Ahmad, Samoura insist Nigeria has key role in change agenda


CAF President Ahmad and FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura have at different fora in Rabat, Morocco affirmed that Nigeria has become a strong player in international football politics and therefore has a key role in driving the new vision of the Confederation of African Football.

A two –day symposium on the future of the African game ended in the Moroccan capital on Wednesday, attended by Presidents and General Secretaries of CAF’s Member Associations, Chairmen of Leagues, marketing, media and legal experts, as well as legends of the game.

Proposals and recommendations have been made to the CAF Executive Committee on a wide range of changes meant to foster rapid development of African football, and the body met on Thursday, with an Extra-Ordinary General Assembly scheduled for Friday to consider recommendations for approval.

On Wednesday, while receiving members of the Nigerian delegation to the symposium, led by NFF President Amaju Pinnick, Ahmad again expressed appreciation for the support of Nigerians during his campaign and particularly lauded the courage and spirit of the NFF boss.

“I appreciate the role of Nigeria, and this is time for the hard work, Nigeria must also play a key role. The CAF is for you and for me. We have to do the work that is necessary to propel the long –term development of African football.

“The work will not be easy, and will demand energy and commitment, but I count on the support of Nigeria.”

Samoura, who spent several years working for the United Nations in Nigeria before her appointment last year, said while also receiving the Nigeria delegation that Africa’s most populous nation would have to remain at the forefront in driving the vision that will lead to the success of the new CAF team.

“Before and since the coming of the new Executive Committee of CAF, Nigeria has played an important role. You must continue to play that same role and give support for the administration to overcome whatever challenges there might be along the way.”

In the meeting with Ahmad, the Nigerian delegation wished him success in his tenure as CAF President while pledging Nigeria’s support for the change agenda.

“I am already a Member of the Executive Committee and President of AFCON. But I can want to say that there are other highly qualified Nigerians in different aspects of football governance who can offer quality service to help CAF’s new direction.”

While with Samoura, the delegation thanked FIFA for appointing Pinnick as Member of the influential Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, and also for the election, two months ago, of former Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips as Member of the highly respected FIFA Ethics Committee (Adjudicatory Chamber).

Also in the delegation were Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi (NFF 1st Vice President), Mr. Shehu Dikko (2nd Vice President/LMC chairman), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (General Secretary), Barrister Musa Amadu (former NFF General Secretary), Mr. Mitchel Obi (AIPS Africa President), Mr. Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications), Mr. Chikelue Iloenyosi (special assistant to NFF President) and Mr. Nasiru Jibril (personal assistant to NFF President).

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