Elections scheduled for Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia, all eyes are on
the President, Nigeria Football
Federation (NFF), Amaju
Melvin Pinnick who has proven
to be a trusted foot soldier
for Presidential candidate,
Ahmad Ahmad campaign
organization.
A top source close to the
NFF boss said after sneaking
into Addis Ababa on Sunday,
Pinnick has kept a low profile
because of security reasons. He
is working in tandem with FIFA
President, Gianni Infantino who
is a staunch backer of Ahmad
to oust incumbent president,
Issa Hayatou. Infantino and
his General Secretary, Fatima
Samoura are on a single mission
in Ethiopia to deliver important
votes for Ahmad.
As at the last count, Pinnick
and his team have 40 votes
guaranteed out of the available
53 with the exemption of Eritrea who
won’t be in Ethiopia due to political
reasons. The West African Football
Union (WAFU) A and B will deliver 10
votes out of this 40.
‘Hayatou’s tenure will come to an
inglorious end on Wednesday and
a new broom that will sweep away
the old ways and herald the much
needed change in African football
will begin’, mark my words,’’ said the
source yesterday.
In a related development, Egypt’s
general prosecution has referred
Confederation of African Football
president Issa Hayatou to the
country’s Economic Court on charges
of violating local anti-monopoly
rules.
CAF Secretary General Hicham El
Amrani has also been charged. A
attended a hearing in on Monday.
With CAF based in Cairo, Egyptian
authorities maintain it is governed by
local laws.
firmly
rejects accusations it committed any
wrongdoing
when signing a multi-million dollar
deal with sports agency Lagardere in
June 2015.
“CAF categorically asserts that all
claims against it are groundless and
without merit,” a statement read.
“CAF will vigorously defend its
position, its right and reputation
using all legal means available under
international law.”
The Egyptian Competition Authority
(ECA) started to investigate the
Lagardere deal in June 2016, prior to
asserting – in January 2017 – that Caf
had engaged in monopolistic practices
that infringed local laws.
The deal gives Lagardere rights
to a variety of African football
competitions, including the flagship
Africa Cup of Nations, from 2017 until
2028.
“As a result, the board voted in
favour of (referring) Hayatou and El
Amrani for criminal prosecution,” said
the ECA in a statement dated 8 March.
CAF stresses that the allegations
accusing it of selling rights without
opening them for due tender are
incorrect.
The organisation, which celebrates
its 60th anniversary this week,
maintains it did not sell
any broadcasting rights to
Lagardere – merely appointing
the French company as its
marketing and media agent
instead.
Lagardere paid $1bn to Caf
for the privilege and while it
then undertakes responsibility
for negotiating deals across
the globe, “the rights remain
vested at Caf” – says Caf
Communications Director
Junior Binyam.
The resurgence of the ECA’s
interest comes at a critical
time for Caf, which hosts its
presidential elections on
Thursday.
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