How long will the travails of football continue?

July 30, 2011 Articles 1 Comment

Sani Lulu, the immediate past president of the Nigerian Football Federation, is undergoing a criminal trial, following allegations of corruption by the country's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

With only a few hours to the start of the preliminary draw for the 2014 World Cup qualifying series, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, one would think the forthcoming issues on the field of play, rather than the political skulduggery off it, would dominate the global football agenda. But there is hardly any doubt […]


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…And CAF bows to FIFA!

July 26, 2011 Articles 1 Comment

FIFA President Sepp Blatter during a visit to DR Congo

Well, well, well… Who would have thought last week’s column, which had a world-wide exclusive on the appointment of Slim Aloulou and Amadou Diakite to various CAF committees from June 2011, in flagrant violation of their FIFA bans from “all football activities”, for unethical conduct, would create the global storm that it did? Ok, I […]


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Can football survive the season of the long knives?

July 12, 2011 Articles Leave a comment

Jerome Valcke, FIFA's general secretary, taking questions from the media

My conscious entanglement with football, as a writer and broadcaster, has been a twenty-five year odyssey. And as a fan, it’s been for much longer. For the most part, the experience provides me with immense pleasure and opportunities that would never have been placed in my life’s trajectory. But, unfortunately, this is not a season […]


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If you’re good enough, you’re old enough

June 25, 2011 Articles 5 Comments

Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas

Considering the number of column inches I’ve devoted to the politics of world football over the last few weeks, I recently made a solemn vow, a few days ago, that in spite of my near insatiable desire to reveal a lot more on the game’s underbelly, I will keep away from this topic – at […]


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Has CAF become a secret society?

June 12, 2011 Articles Leave a comment

Caf president Issa Hayatou (left) with 2010 World Cup LOC chairman Irvin Khoza

With the battle for the FIFA presidency over, at least for the predictable future, it is time to take a look at bigger problems in our continent. For anyone close to the corridors of clout in African football, there is no question that there’s a Machiavellian struggle for power and influence. With Issa Hayatou’s 25-year […]


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A presidential ride with Hayatou

March 3, 2004 Articles Leave a comment

Pinning down Caf president Issa Hayatou for a chat could be likened to dispossessing Jay-Jay Okocha of the ball at the height of his powers – not an easy assignment. But on 1 March, I had the chance to share a London black taxi with him and two other members of the Caf and Fifa […]


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2004 Nations Cup: Postcard from Tunisia

January 29, 2004 Articles Leave a comment

In my 17 years as a football reporter, I have never had a player or personality in the game walk out on me during the course of an interview. But that long stroke of luck ran out on Wednesday at the Kuriat Palace hotel, where Nigeria’s Super Eagles are based for most of their Group […]


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What is the way forward for African football?

October 17, 2002 Articles Leave a comment

It is fitting that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) moves to an edifice that reflects the great strides that the continent has made in world football over the last twenty-five years. But the unpalatable truth must be told. African soccer is not in rude health. Caf’s conference on the issues that face the game […]


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World Cup 1998: A hope betrayed

June 19, 2002 Articles Leave a comment

After a string of losses in pre-World Cup matches, with the 1-5 loss to Holland being the most notable, many expected the Super Eagles to lose their opening Group D match in Nantes. Playing against a Spanish national side that had not lost a competitive game since the 1996 European Championship, Nigeria defied the pundits […]


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African fortune-seekers struggle abroad

April 6, 2001 Articles Leave a comment

Many young African players in search of a dream contract in Europe find themselves exploited by unscrupulous agents, and dreams turn sour. OSASU OBAYIUWANA looks at two unfortunate cases, the likes of which have prompted Fifa to propose action. The exodus of ambitious African footballers to Europe has undoubtedly contributed to the high profile that […]


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Nigeria’s football conundrum

February 10, 1998 Articles Leave a comment

Nigerian football fans supporting the Super Eagles, their national team

Nigeria look odds on to qualify for the 1998 World Cup in spite, rather than because, of their organisation off the pitch, as Osasu Obayiuwana explains. Perhaps like nowhere else in the football world, the recent history of the game in Nigeria is one of odd but intriguing contrasts; a showcase for both excellence and […]


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Kanu bounces back from the abyss

July 27, 1997 Articles Leave a comment

He could have retired, he could even be dead. But Nwankwo Kanu’s career has resumed, as Osasu Obayiuwana explains. With the flurry of media hype surrounding the transfer of Ronaldo from Barcelona to Internazionale, you might have assumed that the Brazilian would be holding court on Sunday 27th July, on his first appearance at the […]


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