The new President of the CAF Board of Appeal, A. U. Mustapha (SAN) has assured football stakeholders in the continent that his board will employ integrity and justice to all as watchwords during its tenure.
Speaking in Abuja shortly after he was appointed to the position, the former Chairman of the NFF Electoral Committee said: â€œI want to first and foremost, thank the NFF President, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, for making this possible. I never lobbied for the job and I never even knew that I was being considered. Perhaps, the big roles that AITEO continue to play in Nigerian football and at CAF level brought one to prominence. I thank Mr. Benedict Peters (President, AITEO) for his immense service to football.
â€œFor me, the approach to this new assignment will be simple: integrity will be at the front â€“burner. A lot of people who know me can vouch for me on this. More importantly, we will follow the rules dispassionately to deliver justice to all.â€
A distinguished legal practitioner of over two decades, A. U. Mustapha has excelled in various assignments in Nigerian Football as well as in using strategic thinking to run diverse businesses.
A dynamic, articulate and pragmatic team player, he has attended reputable international institutions including the Harvard Business School (USA), Manchester Business School, Suffolk Law School (both in the United Kingdom) and the Business School Netherlands in The Hague. He has served in top positions in various businesses and in boards of corporate entities, as well as with the National Sports Commission (Chairman, National Appeals Committee), the NFF (Chairman, NFF Electoral Committee & Deputy Chairman, NFF Committee for Ethics and Fairplay) and the League (Member, Organising and Disciplinary Committee).
â€œMy father was the Chairman of Kwara State Football Association and we used to follow him to the stadium to watch matches, so you can say the love of the game is from the cradle!
â€œI see every assignment as a call to service. I have enjoyed the experience all the way, but I will say the most challenging for me was conducting the 2010 NFF Elections, which has been adjudged as perhaps the most credible in NFF history. There were lots of intrigues and attempts were made to compromise us, with threats and invasion of privacy thrown into the bargain.
â€œHowever, our unwavering commitment to a credible process prevailed to the extent that the FIFA observer offered me a job with FIFA, but a highly â€“placed Nigerian told him that my hands are full in Nigeria!â€
A. U. Mustapha was last Friday, at the 40th CAF General Assembly in Casablanca, named the new President of the CAF Board of Appeal.