NFF President Pinnick Elected Into FIFA Executive Council

Pinnick is the third Nigerian to be elected into the FIFA Council. Photo: [email protected]

 

The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has been elected into the FIFA Executive Council.

Pinnick, 50, was elected as a member of the FIFA Council during the 43rd CAF Ordinary General Assembly which was held in Rabat, the Moroccan capital on Friday. 

He beat Walter Nyamilandu of Malawi to the position. He is the third Nigerian to be elected into the FIFA council. Late Etubom Orok Oyo and Amos Adamu were the other persons from the West African nation to have occupied that post.  

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Motsepe Leads CAF

Earlier in the day, South African billionaire, Patrice Motsepe had emerged as the President of CAF, taking over from Ahmad Ahmad.

A file photo of Patrice Motsepe. Source: Caf Online News.

 

“Africa needs collective wisdom, but also the exceptional talent and wisdom of every (national football association) president and every member nation,” he said.

“When we all work together, football in Africa will experience success and growth that it has not enjoyed in the past.”

Africa has suffered serious setbacks in recent years with all five qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia eliminated after the first round — the continent’s worst showing in 36 years.

Last November, Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad became the first CAF president to be banned by FIFA, with a five-year suspension for “governance issues” cut to two after appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Just a few weeks ago, Motsepe, Ivorian Jacques Anouma, Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya and Senegalese Augustin Senghor were locked in an intriguing struggle for the presidency.

But FIFA-brokered meetings of the contenders in Morocco and Mauritania led to mining magnate Motsepe becoming the sole candidate. Senghor and Yahya were given the first and second vice-president roles.

File photo: FIFA president Gianni Infantino speaks during the inauguration of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) new headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on October 30, 2018. Mohd RASFAN / AFP

 

Anouma, who initially declared the pact “undemocratic”, is a former FIFA executive committee member and becomes a special advisor to Motsepe.

As some CAF officials railed against alleged interference by the world body, FIFA president Gianni Infantino played down the role of his organisation.

“I am delighted that FIFA has been able to contribute, even if just a little, to this crucial moment for football on this great continent,” he said.

COVID-19: ‘No Match Worth Risking A Life,’ Says FIFA Boss Infantino

File: FIFA president Gianni Infantino holds a press conference at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 13, 2018, two days before the Russia 2018 World Cup final football match between France and Croatia. PHOTO: Jewel SAMAD / AFP

 

FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Friday said that “no match” is worth “risking a single human life” and that world football’s governing body would be able to help financially national federations during the coronavirus pandemic.

The majority of top football leagues and international competitions have been suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Infantino insisted that games would not resume until it was safe.

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“Our first priority, our principle, the one we will use for our competitions and encourage everyone to follow is that health comes first,” he said in a video message.

“I cannot stress this enough. No match, no competition, no league is worth risking a single human life.”

The German Bundesliga reportedly could restart behind closed doors in May, with players already back in training, while other leagues could also resume in the summer.

“It would be more than irresponsible to force competitions to resume if things are not 100% safe,” added Infantino.

“If we have to wait a little longer we must do so. It’s better to wait a little bit longer than to take any risks.”

Infantino said that national football associations which are struggling financially would receive help from FIFA’s emergency relief fund.

FIFA last week postponed all international matches scheduled for June.

“We are today in a very strong financial situation,” Infantino said.

“But our reserves are not FIFA’s money. It is football’s money. So when football is in need, we must think what we can do to help… It is our responsibility and our duty.”