Nigerian former footballer Segun Odegbami is considering the possibility of entering the presidential race at world football’s governing body FIFA, with a new president set to be elected early next year.
According to SuperSport, the former Super Eagles player, who was the only Nigerian included in the list of CAF’s team of the century, is considering a run for the world football governing body’s top job. Odegbami is now a respected football pundit and columnist.
Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter took the decision to resign as the head of the organisation in June, four days after he was re-elected to the post, following the ongoing fraud investigation into FIFA which saw the arrest of 14 officials and marketing executives US authorities in May on the basis of corruption charges worth an alleged $150m.
Bribery allegations involving the 2010 World Cup which was hosted by South Africa, as well as money laundering and fraud surrounding the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively were thrown into the spotlight.
After the arrests many called for Blatter’s resignation, but the Swiss, who has been in charge of FIFA since 1998, took some weeks to decide on his eventual course of action. He remains in the position until a new president can be elected in around five months time.
In recent weeks candidates for the position have been emerging, with UEFA president Michel Platini announcing his candidacy, and South Korean Chung Mong-joon, former Brazil footballer Zico and Liberian FA president Musa Bility confirming their availability for office ahead of the February presidential election, while South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale is considering joining the race.
The Nigerian 63-year-old has now emerged as the second African in contention for the position, following the Liberian Bility’s decision to run, while the South African Sexwale may still decide to join the party, complicating matters in terms of who the CAF associations will back in the elections.
It seems that CAF in general does not endorse Bility as their candidate of choice, so there may still be an opportunity for Odegbami to sweep a number of votes from the over 50 African associations set to vote in the February 26, 2016 elections.
Time will tell if a candidate from Africa will have any serious ambitions as far as the FIFA presidential race is concerned, with Platini looking the likely favourite at this point.