Sports experts have identified what they described as a sit–tight syndrome as a major factor hindering sports development in Africa. They also believe that African sports cannot be well developed if there were no strong institutions to check the excesses of its administrators.
Speaking at a forum in Jos at the weekend, a seasoned sports journalist and Bureau Chief of Channels Television in Jos, Mr. Yemi Kosoko, as well as a lecturer at the Physical and Health Education Department at Federal College of Education (FCE), Pankshin in Plateau State, Mr. Emmanuel Abednego, said the continent had the talents to dominate world sports.
Speaking on the recently concluded Confederation of African Football (CAF) polls, Kososko said it was unfortunate that Africa allowed the former CAF president; Issa Hayatou to manipulate and amend the body’s constitution to suit his self-succession plans.
He stressed that what happened at the election that saw Hayatou out was a positive development, describing the trio of FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad and NFF President, Amaju Pinnick as good combination of seasoned sports administrators.
According to Kosoko, “There is no doubt about it, he (Hayatou) has contributed his own quota, but you see, there comes a time when a leader has to give way for others to contribute their own quota. I think, it was just time for him to leave and of course it was done democratically.”
In his contribution, Abednego described Ahmad Ahmad as equally experienced having been at the helm of affairs of his country for almost a decade.
“We prefer that there should be room for change, definitely. If you look at the profile of Ahmad Ahmad, he has held positions of sport administration in Madagascar and his coming on board will bring in new things into African football,” he said.
Abednego added that mentorship has always been a problem in Africa, noting that no matter how long one stays, there is always a time to leave.
He advised Ahmad Ahmad to begin to mentor somebody to take over from him in the near future.
On sponsorship, discipline and crowd control, the two sports analysts expressed confidence in the new executive to bring in fresh ideas.