To think that we all make so much noise as being a people 'Only United Under Sports', yet I never observe any updates in the NVS sports column is a big shame.
One thing I expect with the preponderance of Villagers in the USA (evidently), is that they should provide us with information on our children in the diaspora, who are doing good and blazing Nigerian names on their uniforms.
Its sad that our home journalist are just reporters and so have not risen sports beyond reportage. They hardly can stir the scandals and controversies that have made sports such an industry in the developed nations. It will not surprise any to open Nigerian papers and tune in radio stations for the next several weeks and see/hear nothing but analyses on the European Cup that has been played and won (Oh! My poor club - Arsenal, lost). they hardly write stories on nigerian sporting events. Only listen to the radio, TV or Internet of European matches, cull and paste.
I watched keenly the fairy dance of the George Mason Basketball team in the last NCAA Basketball Championship, and was so proud to see two kids of ours - 'Folarin and Skinn' leading their teams. I surf the web and note a lot of kids in the diaspora like them of Nigerian descent.
I have an interesting photo of Folarin and Noah (the kid on the Florida team), son of Yannick Noah (ex-French tennis star). Yannick is originally Cameroonian. I named the photo - The battle of Bakasi; if you catch my drift.
Well! Nigeria is now at the brink of a ban by FIFA, because our sports minister has decided to do his own version of contitutional amendment, by usurping the post of the NFA Chairman. Minister now even selects coaches, masseurs and drivers for the national team. Na wah o! The guys name is Sambawa - I guess he is misunderstanding the meaning of football and 'Samba', because of the association of the dance with soccer in Brazil. And since his names sound so close, he has taken it as birthright to lord it over the NFA.
I even hope the ban will come through so that all these civil servants that have forced the label of football as our national sport will all go to rest. I challenge any Nigeria, at home or abroad, to state the name of his/her best Nigerian football team and follow-up by mentioning 6 players by their names, just like he/she would for his/her favorite European soccer team. He! He! He!
Not even the NFA Chairman can beat this challenge, yet 'football is our national sport'. Hakeem Olajuwon remains the most successful sports personality to come out of Nigeria. He also remains to most known Nigerian face (despite becoming an American), yet he wasn't a footballer.
If all other sport will be given the attention and funding football gets - just like baseball, basketball, football and hockey are in the US, then, our youths will be better engaged and appreciated for their talents, while we the old ones can have all the entertainment.
Let me hear your opinions on what really qualifies as the national sport(s) of Nigeria. football, Track and field, Basketball, Boxing, weightlifting or 'Third Term' (He!He!He!)
Our politicians have hijacked anything of worth and skewed it to their machinations, including our sports. Gbenga Daniel wanted a huge birthday and he considered - Oh! why not the National Sports Festival? He gathered the whole great youths of Nija and had a big birthday and after the the opening ceremony, all went Pewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! states now started to bribe and detract themselves inorder to be announced at the 'First'.
It is in Nigeria we only spend so much on a jamboree like the National Sports Fetival when the various associations cannot hold their annual championships, due to lack of funds. Also, most state sports councils cannot maintain teams but will invent 'elite athletes' just for vain-glory.
People, as you can see my grudges are many, I hope this will agitate discussions in the sports column that is almost abondoned.
All watchout for Cote d'Ivoire in the World Cup! my bet is on them as the African team to go the farthest.
Lastly, what do the Villagers think of the treatment meted to OKOCHA by Bolton management?