Osasu Obayiuwana: The real art of management in Nigeria is keeping the job

In the sensible regions of planet football, a manager that does the tough work of qualifying a team for a World Cup finals has earned the right to manage the team at it.

But what is obviously the logical, common-sense thing, is certainly not the established rule in Nigerian football, where they operate from a different playbook.

Over the last 20 years, as well as in the four tournaments the Super Eagles have played in (1994,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: South Africa must confront the bitter truth

Had Fikile Mbalula, South Africa’s angry minister for sport, possessed a statutory right to execute members of Bafana-Bafana, for their dismal performance at the last Championship of African Nations (CHAN), I have little doubt he would have been sorely tempted to use it.

I’m also certain that some equally irate fans would have gladly paid for the privilege of watching the deed being done.

Having failed to qualify for the knockout rounds of the tournament they were hosting,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Substitutes for experience; but will they be Supersubs?

When Sir Alex Ferguson, the former Manchester United manager, was recently appointed as UEFA’s coaching ambassador, he gave what I thought was a logical piece of advice for the next generation of managers.

“I would say to every young coach – make sure that you prepare and give yourselves the best opportunities by getting their (UEFA) licenses. It is very important.

“Even when they get their licenses, they need to ensure they attend all the coaching seminars…

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Politics threatens to knock top off Egypt’s football pyramid

In the tumultuous period that has followed the toppling of two presidents, Hosni Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi, over the past three years, with the country remaining in a state of political flux, the huge damage done to Egyptian football cannot be exaggerated.

Its clubs are yet to recover from the severe hit to their finances, as a result of the abandonment of the 2011/2012 national championship, following the death of 74 fans, after a match in Port Said between Ahly and Masry.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Up for Champagne, anyone?

It’s one thing to throw pre-fight verbal salvos or shadow box in the dressing room.

But walking through the political gauntlet and stepping into the ring, especially when you don’t know the opponents you’re competing against, is certainly a huge leap of faith.

That’s what Jerome Champagne, the 55-year-old Frenchman and FIFA’s former deputy secretary-general and director of international affairs, took when he announced his decision, in London on Monday, to seek the most powerful position in football and,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Do CAF awards dishonour more than they honour?

Having taken a firm position, over a month ago, against the selection of Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure as the BBC African Footballer of the Year, it would be no shock to regular readers of this column that I am in complete disagreement with his receipt of the official title in Lagos, Nigeria, last Thursday.

The argument put forward in my December 5 piece, “What is an African performance worth?” hasn’t changed a jot.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Charting a path for Africa’s future

With roughly five months to the World Cup finals, the burning question of how the African quintet will perform in Brazil and what it might say, about the competitive state of the continental game, will soon be answered.

But what really bothers me, as we begin another year, way beyond whether an African team is able, for the first-time, to reach the semi-finals – as desirable as that is – is when the various countries within the continent will get down to the much-needed business of hammering out sustainable plans for long-term development.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Pieth’s farewell to football

With just days to the end of the year, and his tenure as the chair of FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee (IGC), you would think Mark Pieth is extremely glad to be well rid of an assignment he admitted has been extremely difficult to manage – getting the game’s chieftains to radically change the way they do business.

In the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Pieth was quoted as telling the German newspaper that he “would not take on the task again,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: What’s an African performance worth?

Arsene Wenger is, clearly, not a fan of individual awards for players, such as the FIFA Ballon d’Or, for the reason that the “endorsement of an individual goes against the essence of our sport”, which is about team effort.

“I fight like a mad man against the award, which hurts football… the player is prompted to favour individual performance over that of the team,” he argued during his appearance on Telefoot, a programme on French television.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Africa is a continent – and a country

Other than for the slightly mischievous purpose of beginning a discussion, triggered by fellow Insideworldfootball columnist Lee Wellings last week, as he looked at the chances of the African quintet going to next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil, the headline for this week’s piece would, obviously, be silly.

Lee asked me whether “it’s frustrating that people outside Africa talk about [African] nations as ‘representing the continent’, as he wondered whether “the biggest hurdle towards an African side finally winning the World Cup is that we (as in the rest of the world,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: A chat with a (penitent) match-fixer

Considering the cold fact that Mario Cizmek is set to spend a minimum of 10 months in prison, for accepting money to fix six Croatian first division matches in the 2009/2010 season, the 38-year old is surprisingly calm about what awaits him.

He spoke frankly about his criminal activity at the last ‘Play The Game’ conference in Denmark, an international event that tackles the uncomfortable issues of ethics and good governance in sport.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Winning is certainly not everything

Over the years, I’ve been forced to develop a rather sceptical, hard-nosed attitude towards the achievements of particular African teams in FIFA’s Under-17 and Under-20 competitions, because some Cup ‘victories’ were certainly achieved by using over-aged players.

In an ‘off-the-record’ conversation I had with an ex-Nigerian player, who captained the ‘Golden Eaglets’ to one of their four Under-17 World Cup wins, he freely admitted to me – long after retiring from the game,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Dyke’s FA scores an own goal

As a veteran of several boardroom battles and high-wire conflict with the British Labour party, as he led a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that was extremely critical of the former’s conduct in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, while it was the party of government, one would have thought an English FA chaired by a supposedly media savvy Greg Dyke would be particularly conscious about not embarrassing itself in public.

Resigning in rather dramatic (some would say unfair) circumstances,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Is Libya safe for a 2017 Cup of Nations?

As the opening stage of the 2014 World Cup play-offs for Africa ended on Tuesday, another four weeks must pass before knowing, for certain, the quintet that will represent the continent in Brazil.

But Algeria, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria and particularly Ghana’s Black Stars, which gave Egypt a surprising 6-1 wallop in Kumasi, will be feeling they are closer to earning their qualification tickets.

Whilst fans were concentrating on the action taking place across the continent,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Jordaan wins – but faces a huge challenge

If “a week is a long time in politics”, as the oft-quoted remark of the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill reminds us, 202 days is certainly an eternity.

That’s the period between March 10, when Danny Jordaan lost a second successive bid to earn a seat on the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and September 28 when he won, by a landslide, the South African Football Association (SAFA) presidential poll.

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