Following the accusation by former Super Eagles skipper, Segun Odegbami, that his inability to register as a nominee for the forthcoming FIFA presidential election, was due to sabotage in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the NFF has come out to refute the allegation.
This was disclosed by the President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick who maintained that the federation did everything in their power, to ensure that the aspirations of Odegbami scaled through.
Addressing journalists after an emergency committee meeting, the NFF boss said: “Segun Odegbami told us that all he needs is the endorsement of the federation that he would get the other five endorsements from other African countries.
“It was only few days to the closing of nominations that we got to know that he did not get the endorsements before then.
“I took the form to Cairo and was going from table to table to get it endorsed, but most of the countries were giving excuses that they have committed themselves to other candidates.
“If he had started early enough, we would have gotten the endorsement before the closing date. We learn daily, and would get it right next time.”
Also speaking, the former Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Christopher Green, who told journalist that the Federation did nothing wrong, maintained that Odegbami started the process very late.
Green said, “Don’t blame the federation because first and foremost we did not put our house together in the sense that we had two candidates vying for the same position.
“But in other climes no country presented two candidates, only one. I do realise that it was three to four days to the closure of the nomination that Segun Odegbami was given the endorsement by the federation.
“Realistically speaking, unless he did his home-work before the endorsement, there is no way he can shuttle five countries in Africa to get the endorsement within four days.
“Whatever happened to his candidacy I don’t know, I don’t know whether the NFF submitted his form.
“But I really doubt if he complied with all the conditions set out by FIFA. And that is why the NFF brought out her own conditions and when you meet up, the federation will take up the rest.
“It is the responsibility of the NFF to forward the nomination form to FIFA but it is not the responsibility of NFF to get the required endorsement for the candidate.
“It depends when he gets the endorsement from other Africa countries to forward to the federation to submit.
“It is not the NFF that is contesting the election, it is an individual thing. When Sepp Blatter contested it was not Swiss but Blatter.
He added: “The truth of the matter is that they made things difficult for the NFF. This is the first time we have two candidates contesting for position in CAF, FIFA, WAFU.
“Usually it is the NFF that brings out a candidate to contest because they are the managers of the game in the country.
“When Amos Adamu was there it was only him that the federation endorsed, the same with Galadima and Aminu Maigari.
“But a situation where you have two candidates going for the same position, it becomes difficult.
“The way forward is for us to put our house and ourselves together for future elections with a plan to get one candidate nominated, have the candidate fulfill all the conditions as so specified in the FIFA electoral guidelines and help the candidate get endorsement for other countries.
“It is a project that you need a minimum of four years to prepare.
“You can’t wake up in three months and say you want to meet another country for endorsement with the federation and you know that a country can only endorse one candidate.”