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Fumigating The Sports Writing Sector In Nigeria! –Odegbami

Fumigating The Sports Writing Sector In Nigeria!  –Odegbami

I am threading on dangerous ground. 4 young men work as sports journalists in Eagle7 Sports Radio. They all have an uncommon passion for sports and for broadcasting.

I am not even sure how many of them have academic qualification to be professional journalistsWhat I know in engaging them is that they are all brilliant chaps, and eager to conquer the world of sports journalism. One of them is actually an undergraduate studentstudyingAgriculture.

They have the skills we want in the radio station’s sports presenters and reporters – good elocution, good diction and delivery,  good knowledge about diverse sports, investigative instincts, and the willingness to improve their skills and become the best sports broadcasters in the land.

I have been following their work by listening to most of their programs. They are building an impressive resume and expanding their listenership around Ogun State and online in the rest of the world.

Also Read: Ike Sorounmu – Unfortunate Poor Treatment Of A National Hero! –Odegbami

Their work is well cut out – latest news, great reports, special interviews, sports commentaries, some analysis of matches and sports events, and plenty of Afro-centric music. In 10 months, they have been doing well. 

They have become household names in Abeokuta, with a rapidly growing number of followers, and are already enjoying some benefits of exposure in the media. It is an elixir that must be handled with utmost care else that ‘power’ to influence the listener starts to intoxicate like wine.

A few days ago, I heard two of the presenters on radio arguing whilst discussing their take-away from the second-leg match of the Super Eagles in Guinea Bissau.  It was going well until they started discussing Jose Paseiro – his competency, his choice of players and team tactics,questions about his credentials, and asking the public to vote to sack or to keep him. 

It was a serious matter. What the presenters were feeding their global audience with in their opinionscomes with a huge responsibility. To fire or not to fire a coach who has been on the job for only 9 months at their instigation is serious. 


Peseiro fields questions from journalists

My mind started to race with questions: with what authority are they selling that idea to the public?  With what authority are they taking a stand on a technical football matter that has serious implications if implemented? With what authority are they venturing into issues for which they have neither the experience nor the qualification?  

They were also discussing which players are to be invited or not; which players were to be fielded or not; how the team should play; what should be the team’s tactics and strategy be. 

All of these are issues far beyond their mandates and ‘authority’ as fresh reporters and presenters within sports journalism.

Also Read: ‘Jos And The Death Of The Field Marshall’ – A Small Tribute! –Odegbami 

Not even most older journalists would venture into deeply technical area of football without been grounded and armed with years of experience or training. By the way, the analyst does not necessarily have to be a journalist.

Unfortunately, what has become the trend in sports journalism in Nigeria is that every ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ with access to a pen or a microphone becomes as instant ‘columnist’, an influencer, a sports marketer, a sports administrator, psychologist, an analyst, an agenda setter, one whose views must be taken as ‘gospel’ or the world will end! That’s how brazen and even arrogant several sportswriters have become.

Many have become commissioned agents for coaches and players, consultants to football administrators and clubs, and not on media matters but on how to fix matches and referees. They exist and we know some of them. 

It has now become acceptable and the norm to appoint sports writers as members of sports associations and even into federation boards and committees to share in the national ‘booty’ that funds in football administration are considered. In a once-glorious past, it was a taboo for journalists to mingle with administrators in any compromising manner. They worked independently of one another.

At a time, sportswriters became so ‘powerful’ that they actually were part of  interviewing and engaging a coach for the national teams. Today, Sports writers are in an unhealthy and unethical relationship with clubs to the detriment of the game. They promote and protect football administrators in office for a fee.

It took Ghanaian and British Journalists to investigate and unearth scandals of corruption in Nigerian football that were well known to most Nigerians. No Nigerian sports writer had the courage to do anything about the depths of corruption in the system. Nigerian sportswriters allow the rot to fester for as long as some individuals are living off it. One way or the other, we are all either participants or accomplices. Either way, all sports journalists now face and live with the dire consequences – lack of development in a sector brimming with talent and opportunities.

With the voice and power of society’s watchdog silenced by greed, corruption, narrow interests, and absence of political will, and in the absence of professionalism, honesty, decency and morality in journalism, sport has to live with handicapped-associations, all trying to survive.

Also Read: Sport In A New Nigeria –Odegbami

The muted voices of sports writers have become poisoned bread fed to the incredible talent and opportunities in Nigerian sports.

Football, the flagship of all other sports, suffers the most. 

Some sports writers have become an Albatross to sports’ growth in the country. They litter the sports landscape and, unfortunately, for now, determine the fate of Nigerian football. The tragedy is that those that are not engaged in the evil practice are in the minority, keep quiet and do nothing.

I played the game of football for well over a decade at domestic and national levels. I was coached by many foreign and local coaches during the period.

