Nigeria mixes politics and football again as Pinnick’s push for CAF is unseated

December 28 – Nigerian football’s internal wranglings have come to the fore again following reports that the candidature of federation president Amaju Pinnick (pictured), for a seat on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee may be under threat.

A press statement issued by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, said his request for minutes of the meeting where the candidacy of Pinnick was endorsed has not been met.

The minister emphasised that the Nigerian government had yet to nominate anybody to contest for the CAF seat but that in itself will raise eyebrows since footballing matters are supposed to be run independently of government involvement, a FIFA mandate Nigeria has long struggled to come to terms with like so many other parts of Africa.

Dalung’s office also stated that since the federation has failed to appoint an independent auditor to examine its accounts, government had no option than to embark on a full scale investigation.

“FIFA’s forensic audit has raised concerns about documentation of the federation’s accounts. Nineteen grave issues were identified in FIFAs audit report which needs to be looked into. The federal government has already set machinery in motion to embark on a full scale investigation of those issues. We are committed to getting rid of all obstacles capable of destroying probity, credibility, transparency and accountability in sports administration in Nigeria,” the minister said.

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