‘Pinnick’s creative, innovative ideas necessary tools to win CAF presidency’
• It Is Time For Nigeria To Redeem Her Image In African Football, Says Adelabu
Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu says Amaju Pinnick’s creative and innovative ideas would aid his campaign, if he joins the presidential race of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Pinnick, who is in his second tenure as the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had declared during the week that he was consulting widely with top football administrators in Nigeria and Africa on whether or not to join the CAF presidential race.
However, Adelabu, who played club football with IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan in the 1980s, said Pinnick would be the candidate to beat in the CAF Presidential race, adding: “The question of whether to contest for the coveted seat is not negotiable. Pinnick’s creative and innovative ideas are the necessary tools we need to get our football back in action,” Adelabu told The Guardian yesterday.
“The CAF Presidency contest is coming at a time when the world and especially African football is facing an unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic. The political menus of the interested candidates have to be garnished with well-articulated and comprehensive organisational skills that will enable African football to maintain its aroma and at the same time ensure the safety and well being of the players and fans,” he said.
Adelabu, a sports scientist continues: “Pinnick has what it takes to improve African football’s position on the world stage. He is highly enthusiastic about football administration with an unquenchable thirst for success. He has successfully managed every cadre of Nigerian football, which actually gave him the vote of confidence to serve the nation for the second term in office.
“The removal of Pinnick as CAF vice president by Ahmad Ahmad administration last year was a slap in the face of sport loving Nigerians and as a country. For whatever reason given by the Ahmad administration for the removal of Pinnick, I think it is time for our government to redeem her image with respect to representation in the administration of football in Africa. I don’t think there is any saint in CAF leadership, but the lack of respect for our nation’s representative has to be checked,” Adelabu stated.
He advised Pinnick to make up his mind early saying: “It is time Pinnick realises that he is not going to CAF to represent himself. If he has to first consult with his multitude of friends and stakeholders to decide whether to contest or not, I will advise him to resign as the NFF president. The issue on ground is beyond Pinnick. Our integrity as a nation had been trampled upon and it has to be redeemed. We are ready and capable enough to take on the leadership mantle of football administration in Africa, and I will want our government and well-meaning Nigerians and indigenous companies to rise in support of this noble cause.
“We need to put aside perceived inadequacies and whatever personal differences we may have against our sport administrators, and throw our weight behind them to occupy relevant positions in sport administration in Africa. In this 21st century contemporary world, we need someone like Pinnick with robust administrative skills and pedigree to lead African football. I call on our Nigerian government to give every necessary support to Pinnick so that we can take our place of leadership in African football. It is time for us to put African football back on the right track again,” Adelabu stated.
According to him, Pinnick’s ability to make critical decisions is not in doubt. “This is what is needed now to run our football. The CAF secretariat has to be sanitised so that it can become more transparent in her activities. I am so confident that Pinnick will maximise the gains in African football such that it will be evident in our economy, youth development and political stability in Africa.”