Sunday, April 1, 2012

Why government can’t leave sports funding

Chukwumerije, invested in Taekwondo

I met an avuncular friend, he was 73 years old just two weeks ago. He was at the two-days of thousand laughs at the Senate last week. A first edition of the funs and comedies had taken place at the lower chambers of the National Assembly, the House of Representatives.
This friend lamented how “my time was seriously wasted because I now believe nothing will and can come out of the charade called Public Hearing.” Along the line, he asked: “why do you think the government can’t leave out the NFF wholly to source for and fund itself?”
I first went on a bout of laughter then reminded him of his own days at the saddle of the NFA. That week in the National Sportslink, I had a full page article arguing for the NFA to be weaned wholly financially from government funding. The NFA called a press conference the following Monday morning 
to debunk what they then called “satanic and unprogressive thinking of enemies of Nigerian football” which made Muyiwa Daniel, GboyegaOkegbenro, and a whole chunk of seniors to wonder what is wrong. Good enough, the NFA that day was almost short of mentioning my name and the paper but everyone at the conference knew what was at stake.
I went on to tell him, do you know that every match played by the Super eagles cost on the average $800,000 (about N125m)? He screamed. I told him “if the NFF gets free N156m monthly from the federation account and they don’t have to account for the money, why do they need the private sector?
I asked him if he’s aware that the NFF submitted to the National Assembly that in a single match they fed the Super Eagles with N9m?it’s a public document. No one in the NFF has denied or can deny such till date. He almost fainted with the quality of the revelations he was hearing.
I finally posed to him, “how then will those inside and outside the NFF who benefit and smile to the banks when the national team plays will ask such government patron to stop? Why should it stop? If anyone tries it, nothing is and will be too small to fight such a person including killing.
Since there is a Hembe-spirit in the members of the National Assembly (in the name of oversight function), who then stops this well-orchestrated practice? For so long as this remains, then, we will continue to wallow in the same mud for years, yes, years to come.
Odegbami, invested in Ajunwa's gold
GOD, SPORTS AND RESULTS: It is fraudulent not to sow and expect a bountiful harvest. That is the Nigerian sports industry in summary. Absolute fraud. What annoys some of us is dragging the name of God into such monumental fraud. The second is, officials who know there is calamity ahead and know also that the nation did not work or deserve any medal will start manufacturing stories from some credible names and using the athletes to spread hope. I gathered many of the news reports credited to coach Innocent Egbunike in recent times were not from the coach.
In nations where sports is seen as a science and not as a gamble, it takes between six and eight years of consistent hardwork, training, planning, conscientious exposure to produce an Olympian medallist.
All the medals we have won in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, All African Games etc are functions of gamble and the efforts of the individual athletes, brilliance of some of the coaches and definitely NOT as a result of systemic planning.
Let me quickly hit a nail on the head. As soon as ChiomaAjunwa’s first ban was nearing expiration, Chief Patrick Olusegun Odegbami’s Worldwide Sports Limited started working with the athlete. They shipped her to London to hone her training.
By the time the ban was lifted, she entered into competition and matured into the Olympics where she got the first individual gold medal in athletics and long jump.
As soon as she got the gold, the NSC and NOC buffs celebrated and took over the glory. Till date, who has appropriately recalled or paid for the investment of Chief Odegbami’s company in the media to getting that gold  medal?
We are heading to London with just weeks to go. If we were a serious nation, we had all the years to prepare. Take athletics as example, they just employed Innocent Egbunike reluctantly. It was like the NSC imposed Egbunike on them. It took almost a month before his demands for experienced Tony Osheiku was approved and they rejected Pat Itanyi.
Rather, 11 “Olympians” were recruited before Egbunike was recruited. In this population, many of them never attended any Olympics andliethey are Olympians. One of them is an international drug courier. Many of athletes caught in the drug web have a link to him. Many of them never finished in any school for any degree lest coaching.
Explaining last week, AFN claimed Itanyi was not good enough to coach the senior national team. My investigations show that in the build-up to Maputo, she was listed as “Welfare Officer” whereas, she rejected such designation saying she is a trained coach. They asked for her certificate which she scanned and sent to them. Why can’t the same AFN use the same judgment for their 11 coaches and let’s see who survives?
What do we expect from such jaundiced group? When the same Itanyi was combing the United States to recruit athletes for the nation, nobody told her she is not good enough to coach the national team. In such circumstances, can they pray and have their prayers answered? Is God a partial one? Is He sleeping? Will He bless such efforts?
WHERE IS ADEWALE OLUKOJU? Is he not better in terms of magnitude, depth and intellectitude than some of those who never finished in universities but because they can bootlick to be appointed to the national teams.

Did ShaibuAmodu not qualified us twice to the World Cup? Was he not sacked twice? What did we get in return? For those who care, check the results in the two World Cup outings, does it tell you about God being at work?
God will bless the work of your hand according to how just, fair and the quality of the input you invested and deserve. Can we say amen in sports and on our way to London?

Itanyi: Trained coach rejected
 for being "stubborn"
If amen can be said, then, only Jonathan Akinyemi and the taekwondo team will be able to say amen. If they win any medal, can we say we worked for it? Yet, the NSCand NOC will lay credits to it. See the fraud therein? Like chief Odegbami, you will see Senator Uche Chukwumerije’s silhouette in the dark behind the taekwondoists.
Ask quickly, where was our old and traditional strength in games like weightlifting, table-tennis, boxing? As soon as we fail woefully in London, I will recommend another round of comedic public hearing by the National Assembly to find out why we failed and keep the reports in the ledges until Jesus comes.

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