•Says Coaches demand N250,000 from young players
By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—Ex-International, Daniel Omokachi, yesterday, opened a can of worms in the nation’s sporting arena, alleging that Nigerian youths cough out as much as N250,000 each to get into the U-17 team in Nigeria.
Amokachi spoke when he joined forces with coalition of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, operating under the aegis of National Support Groups for Good Governance, NASUGG, protesting in support of war against corruption in Abuja.
Amokachi who hailed the Department of State Services, DSS, over the arrest of alleged corrupt judges, in Abuja, described the sport arena as den of corruption.
Amokachi, while addressing Senators Barnabas Gemade and Ovie Omo-Agege, when the group stormed the gate of the National Assembly, said corruption is endemic in sports.
According to him, “My name is Daniel Amokachi. I have said I will support the movement, because in my field which is sports, corruption is endemic.
“Corruption has invaded sports so deeply that even in FIFA headquarters in Zurich, we saw how the world stood up and said “Enough is enough!”
We saw how the president, Sepp Blatter was not spared. He was removed from office because integrity matters when it comes to the constitution.
“President Buhari is one who doesn’t take nonsense when it comes to fighting corruption. I concur with everything he says.
“For instance, in Nigerian football today, the youths, when invited to the national team, a coach will ask them to bring N250,000 each to get into the U-17 team when he already has the talent. If a person has talent, he should be allowed to showcase what he has in the interest of the nation.”
“A small team cannot win the Nigerian league because all the people in Nigerian football are corrupt. If a referee is bribed and a match is won here, the match cannot be won there.
“The judiciary is not above the law. Mr. President is on a good path’’, he said.
In his reaction, Senator Barnabas Gemade, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, corroborated Amokachi’s position on the rot in the sports sector.
He said, “I’m very particular about your comment on football because I’m one of those who love football. And I started a club called BCC Lion, which you know.
“And I have witnessed all that is happening in the sports arena. And I know that corruption is killing it just as it is killing all other aspect of our national life. We must fight corruption’’, Gemade assured.