By Sylvester Emmanuel
During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Nigerian football team got only one point from a group it was supposed to qualify from. As a result of the poor performance, the then President Goodluck Jonathan decided to ban NFA for two years considering the wide spread corruption that characterized the NFA juxtaposed their poor performance in the Jabulani episode of the Mundial. In response to the banning of the NFA by the government of Nigeria under president Goodluck Jonathan, FIFA came up with its own law and suspended Nigeria because its government interfered into football.
Now FIFA has decided to ban Russia Football Federation for the war in Ukraine. Is it the RFF that’s responsible for the war in Ukraine? What’s the offense of the Russian Football Federation on and off the football pitch in the war in Ukraine? Is it not thesame FIFA that says government of member countries should not interfere into football? So why the ban of Russia Football Federation in the World Cup and in the EUFA UCL? Do they have a role in the polity of Russia or own the prerogative to decide for Putin?
Is FIFA finally merging football with politics or the both still exist in parallelism of administration or governance? I don’t understand why RFF is banned for the headache of Ukraine and Russia war? For what offences is Artem Dyuba or Akifeeve redcarded outside the pitch from playing the world cup? Were they supposed to fight against Putin or mind their football business?
I don’t understand the position of FIFA. Infantino’s FIFA is driven by the sentiment of NATO who are just 30-member nations against a football world that has over 200 members all playing leagues and have a government and national teams selected from the league. Why should FIFA take side with NATO allies in a war that has no link with football?
When NATO attacked Libya and oust Ghadafi killing him in the invasion, were their members banned from FIFA? How about the United States invasion of Cuba did it lead to FIFA ban of the United States who appears in all World Cups with less competition unlike Africa with 54 giant nations given only 5 slots?
Will FIFA ban countries in the Middle East who refuse to allow women kick the mitre let alone accept football as a profession? FIFA is acting very biased, political and sentimental regarding the banning of Russia from international games. Is FIFA reforming its laws that disallows interference with government? If not why the ban?
Many have criticized FIFA for its corruption and biased role in decision making. I think it appears clear now that FIFA is really driven by NATO allies and as such treats the member nations with levity and favouritism.
Why on earth should Europe with less than 50 countries small in sizes have over 12 slots in the world cup? Why Africa with giant 54 nations can only boast of 5 slots? Is that a competition? European countries have over 12 times more advantage to win than Africa with just 5 out of 54. What kind of democracy is this? Where is the principle of fairness and equity in the affairs of FIFA with nearly 200 nations?
If this rubbish in FIFA doesn’t stop, countries will start pulling out of the world cup. By the time the ten countries in Africa finish their qualifiers, you would understand what my piece is simply talking about beside the unnecessary ban of Russia Football Federation for the headache of Putin’s government after creating a demarcation between football governance and national government.
Why isn’t NATO fighting Putin directly the way it fought Ghadafi? What’s the business of football in this? Bringing NATO interests and concerns to Football is rubbish and prioritization of double standards.
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