CAF Elections: Day of Long Knives in Abuja

first_imgThe minister and some Nigerians in CAF committees are known to be openly opposed to Pinnick’s support for Madagascar’s FA President, Ahmad Ahmad who is challenging Isa Hayatou for the coveted position.One of the board members told THISDAY last night that except for one or two members of the NFF board, Pinnick has a solid support base among his men and that any attempt to want to force the board change the position it reached at its December 18 Congress where it asked the president to use his discretion in voting at the CAF election may be resisted.“Nobody can force us to go against the position we reached at the December 18 Congress. We have taken a stand and given the President go ahead to use his discretion in voting for the candidate that will advance the growth of football in the country. Why are they now fretting that Amaju has openly declared his support for Ahmad Ahmad. Is Nigeria not just one vote?” stressed the board member on telephone with THISDAY.He admitted to have also heard speculations of trying to use the board members to oust Pinnick from the position is he refused to toe the line of the minister in voting for Hayatou.“If anybody is thinking of interfering in the activities of the board, they are just wasting their time. This is 2017. The era when certain individuals who have been discredited world-wide in the administration of football will think they can use any of us is over,” the board member further observed.The minister who had earlier opposed Pinnick’s aspiration to contest for a seat on the CAF executive also maintained at the weekend that Nigeria was not in support of Ahmad Ahmad.Nigerian members of CAF included four former NFF presidents – Amos Adamu, Dominic Oneya, Sani Lulu and Aminu Maigari – issued a press statement condemning Pinnick, while pledging their support for incumbent CAF President Issa Hayatou.They also argued that the interest of Nigerian football should be paramount over any personal interest and consideration.“We have consulted widely within the executive of the NFF, the sports ministry and indeed football stakeholders in Nigeria and discovered to our dismay that there is no evidence where Mr Pinnick was mandated to commit this country to supporting Mr Ahmad,” the statement read in part.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Duro IkhazuagbeAhead of tuesday’s emergency Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board meeting called by the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, at his office at the National Stadium in Abuja, there is apprehension in football circles in the country that the forum may be used to create fresh troubles in the administration of the game here.The meeting has just one agenda: Nigeria’s position on the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Presidential Election.last_img read more

Street proving critics wrong

first_imgPeople told Ben Street he should play juniors one more year. People told him, he would have to wait to get playing time at the Division I level. People told him he wasn’t going to make an impact. No one told him he would score the first goal of the season for the Wisconsin Badgers, or that he would be among the team leaders in goals by this point in the year.Good thing he didn’t listen to those people. Street came to Wisconsin from Salmon Arm, British Columbia. He was recruited by several teams, including Colorado College, North Dakota and two-time defending national champion Denver. But Street chose to come to Wisconsin because he wanted to make an impact right away with a Division I team.”A lot of the schools were looking at me playing another year of juniors and then coming on to play, so [Wisconsin] was a good fit,” said Street of his decision to forego another year of juniors to play for the Badgers.With an immediate chance to bring something to a team, Street did just that in his first game as a Badger. With the Badgers trailing 2-0 in the third period against St. Lawrence, forward Robbie Earl passed the puck to Street in the slot, who beat Saints goalie Kevin Ackley with a quick shot to cut the lead in half. The 10, 000-plus crowd went crazy for the young Canadian, whose first career goal was integral in his team’s eventual comeback.”It was like being in a video game,” Street said of the goal.Since that goal, Street has added two more, propelling him to second on the team in goals scored. With those efforts, he has shown that he belongs not at the junior level, but at the college level. He has succeeded thus far, and he continues to show improvement. Badger head coach Mike Eaves agrees that Street can make it in the WCHA.”He’s adapted pretty well,” said Eaves. “His ability to skate at that pace and think at that pace, he keeps getting better and better at it.”With 190 pounds stacked on his 5’11” frame, Street won’t overpower anyone with his size, but he has shown he has the quickness to move around people. Street has also impressed with his puck handling skills. He doesn’t possess the highlight reel moves that someone like Earl has, but he gets the job done, says coach Eaves.”I think the best way to talk about Ben is he’s effective in the way he plays,” Eaves said. “There’s not a lot of flair or flash, but he does a lot of little things well, and when the puck is on his stick he has a good stick.”He also wants to shoot the puck. Street is fourth on the Badger squad with 17 shots so far this season, and he has the most of any freshman on the team.”He shoots the puck a lot, and he gets a lot of chances out there, which is great,” said fellow freshman forward Jack Skille. “He always wants the puck out there, and that’s one of the best things I’ve seen so far.”Skille and Street are both part of a promising group of rookies that include forward Tom Gorowsky, Minnesota’s 2004 “Mr. Hockey,” as well as a couple of goaltenders in Shane Connelly and Ryan Jefferey. While the goalies may not get a chance for some serious playing time in the near future with junior Brian Elliott in net, the trio of forwards could be making a serious impact by the end of the year.As far as goals go for the young Street, he just wants to make a difference for his teammates, and he wants to help them win in any way possible.”You always want to contribute as well as you can,” said Street. “We’ve chipped in, got a few goals. We’re playing significant roles and on some of the top lines, so it’s been really good to step in and be able to contribute right away.”For now, Street continues to improve on all the things he hasn’t yet perfected, which seems to be only the little things.”He wants to get better every day,” said Eaves. “He comes here with a purpose, and that’s a real treat to be around.”last_img read more