Osasu Obayiuwana: Bunglers’ club gets another new member

The proverbial ink had barely dried, after writing last week’s column, when Liberia became the eighth African country to be investigated by FIFA, for using an ineligible player in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

Goalkeeper Nathaniel Sherman, who received yellow cards in games against Uganda and Senegal, was fielded in their final qualifier against Angola, which they lost 4-1.

Should they be found guilty, as they most likely will be, the West Africans will be paying a $6,300 fine for their avoidable error.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Admin bunglers keep bungling the basics. How hard can this be?

How difficult can it really be for the officials of a football association to keep accurate statistics, as well as master the eligibility rules, of players entitled to feature for their countries in crucial international matches?

One would assume it does not take the genius of Albert Einstein to carry out basic record-keeping duties.

But the recurring drama of administrative ineptitude, leading to the cancellation of several World Cup qualifying results across Africa,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Blowing the whistle on CAF 2014 qualification

That the 10 teams for the final knockout round, of the African qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup finals, will be known by the end of the first week in September, following the conclusion of the group stages, is no breaking news.

But the CAF-inspired decision not to allow the continent’s final five World Cup qualifiers emerge, directly, from the league format, as was the case for the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Breaking down the doors of the old boy’s club

Getting a substantial number of women into the corridors of administrative power remains a major challenge for football, which is still seen – not without justifiable cause, I might add – as being a stuffy old boy’s club.

If there is one thing in which Africa is certainly pointing the right way to Europe and the rest of the world, it is in giving women a chance at the top of the administrative ladder.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Can CAF function in Egypt’s political cyclone?

With Egypt taking one uncertain but dangerous turn after another, as a result of the raging political crisis, the ‘House of African football’ is unwittingly caught up in the crossfire of a domestic conflict.

That’s an inescapable consequence of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) being headquartered in Cairo, the theatre of bloody street battles between rival supporters of the military-backed transitional government and the country’s democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, forced out of office a few weeks ago,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: World Cup worries for Africa

As many within the fraternity would remember, the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa were coined as the ‘African World Cup’, for obvious ‘feel good’ reasons – being the first (and hopefully not the last) World Cup to be hosted on the continent.

But with five of Africa’s six teams knocked out in the first round of that tournament, it was anything but a successful advertisement for the strength of its football.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Nigerian football totters on the edge

If you’re a coach that recently delivered your country’s first Africa Cup of Nations trophy in nearly 20 years and also happen to be the only living player in the continent with the distinction of captaining your country to the same title, you would think that the least that could be expected is the prompt payment of your wages.

But that is not the case for Stephen Keshi.

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) has failed to pay his salary for nearly half a year –

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Intrigue in South Africa

When Lord Palmerston, the 19th century British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, made the oft-quoted comment that there are no “permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests”, in the cold-blooded pursuit of agendas, he certainly wasn’t thinking about the South African Football Association (SAFA).

But he jolly well could have been.

With barely eight weeks to the election of SAFA’s president and executive committee on September 28, the impending polls have reawakened old enmities,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: What do footballers owe themselves?

Louis Paul Mfede, the influential, classy midfielder in the Cameroonian side that reached the quarterfinals of the 1990 World Cup, died last month, at the relatively young age of 52.

But as sad – and shocking – as his demise was, the cause of his passing is far more surprising. Mfede died of a lung infection, which he was unable to treat at a Yaoundé hospital, because he could no longer pay for his hospital treatment.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Egypt takes another uncertain turn

As the ‘cradle of civilisation’ remains trapped in the maelstrom of another political crisis, following the removal of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, from office last Wednesday, football – yet to recover from the consequences of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak – has been sucker-punched yet again.

With just one round of the regular national championship left to play, before the start of the decisive four-team title play-off involving Ahly,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Will Cameroon’s woes ever end?

Whilst amusing – even outrageous – events provide much-needed cannon fodder for writing interesting commentary, my unhappiness with the pervasive absence of astute management across the African game, whose administrators appear to be falling even further behind their global peers, often leaves me in a depressed mood.

And the ever unfolding diary of (mal)administration, in Cameroonian football, rudely reminds me that the continent’s leading nations continue to revel in their nasty old habits.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Discovering the art of defending

Whilst working on the BBC’s telecast of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations, occasionally sharing work space with ‘Match of the Day’ pundits, I couldn’t help but ask Gary Lineker, the former England striker, a nagging question I had – about his memories of that Italia ’90 World Cup quarter-final tie against Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions.

For anyone who watched that nail-biting tie in Naples, 23 years ago, the two penalties Lineker subsequently converted,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Between self-interest, mammon and country

Dealing with the tough demands of earning one’s crust, as a professional in top flight European club football, whilst serving one’s country – regarded as a sacred duty, by compatriots, during World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers – has always been a high-wire balancing act for players.

Unlike their European counterparts, who can normally reach any part of their continent within a few hours and return to their clubs rather quickly,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Of talent, opportunity and global business sense

Michael Emenalo is, without question, one of European football’s interesting oddities.

As the technical director of English Premiership side Chelsea, where he undoubtedly has the listening ear of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, the Nigerian belongs to the exclusive club of Africans who’ve transcended their club careers into positions of power in the game’s corridors.

Pape Diouf, the Senegalese who started out as a journalist and player’s agent in France, eventually becoming the president of French club Olympique Marseille and Finidi George,

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Osasu Obayiuwana: A symphony of equivocation

Since Sepp Blatter’s intriguing statement, at the last Asian Football Confederation (AFC) elective congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that 2015, the year he promised to bid adieu to the FIFA presidency, will mark the “last term, not of office, but of the reform [of football governance],” the cat has, without question, been set amongst the speculating pigeons.

Surely the 77-year-old, who will be on the cusp of becoming an octogenarian, by world football’s next elective congress,

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