Osasu Obayiuwana: Without a will, there’s no way to beat Africa’s cheats

During an exchange of correspondence, with a well-known and well-informed personality in refereeing, who’s handled top-level matches in Africa and around the world, including CAF Champions’ League, Cup of Nations and FIFA games, he made a telling statement that left me deeply concerned about how corruption and match-fixing has impacted on the continent.

“It seems an accepted norm in CAF (Confederation of African Football) that people know that bribery exists. But it appears that they cannot or do not want to deal with the matter,”

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Osasu Obayiuwana: CAF’s conspiracy of silence is holding Africa back

But for the incontrovertible geographical fact that Marrakech is in Morocco, I would have argued, to the death, that the just concluded Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which I attended, took place in Kim Jong Il’s Pyongyang, North Korea.

Speech after speech at the Palais De Congres eulogised its president, Cameroonian Issa Hayatou, who enjoyed the anniversary of his 25th year in power on Sunday, by securing a record seventh four-year term in office.

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Osasu Obayiuwana: Hayatou wins before a ball is even kicked

Until Tuesday, Issa Hayatou, in his 25th year as president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was, at least in theory, at risk of being at the end of an unfavourable decision, from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, which could have stood in the way of getting another four-year term in office, that would take the Cameroonian’s tenure to a near 30-year stretch.

No longer. With CAS ruling that the case brought by Ivorian Jacques Anouma,

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[b]Osasu Obayiuwana:[/b] What makes a champion?


“Champions are made from something they have deep inside them, a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. BUT THE WILL MUST BE STRONGER THAN THE SKILL” – Muhammad Ali.

African football, with its wealth and depth of talent, undoubtedly has the skill to conquer the game’s steep summit – the World Cup –

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[b]Osasu Obayiuwana:[/b] In Africa, the more you win the more you lose

The elation of winning the Africa Cup of Nations, being at the top of the continental football summit, is what matters for the ordinary fan; National team triumph, and the accompanying two-year bragging rights, mean everything to them.

But as football federation officials from Nigeria, the newly crowned champions – or the 28 previous winners of the trophy – will bluntly tell you, that is all a nation gets.

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