FIFA Presidency: A Big Joke, or is Segun Odegbami Really Serious? - See the Rules

 It's looking like the easiest way to get the world media attention now-a-days is to publicly announce your intentions to run in the next FIFA Presidential election, coming up in February 2016. It's become a race for Tom, Dike and Harry; and I think Nigerians may have cut the bug.

First, it was Orji-Uzor Kalu that eariler declared his intentions to join the contest. It sounded like a joke to me. A politician who hadn't been actively involved in football administration in anyway, except for when he was on seat as governor of Abia state, he funded Enyimba International fc to win Caf Champions League back to back in 2003 and 2004.

But that isn't anything to give him the audacity to contest for the President of the world football governoring body.

Well, it's understandable, Kalu is a politician and knows how to pull stunts like this. But for Segun Odegbami, who I feel should know what an impossible mission it could be, came to me as a surprise when he publicly announced his intentions to join the race for the next FIFA President contest.

Odegbami is an ex-Nigerian football star who won African Cup of Nations in 1980. He is quite popular in the country, but I can't say he is that influential. He contested for NFF president in 2007 and lost out in the lobby. He's been a freelance columnist for Complete Sports Newpapers, Punch newspapers and other sports tabloids in Nigeria.

It may be a big joke. I think odegbami is just making jest. I try to analyse how serious he could be, if he couldn't win NFF election, which only involved stakeholders at the national level, how 5can he mange with world politics at FIFA.  But as they say, FIFA is the mother of democracy.

Anyone is free to show his intentions. I believe Odegbami has some ideas of his own to push forward at that level. I too have my own unique ideas and secret intentions to become  FIFA president too, maybe someday.

Odegbami should know that no African personality has that influence as to win the FIFA President today. Not even Isah Hayatu or George weah can acbieve it.

Don't get me wrong. Odegbami has every right to run for president under FIFA's rules. As I had discovered, anyone could announce his candidacy, but to become an official candidate on the ballots, you had to obtain. a public nomination from at least one of FIFA's 208 national federations by the deadlline ( 2 months before election).

The question now is, can Odegbami get such endorsement and nomination from NFF or any other national associations in Africa? While Kalu may have what it takes to lobby and obtain nomination from places like Cape Verde, Somalia, Sudan... Odegbami may not have. that financial muscle or influence around Affica - this is the reason I feel his announcement may be a big joke!

How to Become a FIFA President

Taking the answer from this article from FIFA official website [1]

The FIFA President is elected to a four-year term by the associations represented at the FIFA Congress. There is no term-limit to the FIFA Presidency. The names of candidates for the presidency of the Federation are submitted to the General Secretariat of FIFA by any member association prior to the opening date of the Congress and then the vote is conducted by secret ballot. 

For the election of the President, a full two-thirds of the votes are necessary to win in the first balloting. In the case where no candidate receives the two-thirds minimum, subsequent balloting is conducted where only an absolute majority of the votes recorded is required. If there are more than two candidates, from the second ballot onwards, the candidate obtaining the lowest number of votes will be eliminated after each round until only two candidates remain in the running.

Basically if you want to be FIFA President:

You need to have one of the member association to nominate you as the candidates before the opening date of Congress.

You need to win the election at FIFA Congress.

Of course, to win the election you need to lobby a lot of association members so that they will vote for you. For example, FIFA President from 1974 - 1998, João Havelange visited 86 countries prior to his FIFA Presidency.

Before that you need to be a quite influential figures before you will be nominated as FIFA President Candidate. Joao Havelange was CBF (Brazilian FA) President and Sepp Blatter was the General Secretary of FIFA before they become FIFA President. For the next election, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, current FIFA Vice President has been tipped to challenge Blatter.

If you really want to become president of FIFA, I think you need to have influential position in soccer or sports in general, and it would take some time to get to that influential position. Sepp Blatter has been working 23 years - from 1975 as a Technical Director - before he could become president FIFA on 1998.

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