19th November, 2010
Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, Tunde Popoola has describedÂ yesterdayâ€™s ban of Nigeriaâ€™s FIFA executive committee member, Dr Amos Adamu, as a huge embarrassment toÂ this country, and which should not be handled with kid gloves by the government.
The Claudio Sulser-led FIFA Ethics Committee yesterday banned Adamu from taking part in any football-related activityÂ at both national and international levels for a period of three years. He was also fined CHF 10,000.
Popoola, who said the embarrassment has been there since the scam was blown open by the Sunday Times of London and FIFAâ€™s Ethics Committeeâ€™s temporary suspension, told SuperSport.com in Lagos yesterday that when the dust eventually settles, Adamu would be made to pay for the embarrassment he caused Nigerians.
â€œWell in the first instance the issue has been one of embarrassment to this country even before the decision was taken by the FIFAâ€™s Ethics Committee.
â€œI cannot say categorically how that will impact on our image because it has already been dented, it is an embarrassing situation whether it will be proved that he did it or not but for it to have come up at all is an embarrassment.
â€œPeople have said well itâ€™s a set up; whatever the issue is, he said he is going to appeal the ban and I will say it will be prejudicial for us to make any statement on the judgement itself but I must say that whoever embarrasses this country must face the music.
â€œNigerians are not as bad compared to the way we are being painted outside this country, and not only in sports, I am talking generally. It’s just a few, less than 20 per cent of Nigerians who are embarrassing this country.
â€œMajority of Nigerians are simple, friendly, loving and law abiding people. If a situation like this can happen and embarrasses us for so many months and judgement has been passed today (yesterday), well let us wait for the final judgement to know what to say or do but I think if at the end of the day he is proven guilty he must face the music.â€
On whether the government should press charges against Adamu, the General Manager of Union Bank Sports Club, who viewed the CAF executive committee memberâ€™s saga as a slap on Nigerians, insisted that the government should invoke the necessary laws to ensure that justice is done in this case.
â€œCertainly, between you and I there is something that has been robbed on our body, for once every Nigerian will want the dirt to be wiped off of his body, so if judgement is finally delivered and he is free, fine, but if he is found to be guilty after the appeal then he is the one who embarrassed us and he is probably not an able representative.