Sports

Pinnick wins historic FIFA council seat

See your new assignment as opportunity to enhance Nigeria’s reputation, Buhari urges Pinnick

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation has become a member of the FIFA Council, the highest decision-making body in world football, after claiming a landslide victory in an election held during the Confederation of African Football General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco on Friday.

Pinnick floored the incumbent, Malawian FA president Walter Nyamilandu by 43 votes to eight after four other contenstants had withdrawn from the race with few hours to the ballot. Pinnick will be joined by Egypt’s Hany Abou Rida, Morocco’s Fouzi Lekjaa, Mali’s Mamoutou Toure, Benin’s Mathurin De Chacus and Sierra Leone’s Aisha Johansen in the main decisionmaking organisation of the world football governing body. Lamin Kaba Bajo (The Gambia), Wallace Karia (Tanzania), Nick Mwendwa (Kenya) and Andrew Kamanga (Zambia) threw in the towel before the vote and opted to back the Nigerian Pinnick became the third Nigerian in that position; Oyo Orok Oyo was the first person from the country in FIFA and was a member of that exclusive group between 1980 and 1988. Amos Adamu was the second person from the country to occupy a seat in FIFA when he defeated Ghana’s Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew in the 2006 elections.

He was there for for years. Pinnick’s rise to the pinnacle of power in world football started about 11 years ago when he was appointed the chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission in 2010 before he became the chairman of Delta State Football Association a year later. Fate handed him an opportunity to become the NFF President in 2014 and he got reelected in 2018.

He previously served as CAF Vicepresident in Ahmad Ah- mad’s administration between September 2018 and July 2019, before he was removed and succeeded by Constant Omari. Also in addition to his role as a member of CAF Executive Committee, the Delta-born administrator is also a member of the O r – ganising Committee for FIFA competitions. Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Pinnick to see his new assignment as a member of FIFA new executive Council as an opportunity to enhance the nation’s reputation.

The President gave the advise yesterday in a congratulatory message applauding the NFF boss on his election into the highest decision-making organ in world football. According to a release by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President urged Pinnick to see his new assignment as an opportunity to enhance Nigeria’s reputation and identity as a football loving country and optimally utilise the role of sports, through football, as a driving force to engender development, peace and stability at the regional and international levels. The President believed that by dint of hardwork, dedication and consistency, Pinnick has proven to be an efficient football administrator and the world has taken notice of his competency skills by electing him into the FIFA Council and one of the Vice Presidents of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

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