The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said that former Green Eagles Captain Segun Odegbami has himself to blame for failing to get the right paperwork needed to contest for the position of FIFA Presidency.
According to the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, the Federation did everything possible to ensure that the aspirations of the former international scaled through, but the processes started very late.
“Segun Odegbami told us that all he needs is the endorsement of the federation that he would get the other five endorsements from other African countries. It was only few days to the closing of nominations that we got to know that he did not get the endorsements before then.
“I took the form to Cairo and was going from table to table to get it endorsed, but most of the countries were giving excuses that they have committed themselves to other candidates. If he had started early enough, we would have gotten the endorsement before the closing date. We learn daily, and would get it right next time,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, the former Chairman of NFF Technical Committee, Christopher Green also absolved the NFF of any wrong doing, saying that Odegbami did not start his process early enough.
“Don’t blame the federation because first and foremost we did not put our house together in the sense that we had two candidates vying for the same position. But in other climes no country presented two candidates, only one. I do realise that it was three to four days to the closure of the nomination that Segun Odegbami was given the endorsement by the federation.
“Realistically speaking, unless he did his home-work before the endorsement, there is no way he can shuttle five countries in Africa to get the endorsement within four days. Whatever happened to his candidacy I don’t know. I don’t know whether the NFF submitted his form.
“But I really doubt if he complied with all the conditions set out by FIFA. And that is why the NFF brought out her own conditions and when you meet up, the federation will take up the rest. One of the conditions is that you must be popular in the game as an administrator. But if you are not, the federation will find it difficult to market.
“It is the responsibility of the NFF to forward the nomination form to FIFA but it is not the responsibility of NFF to get the required endorsement for the candidate. It depends when he gets the endorsement from other Africa countries to forward to the federation to submit. It is not the NFF that is contesting the election, it is an individual thing. When Sepp Blatter contested it was not Swiss but Blatter.
“You can’t wake up in three months and say you want to meet another country for endorsement with the federation and you know that a country can only endorse one candidate,” Green said