That may not be much, but surely, those are ingredients a sportswriter without those experiences can never buy in the market, learn in any class room, or appreciate with any depth. Meanwhile, those are my humble ‘authority’ to seat at the table of conversations on issues of players and coaches in football. 

Check out those persons that most international sports media houses use during matches and even as commentators. They are either drawn from the Corp of retired-players, or from the pool of the most seasoned of sports writers with deep experiences.  Opinions and views are then taken seriously.

There is a great deal wrong with Nigerian sports and with sports journalism.

Until we have a media that is not compromised, that is free of corrupting influences, that knows its limit and sticks to its clearly defined roles and responsibilities, that steers away from sports politics and areas over which it cannot claim ‘authority’, sports writing will continue to be a Jankara market for all-comers.

A fumigation of that sector is necessary. The problem is: who will do it?

Dr. Olusegun Odegbami, MON, OLY, AFNIIA.

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  • Tobias 1 year ago

    Sir, I think you are biased and sentimental. I won’t be surprised if u had a hand in hiring peseiro. U were blunt with rohr but quiet with peseiro.

  • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

    It’s sọ shocking and smirks of daylight hypocrisy, for the the man who championed the hiring of Joseph Yobo (a player 6 years in retirement, without a coaching certificate, badge or cognate coaching experience, not even 1 day as lead coach in a kiddies summer soccer clinic) as a substantive coach of the biggest national team in Africa, whereas coming here to complain about the many “unqualified” sports journalists that dominate our sports writing landscape now.

    With the benefit of hindsight now, we look back and can trace the begining of the current destruction of our football to that sad day when Joseph Yobo was pronounced “assistant manager” of the SE. That was when the Eagles hit turbulence and started experiencing an unforseen aerodynamic stall. His expert “destabilizing influence” (which he had always had since his playing days and which Late Keshi had to truncate in order for Nigeria to reach her long desired AFCON treble) was aptly put to use by his usual employers the NFF. The cummulative effect is where we are today.

    And by the way, who knows the where about of our dear Coach Joseph Yobo….the one who was good in the eyes of the man with “authority” Segun Odegbami, (the man who played many years nationally and internationally, under SEASONED AND EXPERIENCED COACHES – locla and foreign) to lead Nigeria to the 2022 world cup….LMAOoo

    It’s been 3 years since then…..it take 3 years to get at least a UEFA A license. A Joseph Yobo who was that good in the eyes of people like Mr Odegbami should by now have complete at least a UEFA A license and should by now be sitting on the bench of at least his state’s own club, Rivers United who incidentally are campaigning on the continent at the moment and would have benefited from his wonderful knowledge of football that was good enough ab initio to fly Nigeria to Qatar.

    Mr Segun Odegbami should kindly learn to remove the tree trunk in his own eyes before spotting the speck of dust in other Peoples eyes.

    I hope when the fumigation of our sports sector is eventually carried out, characters like him, Sunday Dare, Pinnick Eguavoen etc gets fumigatted out of our sports for good.

    We are here today because of their likes and their e-touts/worshippers on forums like CSN. Our Paris Olympics participation is already as good as doomed with neither our basketballers nor our footballers getting anywhere close.

    Chief Segun Odegbami, MON, OLY, NNPC, NTA, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

    If you don’t like my above submission, please go to court…!

    • Solo Makinde 1 year ago

      Dr Drey, where have you been? We miss you. Xxx

    • Sean 1 year ago

      Hmmm… Guess who’s back!

      @Oakfield, over to you. Your friend Odegbami, our own Pele, Cryuff has  written his pages again.

    • 9jaRealist 1 year ago

      Whatever the coaching shortcomings of Mr. Yobo, he was NOT responsible for the SE’s (mis) fortunes over the recent past. Rather, the tactically EXTREMELY-LIMITED Gernot Rohr was! Period!!

      • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

        And where is your Mr Yobo coaching now….???

        When will he ever complete his coaching badges and come to lead one of our local clubsides (of CHAN squad) to the champions league/CHAN the way young Moroccan, South African, Senegalese and Congolese coaching are now doing…LMAOoo

    • Sportradio88.0 fm 1 year ago

      Guinean fa threatened to expo Nigeria if they complain to CAF about the age cheat in their under 23 team.
      The guy that scored the second goal has record in champion league and his age was reduced to play against Nigeria in morroco for u 23 afcon qualification.
      Nff is trying not to do the needful and money could exchange hand. …

  • Akanlo Ede 1 year ago

    Odegbami is a big problem. He always abuses Gernot Rohr until that man was sacked. Rohr qualified Nigeria for tournaments with games to spare.

    • 9jaRealist 1 year ago

      Gernot Rohr is at best an AVERAGE coach, who is VERY LIMITED tactically. There’s a reason he could not find a good job for almost 2 years and had to settle for Benin Rep, who he promptly led to a struggling home draw against Rwanda.

