A Wild Goose Chase In Sudan

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The news that the former Chairman of Nigeria Football Association, NFA, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, lost in his bid to win the seat of disgraced Dr. Amos Adamu on the 24-man FIFA executive committee did not come as a surprise to observers, as they affect the administration of football in Nigeria. Galadima and other Nigerians who had hoped that a candidate from Nigeria would clinch a seat at yesterday’s election at the CAF Annual Assembly in Khartoum, Sudan, must have been suffering from delusion of grandeur.

Galadima secured five miserable votes from the 53-member countries that participated in the election and emerged fifth. It amounted to foolhardiness for anyone to think that a Nigerian candidate would carry the day when it was clear to many non-partisan observers of events in the local football scene that the ‘Amos Adamu’ factor would torpedo Galadima’s much vaunted ambition.

Besides, Galadima did not go into the election with sure-footedness. He also started his  campaign very late. Right from the start, the odds were stacked against him and it was not surprising that all these stood in his way to getting elected.

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The trip to Khartoum was a wild goose chase because the Nigerian delegation chose to put the cart before the horse. The football officials should have cleared the mess back home before even thinking of contesting for an elective position on the international stage. Perhaps that was why one of the officials involved in conducting the election in Khartoum reportedly campaigned against the election of Galadima. Now Nigeria will not have any voice in international football to replace Amos Adamu, who was suspended by FIFA for allegedly seeking bribes during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests. The African slot, which Adamu was forced to relinquish was won by the Algerian Soccer Federation President, Mohammed Raouraoua.  He will formally join FIFA’s 24-man executive committee on 1 June at its congress in Zurich.

The lesson to learn from the Khartoum disappointment for the Nigerian soccer delegation is that they should always put their house in order so that they can be taken seriously by outsiders. There is so much rot in the nation’s football that administrators of the game have to cleanse the system for a better way forward. Doing otherwise would amount to chasing shadows. The Khartoum experience underscores this point.