Pinnick to vie for a seat.
Pinnick was cleared on Tuesday by the FIFA Ethics Committee to contest following a lengthy and extensive scrutiny of his candidacy by the world football body.
Having scaled the first, Pinnick expressed great delight even as he outlined his agenda for football not just in Nigeria but for Africa as a whole.
As part of my commitment to keep pushing Nigerian and African football forwards and upwards, I would like to announce that I have now been cleared by the FIFA Review Committee to seek a position on the FIFA Council at the forthcoming elections scheduled for the 43rd Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football; CAF, coming up in Rabat, Morocco on the 12th of March, later this year.
The FIFA Review Committee has extremely stringent integrity, eligibility and security checks, and it is the first major step in seeking a seat at World Football’s governing table.
With that extremely important test passed, I can continue to push for more representation of the African continent in world football.
Since 2014, when I first got into the office of the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, I have always maintained that Nigeria and Africa deserve to be more visible in the administration of World Football and this is still part of that quest.
Before our board came, Nigeria football was almost 100% Govt.-dependent. Now, we have attained 60% self-sufficiency with our drive to be totally financially independent still in effect.
Hopefully, the next President of the Federation will build on what we have done and are doing, while ensuring that the relationships we have nurtured with Corporate Nigeria over time continues.
I have been a member of the Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football, and remain a member, while also becoming a member of the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions.
The experience I have gathered over time has been truly invaluable and I know I can contribute a lot more to the World game while championing African interests as well.
I’m hoping to get the support of my friends and critics alike, as I take the next inevitable step, while counting on the massive goodwill I have gotten over the years from the football press and public.