Lagos – Chief Executive Officer of Pamodzi Sports Marketing (PSM), Mike Itemuagbor says his is backing Orji Uzo Kalu, for the vacant position of FIFA President.
A statement released by Itemuagbor, in Lagos on Tuesday, described the bid by the former Abia State governor as a `Nigeria Project’ worthy of being embraced by everyone.
The statement noted that the lopsided trends in sports administration globally and wondered why the country would continue to show indifference toward seeking such offices, when the opportunities present itself.
“Nigeria is the only country in Africa that participates in all FIFA events in spite of the huge costs of these competitions, yet lack presence in the global sporting bodies.
“Nigeria is the main issue and Orji is at the forefront of football in Nigeria because he has the requisite management experience, having governed a state for eight years.
“Besides being a publisher, he is also a football enthusiast and an administrator, who has committed his personal resources in the past to soccer development.
“With the new recognition of Nigeria by the global community, we implore the African continent to come together and emulate Europe and Asia by backing Kalu with their block votes.
“Today, we have executive committee members from Saudi Arabia in IAAF in spite of not having a record of Athletics, because Asia went to the election with their bloc votes as against a divided Africa.
“Should Kalu Orji decide to contest for the FIFA presidency, let us all as Nigerians support with the same zeal that we use to support the National teams, ’’ the statement said.
It adds: “we all have to see the FIFA Election as a 90 minutes game, to put Nigeria at the top as always. Let’s throw our hats in for Orji Ozor Kalu.’’
“Look at what happened at the last IAAF elections in Beijing and how Asia came together to ensure that two of their own, Ahmadi AL Kamali from the United Arab Emirates and Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud from Saudi Arabia were elected into the IAAF Council, albeit they are not strong nations as far as the sport of track and field is concerned.
“Nigeria is a powerhouse in continental and global football and we have results on the pitch to show for this. It is high time we took advantage of this and the fact that the whole world now see us in a positive light to assert our position as a country to reckon with,’’ the statement said.
“In terms of whatever reasons or parameters that you want to use or think about, Orji Kalu presents better credentials than others.
“This should be an eye opener to Nigerians and Africans that we should not under value ourselves,’’ it said, reiterating that Orji Kalu possessed the right credentials to lead FIFA.
“We need to make our impact felt in these international bodies and I feel strongly that Kalu as a Nigerian, if given the chance with his wealth of managerial ability can turn things around for the good of the game.’’ (NAN)