President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick appears to have dropped his ambition to run for the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Presidency after throwing his weight behind South Africa billionaire, Patrice Motsepe.
Motsepe who is the owner of Pretoria-based Mamelodi Sundowns has been endorsed by the Country’s football federation (SAFA) for the election slated for March next year.
SAFA president Danny Jordaan made the announcement on Monday with South African sports minister Nathi Mthethwa and Pinnick in attendance.
“He is the most appropriate person we could offer for the leadership of CAF. We do not want any compromise on governance or ethics in football,” said CAF third vice-president Jordaan.
Pinnick who had expressed interest in the position confirmed he is not a contender and will back Motsepe instead according to AFP.
A former CAF vice-president, Pinnick was fired by Ahmad after disagreements over the direction the Cairo-based CAF was taking.
Motsepe did not attend the media conference in Johannesburg where the announcement was made as he is in quarantine having contracted the coronavirus.
His decision raises to three the number of candidates for the top job in African football with incumbent Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar and Jacques Anouma from the Ivory Coast also in the race.
Ahmad said last month that he would seek a second four-year term after ending the 29-year reign of Cameroonian Issa Hayatou with a stunning 34 votes to 20 triumph three years ago.
Anouma, who was prevented from bidding for the CAF presidency in 2013 announced his candidacy at the weekend.
Isha Johansen, president of the Sierra Leone Football Association was also in Johannesburg for the announcement.