Vital Voices Global Partnership and Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ) have announced that they will host the Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness (SPARC) Program and Forum in Lagos.
THE passing year started on a sad note with the controversial death of Uche Okafor, in the USA. The former Eagles defender was found dead in his apartment. The initial impression was that he committed suicide. Investigations later vindicated those who believed that was not Uche – he was murdered.
IF people do not know when to resign, we are obliged to give them a little push to leave, though in some cases you can guarantee that you may push very hard to get any results. Debates over what to do with football (sports?) will leave many of us wondering what is spectacular about 2011 top make the concerns more urgent. Is it the little matter of no Nigerian team qualifying for the major ones in 2012 or falling out this year?
WORLD sprint sensation Usain Bolt is leaving the opposition to catch him. While others would be content with a medal (of any shade at the Olympics), the Jamaican is focused on helping Jamaica to four gold medals at the London Olympics.
THE absurdity of Samson Siasia remaining as coach of the Eagles shows in the puerile defences for one of the most glaring instances of a Nigerian setting out to insult the sensibilities of other Nigerians in a matter that holds great prospects for regulating future conduct in the public sphere.
THE Nigeria Football Federation has failed to lead, Siasia does not know the enormity of his colossal failure. What personal goal did he set for himself on becoming Nigeria’s national team coach? What goal did the NFF set for him? What were the expectations of NFF when they gave him the job? Nigerians have been fooled enough.
ON the eve of the African Nations Cup qualifiers in Abuja against Guinea, what is becoming a usual task came my way, an international radio station pulled a call through to me on Friday asking me what are the chances of the Nigerian Super Eagles.
IF you were around in 1990 when the professional football league began, you will be ashamed about what is happening. The extent of amateurism that the league has attained since then has negated almost every reason for beginning the league.
IT began like yesterday, with those sad incidents of losing loved ones, our own Richard Animam, Uche Okafor and Gideon Njoku in the early part of the year.
THERE are too many inspiring stories from Africa that we can ignore them mostly at our own risk. At a time the African Union could only raise $20 million (N3.1 b) for the famine victims in Somalia, an individual -Samuel Eto’o – is earning 20 euro (N4.2b) a year.
I have always found Bashiru Ali an interesting fellow. My main challenge has been how to place him. He is one fellow who hardly takes offence. You can call him names. Throw your allegations at him. If you are expecting answers, you will be disappointed.
I STILL consider at6hletics as one of the finest sports. Its rules are simple. Its head try to follow them to the letter. The mishap that Usain Bolt had in the 100m final is a regular occurrence. The high profile of the one involved resulted in the comments that have trailed false starts and taken the shine off the final.
THE All Africa Games, the 10th edition of which begin in Maputo, Mozambique, tomorrow, mean a lot to Nigerians, particularly those who were old enough to experience the second edition that held in Lagos 38 years ago. The Games appear to have passed the early uncertainties over future hosts, after the exceptional delays that we saw in Nairobi with the Games billed fro 1982 holding in 1987 – five years late.
FOR more than 30 minutes last week Wednesday, President Goodluck Jonathan had the time to ask players and officials of the Nigerian U-20 football team, “How are you?” The session that saw him repeating the same question after each person was identified was meant to be a pep talk ahead of the encounter against England in a FIFA competition in Columbia.
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.
IT will be pointless counting the number of committees that have looked through Nigerian football. One more committee will not do any harm if it can proffer solutions to the viral challenges Nigerian football faces.
INJURY can devastate an athlete. The lucky one who recovers and returns to competition fails to realise what the others suffer.
STANDARDS are almost impossible to keep in Nigeria. In the instances that we opted for low standards, we are still unable to keep the marks that we have so lowly set for ourselves. The National Sports Festival is suffering the same affliction.
ADMIRABLE efforts are always being made to resuscitate the National Sports Festival, but it is clear the days of the National Sports Festival, as a productive venture are shortening. The increasing low standards, cheating, corruption, poor officiating and can only turn the festival into a huge ceremony with all the trappings in place. We are witnessing one in Port Harcourt.
THE Nigeria Football Association headquarters, more famously known as the Glass House, can attest to the lyrics of Peter Tosh. Blows are being thrown in various directions, even by those who cannot take blows.
We should appropriate some things as national assets. Among them is the social responsibility agenda of some of key organisations in our environment. On my mind today is Mobil Athletics Championships that the oil company has sponsored for decades and which it said it had finally decided to stop.
ONE reason the challenges Nigerian football is facing will not go away quickly is that people are more interested in justifying illegality, sharing blames, shifting blames and pretending nobody is wrong. The denials are worsening – there is no crisis in Nigerian football, is a regular refrain.
I CANNOT lie, I am happy about the cauldron Nigerian football has driven itself into without a possibility of escape from sanctions from FIFA, the Nigerian public and government.
I WRITE about Joseph Sepp Blatter as if he is dead. It is deliberate. Blatter has been in FIFA in the past 36 years. He inherited his iron fist from the Belgian-Brazilian Jean Marie Jo o Faustino Godefroid Havelange, who competed in water polo and swimming in the 1936 and 1952 Olympic Games. Now 95, Havelange, who ruled FIFA for 24 years, was deep in the scandals around the 1998 transmutation of Blatter from Secretary-General to President of FIFA. Other re-elections of Blatter (2002, 2007) have swirled more scandals.
SOME may not notice the gradual death of football, which will ultimately affect the health of sports. Some think the growing number of factions in the Nigeria Football Association (it insists on calling itself Nigeria Football Federation, illegal as it knows the name is) does not mean anything.
SAMSON Siasia has dangerous friends. They could ruin him. I do not know their names. He may not even know them personally, but they are those who see nothing wrong in whatever the coach does – they can explain it, and try to enforce their position on others.
WE may be getting somewhere with this issue of the age of Nigerian football players, or sports people altogether. Not too long ago, depending on your real age, Nigerian players had no reason to tamper with their age since most competitions were open – if you were good enough you weighed in. Juniors, intermediates, and seniors competed for the few opportunities.
AN organisation like the Nigeria Football Association, which excels in duplicity, cannot act differently no matter how serious a matter is or its implications for the country.
WE have spent years agonising over funding of sports. The illusion is that governments spend billions of Nigeria on sports. It is an illusion because the money is released late and the funding takes no proper account of sports timetables and the implications of the funding system.
IT was simply amazing watching the Eagles in their games against Ethiopia, then Kenya. I am not referring to the goals that have beclouded us about the team and our preparations. There are issues which we must forget, it seems, because the team won.
ONE chilly December night, 27 years ago, Emmanuel Chagu, former national basketball coach and I were reviewing Nigeria’s basketball over drinks at the Bauchi Sports Club. Chagu, he passed on some years back, charged my anticipation as he kept telling me he had a surprise for me.
WITH only 25 days to the first in the series of elections that will hopefully produce new winners, new ideas for the country. Candidates are taking their campaigns round the country. Their concerns are wide, the issues are being raised and the cadence of their discussions denotes the importance of the issues.
THE second edition of the AIT Football Awards will hold on Tuesday March 8 in Port Harcourt. The awards are small beginnings that point a direction for us, if only we are willing to recognise the fact that football (and sports) requires different approaches for the attainment of the results we eagerly expect.