Sepp Blatter And The Amos Adamu That Started It All (1)

In all the frankly engrossing stories coming out of FIFA daily, most Nigerians have naturally forgotten how Amos Adamu started it all in 2010. Before his fall, Adamu was the biggest name in sports administration in Nigeria. He once headed the all powerful National Sports Commission for ten years. Before that he was the director of sports in the ministry of sports for ten years.

In short, for a very long period, he was the ultimate fixer in Nigerian sports. Not many people remember that he was the sole administrator of the NFA in 1992. To get an idea of how big he was in sport, this man was made the president of the organizing committee of the 2003 All Africa Games in Nigeria, director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 1999 FIFA U20 world cup in Nigeria, and was a member of 2010 LOC of the world cup in South Africa. You get the picture?

In October 2010, in the lead up to the vote to select the 2018 world cup host, the UK Sunday Times organized a sting operation to prove that FIFA was rife with corruption. Adamu, then enjoying his tenure as a FIFA executive council member, was caught on tape with another executive council member by the Sunday Times crew agreeing to accept $500,000 to vote for England. When the news hit the air waves, he denied everything. Naturally.

It was a messy affair that lead to the suspension of Adamu,  along with six other FIFA officials for three years. That ban ended in 2013. The feeling then was that the Adamu affair was only the tip of the ice berg in an organization whose modus operandi ensures that its accounts cannot be audited by an independent body. Blatter refuted any insinuation about general corruption in FIFA, saying that the Adamu case was just an isolated incident. Not many believed him.

Five years later, after a series of minor corruption scandals here and there, especially over the manner Qatar was awarded the 2022 world cup, the FIFA corruption cock has now come home to roost.

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