By Ikeddy Isiguzo
NIGERIA is participating in the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, next month. If you have not been hearing much about the Games, it might have something to do with the fact that Nigeria is out of the football events of the Games. This is one example of the dangers that football pose to our sports.
With football, we are in trouble. Without it, we are in more trouble. Football’s troubles are too many and they have ways of transferring them to other sports and other sides of our national life.
The fact that the Minister of Sports Suleiman Yusuf has made football as his major agenda by setting up a committee to wade through its challenges shows that again football would consume the attention of his administration.
On its own, there is nothing horrible about this decision, especially if it would mean that he would wean himself of football and be the Minister of Sports. It would be a tall order to do so, but for someone who has promised to make a difference in sports, giving football and its troubles some distance would be a difference.
While he is at it, the All Africa Games demand attention. Nigeria is competing for some Olympic spots in Maputo, which only good finishing in those sports will give the athletes opportunities to be in London. For us to achieve these, we must see the All Africa Games as priority.
London 2012 – Less Than A Year Away
The 2012 Olympics Games are less than a year away. We must consider the riots in London and their possible effects on the Games. Will people find another reason to unleash the same damage to London during or close to the Games? How will organisers manage with the increased demand on security?
By 2007, the British Institute of Risk Management at one of its seminars analysed at the associated with the Games. The marks were glowing indicators that the Games were not at such risk at others before them that went on well.
Dangers for the Games have included challenges with some venues. Triathlon is battling algae in the pool while equestrian races have their venue attacked by bugs.
Statistics of the London Games are tumbling in and rising by the day. Some of them are presented below first to show how the Games would vastly affect the city and most of England and secondly to point at the security challenges that they present.
·Olympics opens on 27th July and closes on 12th August
·Para Olympics opens on 29th August and closes on 9th September
·15,000 athletes competing in the region of 400 events, in 31 sports and 35 disciplines
·14,000 coaches and officials
·7,000 sponsors would attend the Games
·20,000 of the world?s newspaper, radio, television and internet journalists
·2 to 3.9 billion will view the Games on television
·70,000 to 100,000 volunteers
·Over 11.2 million tickets being sold, equating to nearly 500,000spectators a day travelling to events in and around London over the first 16 days
· With some 78 per cent of spectators likely to travel from within London and 22% from the rest of the UK & Europe
·150,000 spectators will travel to the Olympic Zone for the morning session
·125,000 spectators through central London
·More than 3,000 Londoners will be offered IT training
·52 pylons dismantled, support 13km of overhead electricity lines, part of the super grid supplying London, from Holloway in the North, The City in the West and Docklands in the South.
·The Channel Tunnel Rail link
·The new Hitachi ?A? Train will provide the Olympic Javelin Service
·Extension of the Docklands Light Railway to take the system onto North Woolwich from London City Airport and Stratford International
·Underground ?Planned to increase capacity for Jubilee Line by 45 per cent and the East London Line is being converted to a heavy rail metro style operation, extending southwards to West Croydon
·Underground ?Upgrade to increase District and Hammersmith & City train service by 15% and a capacity enhancement to the Central Line to increase the number of trains from 27 to 30 per hour by 2012
How will the riots spreading through England affect the Games, as some of the venues are only kilometres away? It is for the organisers to figure out, but it is evident that the Games would have to find more money to invest in security.
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