Who sets Africa’s agenda? Its elected leaders? Or Europeans?

“We must find an African solution to our problems”Kwame Nkrumah (Prime Minister of Ghana, 1957-1966)

Anyone with an acute sense of history will remember how, in the late 1980s, the master-servant relationship between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Western financial institutions, on the one hand, and financially troubled African nations on the other, led to the imposition of flawed ‘Structural Adjustment Programmes’ (SAP) that devastated the economies of the countries that borrowed money under these onerous SAP terms and conditions. 

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Has CAF cut its own safety net with its financial tightrope walk?

“In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

While the decision of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to unilaterally terminate its 12-year $1 billion contract with Lagardere Sports (LS) continues to reverberate around the continent – and outside of it – informed Insideworldfootball readers  will not be surprised about the development.

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The bells toll for the biennial Africa Cup of Nations

AFCON trophy

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”  Aldous Huxley

FIFA’s decision to stage an expanded 24-team Club World Cup (CWC) in China, which will take place between June 17 and July 4 2021, has serious and grave implications for the future of Africa’s most prestigious tournament – the biennial Cup of Nations. 

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Unravelling the CAF and Lagardere money myths

After the shenanigans of the last few days, and weeks, in the Byzantine world of Confederation of African Football (CAF) politics, where Niccolo Machiavelli clearly has his ardent disciples – in the art of ruthless political bloodletting and the decimation of perceived, real and feared adversaries – my original plan was to write a column on the serial governance missteps that are a clear existential threat to the organisation. 

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Osasu Obayiuwana: CAF’s Champions League blunder reflects deeply fractured leadership

In the three decades I’ve covered African football, I have gone through the entire gamut of emotions: exhilaration – over some of the continent’s great moments at the Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup; frustration – over the comedic errors our football governors repeatedly make; and deep despair, as one continually questions whether the custodians of a game that means so much, to Africa’s one billion people, will ever live up to their responsibilities and do their darned jobs diligently.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: African rule changes ensure there will be no change

A sad, very disturbing, fact remains constant, over the decades I’ve covered the African game, which is fuelling my deepening pessimism about its future – the ruthless cultivation of a reactionary climate that is extremely hostile to the desperately needed transformation of CAF, the continent’s governing body, into an organisation that will finally command the genuine respect of the global fraternity and use its political capital in the interests of those it ought to primarily serve.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Nigeria’s football Inferno, where chaos has propagated chaos

When it comes to the August 26 elections for the presidency and executive committee of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) – if they actually happen on that day – it is evident, to keen watchers of its politics, that the more things change, the more they remain the same. For the fourth successive NFF poll, since 2005, Africa’s most populous nation is caught in the whirlwind of chaos and anarchy that typically accompanies the battle for control of the game’s administrative levers,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Africa must find an edge to smash the ‘glorious loser’ tag

With two African teams making the knockout rounds in Brazil, the continent has obviously written a new chapter in tournament history.

Ever since Morocco became the first African team, at the 1986 finals in Mexico, to reach the Round of 16, the continent has maintained a solitary presence there.

Considering that I had, in a previous piece, seriously considered the possibility that its five teams were at risk of being knocked out in the first round,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Why progress should not hold football back

With the World Cup in Brazil being the first in which Goal Line Technology (GLT) is used, to ascertain whether a ball has crossed the line, its effectiveness – and using similar aids, to reduce other refereeing errors – will certainly be a regular talking point.

And not just amongst fans, as the animated conversation between Didier Deschamps and Luis Suarez, the managers of France and Honduras, over Les Bleus’ second goal, in their 3-0 win in Group E,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Cash, Bin Hammam and Africa

So, the world is surprised and shocked by what informed followers of the African game and its politics have known, through the grapevine, for ages – that Mohamed bin Hammam, the former president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), spent significant sums of money to create a sphere of political influence amongst the continent’s federation presidents.

The spread sheet and emails published by the Sunday Times of London, revealing the sums spent on lavish Qatari and Malaysian vacations for several FA chiefs,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Counting the cost of the World Cup

As we edge closer to the start of the World Cup finals, my thoughts have nothing to do with the usual questions, like which team is likely to lift the trophy or the players that will distinguish themselves in Brazil and earn a deserved place in the tournament’s pantheon of legends.

What has preoccupied me is the consistent fury of working-class and under-privileged Brazilians, about the money being spent on hosting the World Cup.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Crossing the gender frontier

Next season is going to be extremely interesting for second division French side Clermont Foot.

Appointing Helena Costa, a 36-year-old Portuguese woman, as its new manager, the club has certainly crossed a gender frontier.

The first female to be put in charge of a male football club in France – and any first or second division side in Europe, for that matter – Costa is certain to receive a level of global media scrutiny that even she might be surprised with.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Europe’s clubs need to stop taking and start sharing

With Real Madrid and their noisy but vastly improved neighbours Atletico, earning well-deserved places at this year’s UEFA Champions’ League final in Lisbon, the fraternity looks forward to what is certainly going to be a keenly contested encounter.

But as Europe’s – and undoubtedly the world’s – leading club tournament grows in competitive and commercial strength, certainly helped by the huge global audience it continues to pull, it is a telling reminder, to African club football,

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