The Palaver Hut
There is no proper documentation that can state the date and place of origin of the modern day sports. However, history of sports probably extends as far back as the existence of mankind, as purposive sportive and active beings. History also tells us that when the Olympic Games began in 1896, they were simply meant to showcase the talents of amateur sportspeople, to be watched and enjoyed by everyone. But things have since changed.
Sports are no longer the physical activities governed by a set of rules or customs and engaged in competitively.
Unfortunately, the ‘customs’ that came with sports have been eroded by allegation of corruption and bribery. Are we to ponder on Reynald Temarii, the president of the Oceania Football Confederation, who was recorded telling reporters that two bidders had offered “huge” payments for his support and that he had received offers of between $10 and 12 million?
Should we turn a blind eye to Amos Adamu, who categorically said he wanted $800,000 to build four artificial football pitches? This would be against Fifa’s rules, of course. But Adamu and Temarii told reporters they could facilitate access to the men who were to decide on the hosts of the 2018 World Cup tournaments. That’s what modern day sports have turned into.
Even Fifa’s governing body is not immune to all these corrupt practices going on. In fact one of its governing members awarded 2022 World Cup to Qatar simply because he was born there, and offered financial incentives to Caribbean Football Union members in an off-side rule, as Sports lovers like to call it.
Before Britain won the 2012 Olympic bid, there were numerous reports that a key member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allegedly offered to deliver votes from IOC members to any 2012 Olympic bid in return for financial favours.
We have endured how the British public were duped into paying exorbitant prices for tickets to watch the 2012 Olympic Games when in fact the Olympic Games had been paid for through taxes. I therefore honestly do not know why British taxpayers have to pay twice for tickets, while many genuine British sports lovers are losing out on tickets sales.
Even the ones that were privileged to have a look-in had to pay a small fortune for the privilege that should be freely available to them as British taxpayers.
It would have been nice to issue each British taxpayer a free ticket to any of the games, as a goodwill gesture or a form of incentive for using their taxes to fund the Olympic Games in the first place.
It would also have been a great opportunity to bring the country together, especially during this economic downturn, but unfortunately, people have been treated badly.
We Africans seem to believe that ‘Corruption’ is only exercised by oppressors who keep people locked in the chains of poverty and ignorance, but that’s not the case. It also applies to the management of modern sports. The people in charge are financially rich and have most often turned the old-fun fair institution into a money making machine.
To add insult to injury, it was recently revealed that two senior British executives were suspended over claims of corruption. Some £20,000 reportedly exchanged hands to favour the bidding process for the future use of the Olympic Stadium by one of the football clubs.
Imagine this is a Stadium that is still under construction and hasn’t even been used for what it was being built for! My Goodness! I don’t even know what to call this business empire called Sports-Institution.
By Joseph Spencer
SEND US YOUR LETTERS
We welcome letters on topical issues, your experiences, and or any article you have read in The AfroNews. Letters, not exceeding 600 words, must include your full name (not necessarily for publication), address and telephone numbers for verification. Letters may be edited for publication. E-mail: email@example.com