By Jacob Ajom
THE controversy he stirred during the just-concluded Nigeria 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup over the â€˜real ageâ€™ ofÂ the captain ofÂ 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 â€œused breast-feeding babies still won in our backyard,â€
Adokiye said Nigeriaâ€™s status in world football dwarfs that of Switzerlandâ€™s. He then wondered why Nigerians have been consoling themselves with a silver medal instead of the trophy which Switzerland, a football minnowÂ carted home.
He asked, â€œwhoever heard of Switzerland in football?â€
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, â€œSepp 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.â€
Continuing, the former Green Eagles winger wondered why a country so blessed as Nigeria would choose to live on the path of deceit. â€œWe use over-aged players for age-group competitions, but why donâ€™t we want to grow?â€ 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, â€œvery 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.â€