Former Nigerian football supremo Amos Adamu on Friday blamed what he said was the FIFA “mafia” for his two-year ban from the game for ethics violations.
Adamu, who sat on the world governing body’s executive committee and was West African Football Union president from 2008-10, was excluded from all football-related activity from February 28.
The 62-year-old was previously handed a three-year ban in 2010 for accepting bribes in relation to the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Adamu claimed the exclusions were a settling of scores because of internal politics and infighting linked to previous competitions and the running of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
“It’s the work of the mafia. We’re dealing with the mafia… that’s my problem,” he told Nigerian sports radio station Bila FM.
Adamu’s latest ban relates to his involvement in his son’s organisation of a dinner in 2010 for African football legends while he was a member of the FIFA executive committee.
It comes as the long-standing CAF president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon seeks re-election against opposition from Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad.
Adamu accused FIFA president Gianni Infantino of leading a campaign to oust Hayatou after 29 years and replace him with Ahmad, who has been in Nigeria campaigning this week.
The former official said Hayatou had “done so much for African and Nigerian football. Nigeria will continue to gain more from CAF under Hayatou as he has been there for us”.
“There is no reason to go for somebody we don’t know,” he added.
The current NFF president Amaju Pinnick, along with 11 other African federation bosses, met Infantino in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, recently and pledged his support for Ahmad.
That put him at odds with the NFF executive committee and the country’s sports minister, who said they would vote in “Nigerian interest” at next month’s election.
Amadu revealed he has “had enough of football politics” and found religion instead.
“My calling is different now. My life has changed. My focus has changed. I’m back in the seminary now to serve God,” he added.