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Pinnick Brought Respect To African Football, Says FIFA Candidate, Ali


PinnickFIFA presidential candidate for 2016 elections, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, has described the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, as big blessing, not only to Nigeria football, but the entire continent of Africa.

The Jordanian was a guest of the NFF in Lagos on Thursday in continuation of his campaign for the world’s most powerful football seat.

In May this year, Prince Ali contested against Sepp Blatter (now suspended) for the FIFA presidency during its 65th congress in Zurich.

At that election, 209 member nations cast their votes and Blatter garnered 133 votes to Prince Ali’s 73. But it fell seven votes shy of earning a two-third majority, forcing a second vote that would have required only a simple majority. But at that point, Ali addressed the voting members and withdrew from the race to pave the way for Blatter to win his re-election for a fifth term.

With Blatter’s suspension, following series of corruption charges hanging on his neck, Prince Ali seems to be the preferred candidate among those aspiring for the position.

At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Thursday, the Jordanian showered encomium on Pinnick’s leadership quality saying that his tenure as NFF President had brought ‘respect for African football.’

“Nigeria is such an important country in African football and I must commend your Federation’s President (Pinnick) for his foresight, great passion and commitment to the game,” Prince Ali said. “I have followed his capacity building programmes for coaches and other officials in England, and I see Nigeria football achieving more successes in the nearest future.”

Ali said his major plan for the FIFA Presidency would revolve around developmental programmes, especially for the less football-developed countries, just as he stated that he would seek some sort of scholarship schemes that could give countries opportunities to develop their coaches.

Ali said a part of the reason he was contesting was to make federations and confederations have closer working relationships. He said that he was concerned by the many unfilfilled promises made to developing countries in the past.

Speaking at the occasion the NFF boss (Pinnick) praised Ali for dimming it fit to travel down to Nigeria for his campaign saying: “His coming to Africa and Nigeria in particular is huge because other candidates only put telephone calls across to us.

“To me, Prince Ali is the best man for the job because he is driven by passion and from his background, I see him as someone who can effect many changes in FIFA,” Pinnick said.

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