ABUJA: Segun Odegbami, Nigeria’s former captain who wants to run for the FIFA presidency, has fallen out with the country’s football federation over his proposed candidacy.
Odegbami published his ambition without having reached an agreement with the NFF and has now accused it deliberately putting its endorsement beyond reach through the terms set.
The election will be staged next February 26 after Sepp Blatter announced his intention to step down as head of the world federation only four days after being re-elected in May. UEFA’s French president, Michel Platini, is favourite.
According to the NFF, any prospective candidate must obtain endorsements from state football associations, the National Sports Commission and the Confederation of African Football.
Odegbami has complained to NFF president Amaju Pinnick, that the federation is creating “obstacles” to his candidacy and has urged the NFF to withdraw its “unconstitutional requirements.”
He said: “This is to formally register my protest against the demands made of me [and indeed any other Nigerian contestant] by the Nigeria Football Federation, as conditions, in order to be nominated to contest for the position of president of FIFA.
“This is also to suggest that the NFF should immediately withdraw these demands and that the NFF should quickly decide on the Nigerian to nominate to contest the FIFA presidential elections in February 2016.
“Whilst awaiting a formal response from you, it was with utter disbelief and shock to read of the conditions [more of barriers] on a television programme that the NFF has set for Nigerian candidates.”
“I find the last two of these requests very bizarre, and a product of a lack of familiarity with the guidelines for the FIFA presidential elections.”