President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick says he is backing Patrice Motsepe for the Confederation of African Football presidency because of his belief that the South African will reform the continental football body if he beats incumbent Ahmad Ahmad at the polls next March.
Pinnick, who was earlier touted to be interested in vying for the CAF presidency, has now opted to contest for a place in the FIFA Council.
In a dramatic twist on Monday, the NFF boss, in a statement, indicated his support for Mamelodi Sundowns owner Motsepe.
He stated that the election was not about him but the future of African football.
“When you see someone with superior qualities, you have to support him. I know there are going to be strong reforms (in CAF) when Patrice is elected,” Pinnick stated during the signing of a partnership deal between the NFF and GAC Motor in Lagos on Tuesday.
“We need an enabling environment for football to thrive, and that’s what we are going to do with African football.”
In return, South Africa is expected to back Pinnick for the FIFA Council membership, as Motsepe’s presidential bid rules out another South African Danny Jordann from contesting for a place in the FIFA Council.
On why he decided not to contest for the CAF presidency, Pinnick stated, “The contest isn’t about Pinnick, it’s about the future of the African game. There’s time for everything. Possibly, this is not my season, but my season will come.”
If Pinnick, a former 1st vice president of CAF, wins the FIFA Council election, he’ll become the third Nigerian after Oyo Orok Oyo (1980 to 1988) and Amos Adamu (2006 to 2010) to achieve the feat.