Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Amaju Pinnick on Thursday predicted that South African Billionaire, Patrice Motsepe will get 40 votes to clinch the CAF presidential seat in next month’s election.
That prediction leaves the three other candidates sharing just 14 votes as CAF is composed of 54 member countries.
Pinnick was the arrowhead of the clique that terminated the 29-year rule of Issa Hayatou. He is set to influence the installation of Motsepe as CAF president.
He was called to the podium at Thursday’s launch of Motsepe 10-point manifesto.
Hear Pinnick: “The truth is you can see me in South Africa very regularly. I’m super-excited because for the first time in football in the continent‚ Africa is about to get it right.
“I’m happy because two faces I’m seeing here today‚ either of them would have been the perfect fit for the president of Caf – my brother Moise Katumbi [owner of TP Mazembe in Democratic Republic of Congo] and Patrice Motsepe.
“ … And that’s the excitement of everybody in Nigeria‚ and it’s the same excitement of everybody on the West African coast.
“So when you say you [Cosafa] are giving 14 votes – and I said this during Ahmad’s campaign where he got 35 votes – that by God’s grace we are looking at 40 votes [for Motsepe].
“I travel every day campaigning for my president [Motsepe]‚ and they say‚ ‘But you are not campaigning for yourself’. I say‚ ‘Let him get in there’.
“So I can assure you‚ between 35‚ 38 and 40 [votes].”
The Nigerian FA’s declaration suggested that West Africa was behind Motsepe’s bid. Chiyangwa declared confidence in Pinnick’s estimate.
“When I’m working with him the number he gives is what we aspire to achieve‚” the Cosafa boss said.
“The last time we had Ahmad we had 35 – for sure that was what we predicted in Harare.”
It was at a 58th birthday party function of Chiyangwa in Harare on February 24‚ 2017‚ attended by 24 African FA heads and seen as a front to campaign for Ahmad‚ that the movement to unseat Hayatou apparently solidified its ambitions.
Chiyangwa was Ahmad’s chief campaign manager. Among the FA presidents present were Pinnick‚ Jordaan and Liberian FA president Musa Bility. The next month Jordaan‚ Pinnick and Bility were voted onto Caf’s powerful executive as Ahmad beat Hayatou.
The party in Harare was controversially attended by Fifa president Gianni Infantino‚ which was seen at the time as backing the Ahmad camp.
Infantino‚ visiting Mauritania‚ Senegal‚ the Central African Republic‚ Rwanda and South Africa on a tour of Africa‚ has met with Caf presidential candidates Yahya‚ Senghor and Motsepe. Fifa’s president spoke at Cosafa’s AGM in Joburg on Monday.
Motsepe’s campaign have moved to distance themselves from speculation that the Sundowns boss is Fifa’s preferred candidate.