Chief Segun Odegbami has attributed his inability to get the required five nominations needed to endorse him as a candidate vying for the FIFA top post to sabotage.
As criteria before standing to be elected FIFA President, a candidate must secure backing from five football federations.
Neither ex-Nigeria international Odegbami nor Former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu could scale through before deadline day on Monday midnight.
Chief Odegbami who was only and lately adopted by Nigeria Football Federation, NFF at weekend before moves to pacify other member association to back him began, fingered non-support he allegedly got from Nigerians including his would-have-been co-contestant Kalu and former FIFA executive member Amos Adamu as the reason behind why he could not beat Monday’s deadline.
It was on Sunday that NFF verbally announced their nomination for Odegbami but the former Shooting Stars winger failed to get other nominations from four other federations.
“NFF president was there in Cairo to get me nominated but some Nigerians made sure it did not happen…That’s Nigerians for you. I couldn’t get the remaining four persons needed to endorse me. Some People said that Sepp Blatter backed them to become President and so they made sure that no other person from Nigeria will succeed.
“…Where was Amos Adamu, where was Orji Uzor Kalu?” obviously bewildered Odegbami who spoke via telephone conversation asked.
Similarly, billionaire businessman and former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has dropped out of the race for the presidency of FIFA. This followed Kalu’s failure to submit a formal bid for the race.
Instead, Kalu commended football stakeholders across the world who wanted him to contest for the plum job.
Kalu, while acknowledging the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and other African presidents for their patriotic roles, noted that sports is a unifying force among Africans.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu said: “I feel humbled and honoured with the widespread call for me to vie for the position of FIFA president. I sincerely appreciate the show of love and support demonstrated by African countries for their endorsements despite my decision not to submit a bid. I particularly remain grateful to FIFA President, Sepp Blatter and his team for personally acknowledging my capability to take the world football body to enviable heights.
“However, considering the economic challenges facing Nigeria, I have decided to focus my attention and resources on my business and humanitarian activities. I strongly believe the FIFA presidency is all about service, but I would rather continue my contributions to the economy of the continent by creating employment opportunities and wealth for Africans.
“As a football enthusiast, I remain committed and passionate to the advancement of sports especially in Africa.”
Out of numerous other candidates that earlier declared interests to run as FIFA President, only eight finally beat Monday’s deadline ahead of February election.
Gianni Infantino – Michel Platini’s right-hand man for the last six years – received the unanimous backing of UEFA’s executive committee. Platini has also submitted his candidacy for the election but is currently banned for 90 days pending a disciplinary hearing into a £1.3million payment signed off by outgoing president Sepp Blatter in 2011.
The other candidates who have submitted their candidacies are Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the leader of Asian football, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, former Trinidad and Tobago player David Nakhid, former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne and Liberian FA president Musa Bility.
The eight candidates will all have to pass integrity checks before taking part in the election on February 26.

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