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How Hayatou’s bid to woo Pinnick failed

CAF President, Issa Hayatou and NFF chairman, Amaju Pinnick. PHOTO:itsagoal

Facts are beginning to emerge on some of the desperate steps taken by former President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou to save his job during the last elections held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Hayatou’s 29 years reign as CAF president was brought to an end last week, when he lost by 20-34 votes to Madagascar’s FA boss, Ahmad Ahmad at the polls.The Guardian learnt that Hayatou on sensing that his campaign train was heading to a rock, summoned courage and approached the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, to plead for his vote.

It was further learnt that at the meeting, the Camerounian strong man tabled a lot of things before Pinnick, top of which was an offer of a FIFA Council seat ticket if Pinnick could help him scale the hurdles in Addis Ababa. Ghana’s FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi prior to the election in Addis Ababa occupied that position, having been elected on September 29, 2016, in Cairo, Egypt during the polls to fill two additional seats given to Africa in the new-look FIFA Council. FIFA had increased its 24-council membership to 36 last year.

Narrating what transpired between Hayatou and Pinnick at the meeting in Addis Ababa, a source told The Guardian that the NFF boss promptly turned down the offer, accusing Hayatou of looking for a way to spark a diplomatic row between Nigeria and Ghana.

“Kwesi Nyantakyi won the FIFA Council seat less than four months, but the position had to be declared vacant for the election in Addis Ababa. Kwesi was one of the seven candidates that contested for FIFA council seats, but Hayatou wanted Pinnick to drop his CAF Executive seat campaign against the man from Benin Republic in exchange for the position occupied by Kwesi of Ghana. He assured Pinnick that he would make sure Kwesi did not get the support he required for the FIFA Council seat.

“But Pinnick said no. He told Hayatou that his major aim was the CAF executive seat, and beside, changing his campaign to the FIFA Council seat at the last minute would amount to stabbing his Ghanaian brother at the back. Hayatou pleaded and pleaded, but Pinnick said no,” the source stated.

Speaking further, the source added that when it became clear that Pinnick was not ready to accept Hayatou’s offer, the Camerounian allegedly resorted to campaign of blackmail, threatening that he would use all available ‘apparatus’ to stop Pinnick from winning the CAF Executive seat.

“He told Pinnick right there that he would make sure he didn’t get more than four votes at the election. Hayatou was so sure he would win because his campaign team was able to penetrate about seven candidates in the COSAFA zone after their initial agreement to go with Ahmad. That is how dirty the politics of CAF election could be,” the source added.

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Issa Hayatou


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