The ‘killing’ of Liberty Stadium, once one of the best stadia in the world!

Categories: Featured, Football, Sports Development
The ‘killing’ of Liberty Stadium, once one of the best stadia in the world!

I anchor a new sports programme on Africa’s largest television network, the NTA, with a conservative domestic viewership of some 60 million Nigerians in all corners of the country. The live programme, The Sports Parliament, has been running for 10 weeks. This past week the topic of conversation and examination for the seven parliamentarians in session on the show was of sports facilities and infrastructure in Nigeria with particular focus on the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, a sprawling sports complex, and once a monument for an authentic sports development and sports engagement programme in Nigeria that has now gone bad. Today the stadium is wasting in dereliction, lying idle and decaying in a sea of humongous opportunities and possibilities. During the programme the conversation on the National Stadium in Lagos kept reminding me of another even bigger sports infrastructural disaster, one that must also be brought to public attention so that history will document the facts of the incalculable damage done to a national heritage, a collection of sports edifices destroyed through the deliberate acts of incompetency and misdeed by a few greedy sports administrators in power at the time, and well known to Nigerians. They have retired now from the service, ...

Sports revolution fire in Edo State – advancing the legacy of Ogbemudia!

Categories: Analysis, Featured, Football, Sports Development
Sports revolution fire in Edo State – advancing the legacy of Ogbemudia!

Something exciting is cooking in Edo State. I need to tell it and predict its probable outcome.   At last I believe that there is a new ‘prophet’ in the land, somebody in authority, someone that has the political will to make a genuine difference, someone that will kick-start a change in the fortune of Nigerian sport.   Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State is looking and sounding more like late Dr. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia. He appears to understand the deep issues in sport.   This past week I listened to him speak about a new vision for sports in Edo State and my spirit was lifted and my hopes rekindled. Unsurprisingly, he is a product and beneficiary of the Ogbemudia era, the most productive period in the history of that part of the country comprising present day Edo and Delta States. Godwin Obaseki wants to re-ignite and advance that legacy.    This past week almost a hundred serious-minded sports personalities, including several of the most accomplished athletes in Nigeria’s rich history, seasoned administrators, the crème of journalism practice, persons from academia, business, schools, sports medicine as well as a few other stakeholders in sports, assembled in Benin City to jaw jawover the intractable problem of understanding what to ...

Nigeria’s Super Eagles – an emerging foreign legion!

Categories: Analysis, Football
Nigeria’s Super Eagles – an emerging foreign legion!

In the past few months, Gernot Rohr, the German coach of Nigeria’s national football team, has been combing European leagues for players of Nigerian parentage, but hewn on the rich technical diet of European football, to make up his new look Super Eagles en route Russia 2018.   It is a clear demonstration of his dissatisfaction with the number and quality of players available and emerging through the domestic Nigerian leagues, players who should have been in the mold (but are not) of Finidi George, Jay Jay Okocha, Daniel the Bull Amokachi, PapilloKanu Nwankwo, Chief Justice Adokie Amiesimaka, Muda Lawal, Nathaniel Adewole, Stanley Okoronkwo, and so on, legends imbibed with the DNA of true Nigerian football – power, speed, unadulterated attacking and wing play mentality, never-giving-up spirit,  the love of show boating and the art of the dribble.   The movement of players to Europe provided the locally bred players the ingredients missing from their Nigerian grounding – better technique, better tactical understanding and the discipline of organised team play. Within a few months they learn quickly and become the complete material.   That’s how it has been since Nigeria started exporting its ‘raw’ but gifted players to Europe for essential refinement.   Now the process is been reversed. ...

Welcome to Mathematical 7

Segun Odegbami


I am Segun. Friends and family call me Big Seg, Seg being the short form for Segun. The 'big' comes from Allan Hawks, my former British football coach in Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan, who used it to differentiate between two other Seguns and I in the team at that time. My 6ft 1 inch frame qualified me as the biggest of the lot. So, Big Seg it has being since then.


I am also very well known as 'Mr. Mathematical'. Many years ago, a radio commentator, Earnest Okonkwo, in is commentaries, gave me that sobriquet. Whether he was referring to the precision of my movement and passing or to my background as a Mechanical Engineer I never found out before he died many years ago. But that nickname also stuck and all those familiar with African football in the 1970s and 1980s are most likely to recall Mr. Mathematical and my famous number 7 shirt! All that, I believe, tells you a little about me.

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