Caf elections: Amaju Pinnick criticised for vote revelation

By Piers EdwardsBBC Sport
Nigeria FA president on Caf elections.

Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has been criticised for revealing who he will vote for in the Confederation of African Football presidential election.

NFF Executive Committee member Chris Green has insisted intentions should be secret until the 16 March election.

"I think we should conduct ourselves in a decent manner and let our votes count on the day," Green told BBC Sport.

"This is democracy and it's going to be a secret ballot - we have not to talk."

Earlier this week, Pinnick told BBC Sport the NFF would be giving its vote to Ahmad Ahmad, the Madagascar FA president who is the sole challenger to long-standing Caf president Issa Haytou.

"That's really not the position (of the NFF)," argued Green.

"Do not think the board sat, deliberated and decided that we should go for a particular candidate - no, we've not got there yet."

Green is keen that Ahmad should impress his vision upon more Nigerians than just Pinnick himself - with the latter saying he was impressed by the Malagasy's manifesto - before the country chooses its candidate.

Chris Green
Chris Green's comments seem to be in conflict with the NFF's position

Hayatou has ruled Caf for nearly three decades and Green added: "I know of Hayatou, I don't know of Ahmad - I don't know his pedigree nor what he stands for.

"Hayatou has not done badly. He's not been against us from 1988 until today. In his own way, he has assisted football to grow in Nigeria.

"He's brought two international tournaments to Nigeria - the under-20 World Championship in 1999 and the under-17 World Cup (in 2009). We've also hosted the Africa Cup of Nations (in 2000)."

Pinnick told the BBC that he had been given a mandate to vote for his own candidate following an NFF board meeting earlier this month.

A statement issued by the NFF on Thursday confirmed that opinion.

"Every single member of Board spoke on the issue and expressed support for the NFF President, Mr Pinnick, to use his discretion and vote for that candidate who will best serve Nigeria's interest," read the statement.external-link

"This support was given based on the fact (that) as the NFF president and a member of the Caf Organizing Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations, he is fully in tune with the political play at that level and knows what would be best for Nigeria.

"There is no division in the NFF Board," the statement added.

However, Green appears to be at odds with his own board.

"Fortunately, unfortunately, Amaju will be the man who will cast his vote on the day," he said.

"If he comes out to support Ahmad, it will be unfortunate if it goes against what we here want as there's nothing we can do about it."

The elections to determine who will rule African football will take place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

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