Nigeria’s Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung, has revealed that he was the catalyst behind Nigeria’s re-entry into the Executive Committee of the Confederation of Africa Football.
Dalung made the disclosure in a congratulatory message to the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, on Thursday evening following the election of Mr. Pinnick into the Executive Committee of CAF at the CAF elective congress held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, same Thursday.
Pinnick defeated his Africa Zone B incumbent member, Anjorin Moucharafou of Benin, by 32 votes to 17 after he had also led the charge behind Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar to oust the long term incumbent Isah Hayatou for the presidency of CAF.
In a statement released by his Special Assustant on Media, Nneka Anibeze, the Minister expressed happiness that a Nigerian is now in the inner caucus of CAF after many years and disclosed that encouraged the NFF to go for it.
“When I became Minister I asked why there was no Nigerian representative in the executive committee of CAF. With a population of over 170million people there was no way the CAF executive committee will be constituted without Nigerians as stakeholders. I encouraged the federation to try and ensure that they are represented hence our support for the president of the NFF,” Dalung explained.
“This is a big achievement for Nigeria and our re-entry into African football politics,” he declared.
The Nigerian government also through the minister seized congratulated Ahmad Ahmad following his victory over Hayatou for the seat of CAF President but said it maintains its support for regional interest.
“Nigeria’s position remains in favour of our national interest but the will of the people has prevailed and we congratulate them all.”
The Minister advised the newly elected board to be magnanimous in victory and run an all-inclusive government.