Sports and Politics – George Weah breaks the barrier!

Categories: Football, Social, Sports Development
Sports and Politics – George Weah breaks the barrier!

My wish and prayer are that the New Year brings happy times to all the readers of this column. The tail end of 2017 has come with one truly terrific development for sports. George Opong Weah, the first African to be African, European and World’s best football player over a decade ago, has won the elections for the presidency of his country, Liberia. He thus becomes the first African, and probably the second human being, to become president of a country after being an international football player for his country. George Weah’s success in politics is a big deal. It is worth celebrating because it establishes a watershed of some sort, and possibly a turning point in the relationship between government and sports particularly in the Third World. Before now, the prescription by international sports bodies for sports development is a fundamental divorce of government from sports, making interference (including by government) in the internal affairs of national federations an anathema. In actual practice, however, frosty relationships have developed between national federations and their governments, to the detriment of sport and its development, because the political environment makes interventions by governments inevitable in a classic case of ‘he who pays the piper dictates the tune.’ Even in ...

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.

Featured Posts...