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Age cheat: Adokiye calls for serious thinking

By Jacob Ajom
THE controversy he stirred during the just-concluded Nigeria 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup over the ‘real age’ of  the captain of  Nigeria U-17 team, Fortune Chukwuma is yet to die down. Many vilified him. Others were in praise of him for starting a crusade to cleanse our sports. Yet some others remained on the fence.

But Adokiye Amesimaka, OON, a member of the 1980 African Cup of Nations winning Green Eagles has remained undaunted in his crusade.

The former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Rivers State has tasked Nigerians to ponder over the failure of the Golden Eaglets to win the Nigeria 2009 U-17 tournament, when Switzerland that “used breast-feeding babies still won in our backyard,”

Adokiye said Nigeria’s status in world football dwarfs that of Switzerland’s. He then wondered why Nigerians have been consoling themselves with a silver medal instead of the trophy which Switzerland, a football minnow  carted home.
He asked, “whoever heard of Switzerland in football?”

In a reaction he sent to Sports Vanguard, Adokiye remarked that people should read between the lines when analysing the speech delivered by FIFA President, Joseph Sepp Blatter in Abuja.

Adokiye recalled, “Sepp Blatter only reaffirmed that it is our responsibility to do what is right. It is our business to choose to fool ourselves as we have been doing.”

Continuing, the former Green Eagles winger wondered why a country so blessed as Nigeria would choose to live on the path of deceit. “We use over-aged players for age-group competitions, but why don’t we want to grow?” he asked.

Still feeling pained by the age cheat conspiracy, Adokiye observed that there was a lot to learn from the Switzerland experience as they are building a solid foundation for their football.

He said that if the bad trend continued, “very soon we will not only be importing confectioneries from Switzerland but we will also ask them to come and teach us how to play football.”


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