Finally, the real reasons behind the visit of FIFA president Gianni Infantino to Nigeria last month has been uncovered.
Fcnaija.com can reveal that president of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick is eyeing a sit on the FIFA Council.
Elections to determine two additional African representatives into the world football governing body will hold on September 29, and fcnaija.com investigations have revealed that Pinnick is gunning for one of the tickets.
There were mixed reactions when the embattled NFF boss hosted the FIFA president in Abuja last month, as it came as a surprise seeing that the country wasn’t hosting or bidding to host any major international football competition.
The NFF also invited 17 presidents of football associations across the continent for the visit and curiously, the CAF president Issa Hayatou was neither present nor represented. Curiously also, there were no representatives from Francophone countries (with the exception of Augustin Senghor of Senegal, who came at the personal request of new FIFA secretary general, Fatma Samoura, who is also from Senegal) and North Africa.
There were protests against the visit and against Pinnick right from the airport to the hotel where Infantino and the FA presidents stayed, and one of the FA presidents, dismayed at the reception said to fcnaija.com: “You guys should be happy that your man (Pinnick) is going to FIFA and not these protests.”
It is also interesting to note that for the FIFA president’s visit, none of the African representatives on the FIFA Council (formerly Executive Committee) – Issa Hayatou (Cameroon); Hany Abo Rida (Egypt); Tarek Bouchamaoui (Tunisia); and Constant Omari (DRC) – were present for the visit.
Further investigations have revealed that the real reasons for the convergence of the 17 FA presidents under the guise of welcoming the FIFA president is to form an alliance that will see Pinnick emerge as one of the candidates for the African seats in the FIFA Council.
“Pinnick is absolutely gunning for one of the FIFA tickets and it is the real reason for the FIFA president’s visit and that of 17 FA presidents. He needs an alliance with several FA presidents to stand a chance,” a highly-placed source confirmed to fcnaija.com.
The deadline for the submission of applications was June 30, and fcnaija.com has also been informed that Pinnick is one of those to have submitted their applications.
“He has submitted his application and it is left to see if he will get the nomination,” the source added.