This year may be a period of new heights for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)’s President, Amaju Pinnick. After pressing to dominate the politics of football on the African continent, Pinnick has finally been given the go-ahead to start oiling his engines for a possible sturdy position at the global level.
The NFF was the first to deliver the good news that the highest decision-making body in the world of football, FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), has screened Pinnick and found him qualified for a seat on its council. Although Pinnick has only been cleared as eligible for a position in the council, this is refreshing news.
At the moment, Pinnick is a potential candidate, a potential FIFA council member, the equivalent of true nobility in the world of soccer. The actual election has been scheduled for March 12, 2021, at the Congress of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), in Rabat, Morocco.
Only those in on recent developments know that Pinnick’s foresight is as commendable as his sky-high ambition. Recall that he was supposed to vie for the CAF presidency, a position he might have won without much struggle. However, for reasons best known to him, Pinnick decided to support South African Patrice Motsepe instead.
There is no denying that being a member of the 37-person FIFA council is an honour that few can aspire to. Thus, Pinnick has come a very long way, from chairing the Delta State Football Association, to being NFF president, president of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), and first vice president of CAF.
The trail of the 50-year-old Pinnick is worth tracing. It is one thing to master the soccer field of 21 other footballers; it is something else to build a stout career on the politics of the game, exceeding local and national and continental bounds, and reaching into the global pan of boiling oil. There is no doubt that Pinnick has to up his game, but this he is able to do.