ALL that one can do at this moment is refrain from commenting on the Dr. Amos Adamu saga, out of respect for the injunction from FIFA that it is investigating the affair and secondly from the point that the evidence is not readily available to one outside what is being splashed in the foreign media and the internet.
I must however say that I have little trust in FIFA and its processes. I also doubt if there are many who would trust FIFA. There have been several instances of allegations of corruption against FIFA, even its leadership. FIFA ignores them or does unconvincing investigations about them.
The affairs of the Nigeria Football Association have let more Nigerians into FIFA and how it operates. After more than two decades of accepting that government (yes, Nigerian government) can do as it pleases with football, now it delights in banning and unbanning Nigeria at will.
However FIFA gets itself out of this mess would cast the same slur on the World Cup bid process as was the case when South Africa lost the 2006 World Cup to Germany and there were allegations of bribery then.
Organisations like FIFA are holding too much power over sports properties that command billions of Dollars. The efforts to get a slice of the billions lead to desperation on the part of bidding countries and FIFA officials can see the possibility of benefits in the processes for them.
In the weeks ahead, the story may remain in the headlines or be swept away by a bigger scandal. With the alleged video already subtitled in Chinese and Spanish by Monday afternoon, you would imagine how eager the world is to gobble this latest scandal.
FIFA will decide in Zurich , Switzerland on December 2 which countries will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments. The choices will be made by its 24member executive committee.
England and Russia are bidding for the 2018 finals along with joint bids from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands. The candidates for 2022 are the United States , Japan , South Korea , Qatar and Australia .
What follows is a contribution on the affair from someone who guesses he knew what could have happened…
Diplomatese – Adamu’s Matter
I HAVE decided to run the intricate politics that could have been involved in the high wired diplomatese which Dr Amos Adamu may have ignorantly walked into, though some elements of greed or ‘let me see how it works’ may have held him spell bound, not knowing when to turn out and leave.
For the purposes of my thinking, I believe the English are squarely in the middle of it all. England is also involved in the Adamu scandal.
Remember Adamu was in Russia recently and met with the Russian bid guys in Moscow . The English were prepared to pay the $800,000 cheque but felt Adamu won’t play game because they knew he had a Russian circuit he may eventually go for, given the fact that it was held that “Russians like Nigerians can bribe God.”
Everything is pointing to England right now, but the bid has been having problems since last year. Dr Adamu met with the English bid team led by Andy Anson, Paul Elliot (a former player) and another guy. They have been pressing for his vote ever since. Also just before the final of the U_17 women championship in Trinidad & Tobago, the Korean and English bid teams were in Cairo to present their case to CAF.
It gets very interesting. The reason why they are panicking is Australia , Korea and others have stepped up their own lobbying processes. I sincerely think Spain/Portugal are just wasting their time. I don’t see them getting anything, but they are also acting as spoilers which is complicating the whole process for England .
Also don’t forget Qatar , FIFA is big on legacy and may need to balance things out.
Middle East has never hosted a World Cup, since FIFA is very big on legacy, do not be surprised if Qatar gets 2022. I just don’t see FIFA going to two big countries back to back. Qatar can get it with the jinx South Africa broke in hosting the 2010 World Cup.
England’s chances are honestly slim. They are worried about the threat from Russia , Holland/Belgium and Spain/Portugal. More so, Spain , Belgium all have votes in that 24 man executive committee. Their citizens will vote for their nations. Thus, England ’s home votes are too tiny to be depended upon. That is why they may have decided to play so dirty to get sympathy and force FIFA to give the 2018 bid to them. They had a compromised and willy-nilly ally to be messed up in one Dr. Adamu who is from Nigeria .
I know for sure US is not getting anything from the Asian guys in the voting committee. That is the dilemma US bid is facing. Asia is surely supporting Qatar , Korea , Japan and probably, Australia . They are going to stay as a united group. This I know for sure.
The Americans never bothered to engage the African votes because I think they feel Africans didn’t count. The Americans were not very inclusive at all, they are so exclusive and not respectful and respecting. The bid slips out of their calloused fingers!
Also, Dr Chung from Korea recently accused the US of trying to undermine their own bidding for 2022 World Cup by trying to get China to bid for the 2026 World Cup. Since the World Cup can’t go to the same confederation back to back, having China bid for the 2026 World Cup will sway the votes to their favour.
Being part of FIFA also requires having common sense especially when it comes to dealing with the very intricate diplomatese and issues like these. Here is our brother found in the wilderness of things being done properly unlike the Nigerian way which can be manipulated for survival. FIFA has its own intricate corruption infected ways of delivering its own things.
Olajide Ayodeji Fashikun
Director, Sports Development & Marketing
Nigeria Sports Development Fund Inc.