by Sayo Owolabi

Never mind that the title sounds a little stereotyped, it’s simply for want of a better title that I decided to settle for this one.

All the same to the business of the day: On Sunday October 17, 2010, the International media was awash with the news of a Bribe for Vote scandal in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, and (yeah, unfortunately) one of the principal actors was a Nigerian. Our own revered “Mr. Fix It”, Dr. Amos Adamu and the other (Oceania Football President, Reynald Temarii, who we really do not have concern with right now).

If you are a follower of Nigerian Sports, Amos Adamu does not need an elaborate introduction. But if not… He was a former Director in the Federal Ministry of Sports for 10 years from where he became the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC). In December 2000, he was appointed the President of the Organising Committee for the 8th All Africa Games (remember COJA) in 2003.

Added to this enviable CV is the fact that Adamu is also a Member of the FIFA and CAF Executive Committees, and was elected as the President of West African Football Union (WAFU) in 2007.

Now that you’ve met the man Amos Adamu, let us take a critical look at his circumstantial fall ‘from Grace to Grass’.

First, after COJA in 2003, lots of questions were raised about the conduct of the organizing committee which he presided over, but because of the backing of the Presidency, he escaped unscathed. However 5 years later in 2008, the late President Umaru Yar’adua removed him as the DG of the NSC – no reason was given.

Note also that Adamu’s name (with all due respect) had been synonymous to corruption related controversies which had been pointed out through both negative and positive criticisms.

It however took the effort of journalists at Britain’s Sunday Times to bring Adamu to his knees and expose all his misgivings, which even FIFA had turned a blind eye to.

As I write this piece, I receive the news of Dr. Amos Adamu’s suspension from the FIFA Executive Committee pending the outcome of investigations into the matter with mixed feelings. This is because though we all say (and maybe know) that FIFA is a corrupt organization, a Nigerian has now gone out of his way to reaffirm the world view that Nigeria (if my editor allows) still has corrupt people in offices of authority all over the world.

As I conclude, I wonder what this holds for the youth and the new breed of sports administrators – how do we right the wrongs of our leaders? How do we save face when confronted on the global stage?

These are just a few of the questions running through my mind. I finish off with a quote from the Holy Book. It says, “Righteousness exalts a Nation…”

In other words, contribute your quota. 

Never mind that the title sounds a little stereotyped, it’s simply for want of a better title that I decided to settle for this one.

All the same to the business of the day: On Sunday October 17, 2010, the International media was awash with the news of a Bribe for Vote scandal in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, and (yeah, unfortunately) one of the principal actors was a Nigerian. Our own revered “Mr. Fix It”, Dr. Amos Adamu and the other (Oceania Football President, Reynald Temarii, who we really do not have concern with right now).

If you are a follower of Nigerian Sports, Amos Adamu does not need an elaborate introduction. But if not… He was a former Director in the Federal Ministry of Sports for 10 years from where he became the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC). In December 2000, he was appointed the President of the Organising Committee for the 8th All Africa Games (remember COJA) in 2003.

Added to this enviable CV is the fact that Adamu is also a Member of the FIFA and CAF Executive Committees, and was elected as the President of West African Football Union (WAFU) in 2007.

Now that you’ve met the man Amos Adamu, let us take a critical look at his circumstantial fall ‘from Grace to Grass’.

First, after COJA in 2003, lots of questions were raised about the conduct of the organizing committee which he presided over, but because of the backing of the Presidency, he escaped unscathed. However 5 years later in 2008, the late President Umaru Yar’adua removed him as the DG of the NSC – no reason was given.

Note also that Adamu’s name (with all due respect) had been synonymous to corruption related controversies which had been pointed out through both negative and positive criticisms.

It however took the effort of journalists at Britain’s Sunday Times to bring Adamu to his knees and expose all his misgivings, which even FIFA had turned a blind eye to.

As I write this piece, I receive the news of Dr. Amos Adamu’s suspension from the FIFA Executive Committee pending the outcome of investigations into the matter with mixed feelings. This is because though we all say (and maybe know) that FIFA is a corrupt organization, a Nigerian has now gone out of his way to reaffirm the world view that Nigeria (if my editor allows) still has corrupt people in offices of authority all over the world.

As I conclude, I wonder what this holds for the youth and the new breed of sports administrators – how do we right the wrongs of our leaders? How do we save face when confronted on the global stage?

These are just a few of the questions running through my mind. I finish off with a quote from the Holy Book. It says, “Righteousness exalts a Nation…”

In other words, contribute your quota.