Nigerian Football Federation boss, Amaju Pinnick, has once more voiced out his support for Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad who is the sole challenger to the long term ruling Issa Hayatou in next month’s Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidential election in Ethiopia.
Pinnick on Thursday told CNN World Sport programme that he was joining forces with those advocating for a change in the leadership of CAF. Cameroun’s Issa Hayatou has been president since March 1988 and is going for eighth term in office.
“People want change and a new generation of leadership. I join those advocating for the change”, said the Nigerian football boss who becomes the first official outside the 14-nation Council of South African Football Association (COSAFA) to have openly backed Ahmad Ahmad and conversely oppose Hayatou.
Pinnick told CNN World Sports that the 57 year old Madagascan Ahmad Ahmad represents the bridge between the old and the young and is very keen at bringing positive change to African football.
“Football money is not meant to be warehoused in the bank as CAF is currently doing. It is meant for the field, to develop the game”, said Pinnick.
He extolled the virtues of Ahmad who is in his third term as Madagascar FA boss and also the vice president of Madagascar Senate. When asked of his opinion should Hayatou suddenly withdraw from the race, Pinnick remarked that it would be the height of statesmanship.
Two years ago, CAF Congress voted to change the statutes which had stopped officials above 70 years from serving in the executive committee. That change allows Hayatou who will be 71 in August to contest and serve for a record setting 33 years as CAF president.
The CAF election is billed for March 16, 2017, in Ethiopia.