      It’s time to move past these RESERVED-FOR-AFRICAN-COUNTRIES-ONLY coaches! 

      • Cole 1 year ago

        Thank you, some are still crying over spilled milk instead of moving on

        • Oakfield 1 year ago

          Yes, we are going to continue talking (not crying though) bcs the ‘milk’ was not supposed to be spilt in the first place and the ‘milk’ which has been spilt has not been cleaned up and replaced with a better one. That is why everywhere is smelling.

        • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

          Ndo oh….ndi moving on.

          Congratulations for moving on into hellfire….LMAOoo.

          Shebi you are enjoying the disaster you averted now…LMAOoo

      • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

        Hahahaha, the average, tactically limited Rohr has proven to be far better than both coaches that have come after him. It’s not even 18months he left yet, and the pains we have been put through by his successors have been like spending an eternity in hellfire.

        Rohr was only let go in December 2021 (but was still on NFF’s payroll till December 2022, technically he was only out of jov for 2 months,) and between then and now, he had been mentioned by the football association of Ghana, interviewed by the Malian federation and appointed by the Beninoise federation…..all within a space of 15 months…..a 70 year old man.

        How many FAs have ever interviewed your jobless tactically exceptional guadiolas who are begging for SE jobs on the pages of the internet. We had 9 of them on our bench and got humiliated by 1 B coach with a B team at afcon and followed it with another bungled world cup elimination…..LMAOoo

        The less said about the one in charge now the better, having watched him lose half as many games in just 1 year in charge as the tactically limited Rohr lost in his entire reign….LMAOoo

        Let me educate your ignorance as usual to know that the “laboured” hme draw Rohr got in his first game in charge after only being appointed a few weeks ago was the first point Benin will be getting home and away in these qualifiers, putting an end to a losing streak. He also followed that “laboured” home draw up with another precious point away (Benin’s first away point in this series and in a while) giving the squirrels a fighting chance of returning to the AFCON the only qualified for once in the last 13 years.

  • Oakfield 1 year ago

    Oh my, what is this rubbish??? From the entire complexion of this garbage, it confirms that you had a hand in the appointment of a below par coach after a better one was sacked, no thanks to your wicked, evil, stupid attacks you unleashed at a poor man who was bent on taking our team to greater heights irrespective of the very toxic environment he found himself In. It is a shame that the same man that always wrote rubbish against to
    Rohr over every slightest slip is the same person looking the other way at a time we lost to a lowly placed guinea at home. How absurd???? Mr Odegbami ( the ex cricket international), I’d advise you to hide your head in shame! You are such a disgrace to the nation and you need to have all the nationals honours given to you withdrawn with immediately effect. Now, you are blaming people for voicing out their opinion about what they see and observe in the the team and the dangers that lie ahead. You a very big sorry pitiful hypocrite! Was it Not the same you that went haywire with your shameless , wicked , racist articles against Rohr, even when he won matches???, you still did not find any thing positive and good about him. Your anti rohr articles were always on the pages of csn and other media channels, all in a bid to pull a good man down . Now, that we have a coach that has lost all his friendly matches against tactical teams and a competitive game against a lowly placed team whilst not having the ability to score clear cut goals in open play, all you could do is to chastise others for objectively saying the truth as it is. Can persero’s track record be compared to that of mr rohr even at his worst times. History tells us that by nw during the time rohr, we would have qualified for afcon with games to spare. We would have already been thinking of how we would open the doors to other fringe players to prosecute the remainder of the inconsequential round of qualifiers to see how good they are. That was the level we were before you and your evil , devilish demonic group of morons decided to pull the plug and everything fell apart in a very short period of time. Salisu has had us knocked out of chan and the olympics, and u haven’t said anything about the matter. You have looked the other way as usual. Shame on you! God will punish you. I’m sorry for anybody who looks up to you for guidance. Shame!!!!

  • Oakfield 1 year ago

    I hope when the fumigation would start, u shall be one of the first 3 (pinick, dare, eguavon) that would be flushed out of our football. Stupid shameless old man.

  • Dr Banks 1 year ago

    Welcome back @Dr Drey, we a miss you so much

    • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

      Thanks Dr. Banks.
      Unfortunately, there isn’t much to talk about Nigerian football these days. There is nothing that is happening now that we didn’t foretell.
      All some of us are just doing is sit down and watch the depths to which wannabe coupists like Mr Sege and e-hoodlums will sink our football, nay sport.

  • MuYiwa 1 year ago

    Judging from his article last week, he had expected SE to wallop GB with Osimhen scoring a couple of goals and with the embarrassing loss at home to a lone goal scored as early as the 39th minute, I expected Odegbami to criticize the coach. But with the comment on fumigating the sports writing community, it goes to show that Odegbami had a hand in Peseiro’s appointment. With his racial attacks on Róhr some months back, I never expected Odegbami to support hiring another foreign coach. From all indices, Róhr is a better coach than Peseiro, and with bad belle people like Odegbami in our football circuit, we will never move forward.

