Walter Nyamilandu Facing stiff competition from Nigerian candidate

By Joy Ndovi

FAM president Walter Nyamilandu faces stiff competition from Nigeria Football Association president Amaju Pinnick in his quest to retain the Fifa Council member seat for the Anglophone bloc at tomorrow’s elections in Morocco.

With South African business mogul Patrice Motsepe set to be elected as Confederation of African Football (CAF) president unopposed, the English-speaking bloc is remaining with one slot, according to CAF statutes. This means Nyamilandu, Pinnick, Lamin Kaba Bajo (Gambia FA president), Nicholas Mwendwa (Kenya FA president), Wallace Karia (Tanzania FA president), and Andrew Kamanga Ndanga (Zambia FA president) will fight for the remaining position.

Pinnick has emerged as a favourite in the race with several anglophone countries declaring their support for the Nigerian, according to The Guardian of Nigeria. South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has predicted victory for Pinnick. The former lecturer, politician and anti-apartheid activist, who lost to Nyamilandu in 2018, says that South Africa will vote for Pinnick.

Walter Nyamilandu

The Nigerian Federal Government has also thrown its weight behind Pinnick. Nigerian Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare said Pinnick’s ambition will further reposition Nigeria on the global football map. “As a Fifa Council member, Mr Pinnick will also be automatically a member of the CAF executive, which gives Nigeria a voice at both global and continental levels.

“This is not a Pinnick project, but a Nigeria project. If countries like Guinea and Madagascar can have people in the Fifa Council, there is no reason why a big football–playing nation like Nigeria should not.”

Amaju Pinnick

Nyamilandu, who replaced Ghanaian Kwesi Nyantakyi who resigned in 2018 following corruption scandal, said he is confident of retaining the seat after delivering in two years.

Meanwhile, Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama said he has not endorsed Nyamilandu because government is not officially aware of his candidature . He said: “Every country would want to endorse their son in such circumstances. But as Sports Ministry, we are not aware of Mr. Nyamilandu’s candidature. We only see this in the media. “We can’t just wake up and endorse something FAM has not even bothered to tell us about. We expected FAM to at least officially inform us about Mr. Nyamilandu’s intention to contest.

“That way we would also know how to support his candidature as Sports Ministry. Imagine, we have received a request for support from our counterparts in Cameroon for their candidate [Cameroon FA president Seidou Mbombo Njoya] and not FAM president.”


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