Nigeria will support Issa Hayatou in the April 2017 election for the Confederation of Africa Football, CAF, presidency for diplomatic and security reasons, Minister of Sports Dalung has said.
Dalung told newsmen on Monday in Abuja that Nigeria’s support was based on national interest.
He said: “For the presidency of CAF, when I invited them, I told them Nigeria’s position is to vote in favor of her national interest, and not too long ago, the Federal Government made categorically clear her position.
“And the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria is that, in view of the fact that Cameroon has been a major key player in the war against insurgency and the involvement of Cameroon in fighting for the stability of Nigeria, it will be out of the foreign policy context of Nigeria to abandon her.
“And the then acting president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo directed which I have communicated appropriately, that if the only vote that will come to Hayatou will be from Nigeria, Nigerians should stand with Hayatou.
“That it is outside our foreign policy, because we are not looking at football, but we are looking at the country Nigeria, what does Nigeria stand to benefit if it moves to the opposite direction?
Dalung also said that the country was in full support of Nigeria Football Federation’s President, Amaju Pinnick’s interest to contest for a CAF executive position in the elections.