    • Dr. Drey 1 year ago

      It is very apparent my brother, these are the businessmen who went to bed hungry every night for many years under Rohr. Now that he seems to be going to bed with a full stomach, he wants to gag anyone that speaks against peserio even though that one has done enough for the World to see he wouldn’t even get 1 bronze at afcon in 10 attempts….LMAOoo.

      Mr authority is now questioning the audacity of Nigerians to ask for peserio’s sack within just 10 months of being SE by questioning the source of their authority. Someone should pls help us ask he where he got his own authority to foist a retired exinternational (who wouldn’t even get a job in his home FA, Rivers state FA) on us as the one to lead the SE to a world cup….LMAOoo.

      Gone seems to be the days when the words of elders were words of wisdom. The words of some elders these days seem to be the echos of the rumblings of their stomachs.

      What a shame.

      • MuYiwa 1 year ago

        The young sports analysts were intelligent and brilliant to the point that he couldn’t resist listening to their programme until they began to criticize the apple of his eye – Peseiro, who has won only abt 30% of the matches we have played so far. and these people call themselves authorities . He feels only he has the right to call for the sack of a coach. Hypocrite of the highest order.

    • Kenneth 1 year ago

      Which Article is that another asslicker. Where did he say Nigeria will wallop GB. Una sabi lie like una DR DRY. Yes i know the weather in Vienna as being harsh for some few weeks now. Will thank the guards for releasing you to unfreeze ur brain a bit. Abeg don’t come here and spill garbageas usual. We have moved on from your PE teacher who was lucky to secure a draw in his come back. So am waiting for him to begin to win group matches with games t spare, if he is that good. Please leave Mr odegbami alone, he is entitled to his opinion, and what’s wrong in his assertion. Abeg go focus on your new team Benin republic and take all your ass-lickers with you and leave Nigeria’s football alone.You there complaining about eguavoen, was he given the same opportunity, like all your white journey men. Shouldn’t Peserio be fired by now. No double standard smelling all over the place.

  • Omo9ja 1 year ago

    I can’t choose between Oga Rohr and Oga Paseiro because, both of them has no capacity to coach Super Eagles in the first place.

    If it wasn’t because of Amaju Mr. 419 and his NFF members that brought both Oga Rohr and Oga Paseiro to Nigeria, we won’t be in this mess.

    Can you imagine, someone called Oga Rohr the best? What is the definition of the best?

    No wonder Nigerians were so confused during
    the election. Backing LP Peter Obi wrong instead of AAC Sowore. Nigerians have forgotten that APC is PDP and LP is their adopted party?

    How could anyone who wants the best for Nigeria and his family would voted for Tinubu, Atiku and Peter Obi?

    Are they not the same? Obi was Atiku’s vice president while Atiku and Tinubu the main problem of Nigeria?

    The same scenario is still happening in our sports.

    Buhari is about to go and Nigerians deliberately voted for someone that has no business with us to continue from where Buhari stopped?

    They brought Oga Rohr to Nigeria and kicked him out by replacing him with Oga Paseiro who has no business with our football?

    What is wrong with us Nigerians? Government doesn’t like their citizens and the citizens has refused to love themselves.

    Even, Amunike will do more than what Oga Rohr and Oga Paseiro has done for Nigeria.

    This is why I don’t waste my time talking about Nigeria issues that much.

    Wake up people and fight for your country. Enough of talking without actions. We have to take action if we want the best for ourselves and our Country/ Super Eagles.

    If we are honest with ourselves in this country, nobody will be more concerned about what Mr. Segun Odegbami, Oga Rohr, NFF and Oga Paseiro. are saying.

    No time to waste time. We have to do something before something do us, Nigerians. I am very sorry for us. We think we are very
    smart but unfortunately, we are not doing ourselves well.

    Solution to this problem is to scrap the current NFF.

    Let’s make new rules and regulations.

    Ex footballers should be on board. Amunike should take over Super Eagles job. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Omo9ja 1 year ago

      Wrongly I meant to say.

      I don’t do follow follow thing.

      I am not in support of Oga Paseiro and the current NFF president/members to continue.

      I say no to corruption. This is why we are where we are today. We don’t enjoy anything in this country except football. Don’t destroy our football NFF. God bless Nigeria!!!

  • Razak N/A Muballe 1 year ago

    My Brothers from Nigeria, when one closes the other door opens please focuse on how to help the Super Eagle to qualify for Afcon2024 and the World Cup in 2026, Gernot Rohr is gone forget about him other wise if you continue bickering you might not qualify for the World Cup in 2026 which world be a tragedy

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