President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has been reportedly removed as the Confederation of African Football 1st vice president and replaced by Congolese Omari Constant.
Mauritania FA boss, Fouzi Lekjaa and South Africa’s Danny Jordaan are now the 2nd and 3rd vice presidents of the continent’s football governing body respectively.
Pinnick replaced former Ghana FA boss, Kwesi Nyantakyi, as CAF’s 1st Vice President in June 2018, following a FIFA ban to Nyantakyi, over a corruption case.
The decision to remove the Delta-born football administrator was reportedly taken at the CAF Executive Committee meeting in Cairo on Thursday, on the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Reports say CAF president Ahmad Ahmad, who replaced longest-serving Issa Hayatou in 2017, no longer have the support of Pinnick, who played a key role in the ouster of Cameroonian Hayatou and the installation of the Madagascan as the new head of the continental football body.
According to reports, relationship between Pinnick and Ahmad had been frosty since the Nigerian became the vice president, with Pinnick’s decision to walk out of a controversial vote to order for a replay of the 2019 CAF Champions League final, believed to be the final straw that broke the camel’s back.
But a statement from the NFF Communications Department said Pinnick’s tenure as CAF 1st vice president was not renewed by Ahmad after it expired on Thursday, due to “fundamental differences on focus and direction.”
“The term of the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick as the 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football along with that of the 2nd and 3rd Vice Presidents expired today,” the statement read.
“In line with Article 22(4) of the CAF Statutes, every two years when elections are held at the CAF Congress (as took place on Thursday), the CAF Executive Committee on the proposal of the CAF president, elects a 1st, 2nd and 3rd vice president respectively from among its members.”
Significantly, the renewal of Pinnick’s tenure was not proposed by the CAF president because of fundamental differences on focus and direction.
“It has however been an excellent opportunity to serve as the number two football administrator in entire African continent and my commitment to the game is perpetual while my support for my colleagues in the Executive Committee remains steadfast. I congratulate, Omari, Lekja and Danny on the assumption of their new roles as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice CAF Presidents respectively,” Pinnick was quoted as saying in the statement.