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Siasia – Insult, Insolence, Innocence

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By Ikeddy Isiguzo
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.

Siasia signed a contract that stated the consequences if he failed to fulfil the terms of his contract. He failed. Weeks after failing, his status remains the subject of the most obtuse debates, expectedly spiced with outrageous insinuations.

As the weeks pass, few people are asking for his sack, if he refuses to resign. The debate centres more on the appropriateness of sacking him, rather than the imperative of keeping to the terms of his contract.

Some patriots say the issue should be the future of our football, not the sacking of Siasia. They fear the future is minimised without Siasia. I am not in any way surprised about these positions.

What I find a bit unsettling is Siasia being his own cheerleader. I thought I knew him better than that. His radio interview where he accused people of jealousy is the type of insult that impunity breeds.

Siasia said some old foreign coaches want his job (he still assumes he has one) and are behind calls for his removal. Can this situation, assuming it is true, account for Nigeria not qualifying for the Nations Cup? Did the foreign coaches draft the contract Siasia signed?

The issue is not as complicated as people want to make it. Siasia is one of a few Nigerians on a performance-based contract, he should honour it. Other matters injected into the affair are trite.

Siasia insults Nigeria’s with his insolence. The innocence of the Nigerian does not stop him from appreciating the depth of the Eagles fall under Siasia whose arrogance already counts him out of a fruitful future Eagles role. The insolence includes fatuous excuses for the failure and the silence of the Nigeria Football Association.

The inevitability of Siasia’s sack makes nonsense of contrary defences for him, no matter how strong they seem. I await this first step towards making the game work again.

Congrats Itanyi

FORMER African heptathlon champion and current Nigerian record holder Patience Itanyi was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame of her alma mater, the University of West Virginia, UWV, in the United States of America, on October 8 – the second Nigerian to enter the school’ s Sports Hall of Fame after Joe Okhaku, a footballer who died in 2001.

Itanyi is the first female track and field athlete in UWV achievers’ roaster, the third woman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame after Georgeann Wells and Cathy Parson who both played basketball, and the first in athletics.

Itanyi coaches in same university.

How is she treated at home? She was asked to prove she was a qualified coach as the national team prepared for the All Africa Games that held last month in Maputo, the only one so treated. She did, but was still appointed a welfare officer for a team that did not have a single female coach, though it had female athletes.

She rejected the offer, her point being she was a qualified coach and not a social worker.

Congratulations Itanyi, more interesting days are surely ahead.


Debating Our Future With Falcons

COCK sure Nigerians became hen sure on Sunday when Cameroon ejected Super Falcons from the 2012 Olympic Games. After the Nations Cup debacle in Abuja, the Falcons were again the darlings as they held a chance of our officials trooping to the London Olympics. Allowances were doubled to motivate the team, another signal that we are doomed to the fire brigade approach.

A 2-1 victory in the first leg told a story of the closing gap in the game. The same team Falcons devoured 5-1 in the final of the African Women’s Championship last year had grown while the champions groaned.

I support calls for our voluntary withdrawal from international football for at least one year (excluding club competitions). The retreat will provide us the opportunity to re-organise every area of the game. We currently lack a sustainable capacity for participation in competitions.

Should Falcons be included? Yes, they too are on the verge of extinction.

Amodu’s Curse

A HOTEL attendant who prefaced his position with the claim, “I am not an Amodu supporter” told me last week “Amodu’s curse is on Nigerian football.” His explanation was that after Shaibu Amodu qualified Nigeria twice for the World Cup and was sacked on each occasion, he placed a curse on Nigeria. I do not believe this, I think people are looking for who to blame for the current fiasco while excusing the fact that some people are running our football aground. This tale makes the rounds each time we fail, to make the failure appear extraordinary, even inevitable.

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