We in Africa are a funny lot.When we are under the watchful eye of big brother,we shout for independence from the rooftops.When we are given freedom to manage ourselves,we shoot ourselves in the foot.
The Africa cup of nations is drawing to a close in what has been a trully thrilling adventure.It may not have been the vintage tournament of yesteryears that the continent became accustomed to,but football dynamics are changing the world over.
Modern day football is like a well written script,played by the book,and devoid of the flair and artistry of the past.It is certainly a massive industry that ranks among the top in the sports exchequer.
TRAITORS IN DISGUISE
While the rest of the world is making giant strides in the development of the game,Africa,particularly sub-Saharan Africa,lags behind because of traitors disguised as administrators.They do not see beyond themselves.
Often times,they easily get away with murder as the government of the day looks the other way.True,these people are in office legitimately,but more often than not the electoral processes and delegate lists leave many questions unanswered.Many a time they remain untouched while the rot persists.
In the Maghreb north,such cases are rare.The result is thriving football and strong structures,only slightly short of what exists in elite Europe.
Equatorial Guinea’s success in hosting this tournament underlines what state goodwill and patronage can do to African soccer.That they stepped in as eleventh-hour hosts to stage a near flawless showpiece demonstrates serious state support.To this end,president Theodore Obiang Nguemma scores highly.
The game down in Rwanda is growing because president Paul Kagame has his hand on the pulse.For a continent known for rogue administrators running the sport roughshod and playing Russian roulette at every given opportunity,Africa needs its government machinery to keep these people under close observation.Recently in Nigeria where football ranks only second to religion,the Federal government nearly sent to jail a top football chief for messing up the beautiful game.The poor soul beat a hasty retreat and sank without a trace.
In Kenya,a small cabal is holding the game to ransom while shamelessly hiding behind the tired facade of ‘legitimate football body.’They are perfoming all manner of acrobatic stunts to see that the sport stagnates if they do not find their hands into the supposed cookie jar.Money is what drives their relentless myopic onslaught,never mind the development of structures.
Sadly,because of their unprofessionalism and non-transparency,such cliques operate with a siege mentality.Any dissenting voices are duly met with threats and unspecified ‘dire consequences.
This ilk belongs to Africa’s football museum.
Going forward,it is in such circumstances that people need their governments to wake up from their deep slumber and give decisive direction.It is the least they can do to their populace.