President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, was on Friday in Rabat, Morocco elected into the FIFA Council – the highest decision-making organ in world football.
He attained the exalted seat after defeating his only rival, incumbent Walter Nyamilandu of Malawi by 43 votes to 8 at the Congress held inside the Royal Ballroom of the Sofitel Hotel in Morocco’s administrative capital. Apart from winning the FIFA position, Pinnick also emerged 5th vice president of Africa soccer governing alongside Senegal’s Augustin Sengor, Ahmed Yahya of Mauritania, Souleyman Wamberi and Fouka Lekja of Morocco. This will make it the very first time the body will have 5 Vice President as against 3 that has been used to in the past.Four of Pinnick’s five rivals, Lamin Kaba Bajo (The Gambia), Wallace Karia (Tanzania), Nick Mwendwa (Kenya) and Andrew Kamanga (Zambia) threw in the towel before the vote and opted to back the Nigerian. General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation, Mohammed Sanusi casted Nigeria’s vote.
It is a remarkable case of rapid global football boardroom upliftment for a man who, a little over six-and-half years ago, had no intention of contesting for even board membership of the Nigeria Football Federation, but has now been in the post for six-and-half years (becoming the first person to democratically secure a second term), won election as Member of the CAF Executive Committee, served as CAF’s 1st Vice President, still serving as Member of the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions, and now a revered member of the world’s highest decision-making organ for football.