Late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, MKO, used to be a man of many parts; industry rich person, politician, writer and above all exceptional philanthropist. One other house that stood him out was once his ardour for sports, which he backed and financed lavishly. He was once the Grand purchaser of the Sportswriters association of Nigeria (SWAN).
My first professional come upon with him used to be in 1992,once I led a delegation of newly elected nationwide executive of SWAN, accompanied via who’s who in sports journalism then, especially Editors, in Nigeria to his palatial dwelling in Ikeja, Lagos on a courtesy discuss with. sooner than the election in Kaduna, in December 1991that introduced us into workplace, the association which MKO funded significantly had been embroiled in main issue to his embarrassment. The concern seemed intractable, forcing respected individuals of the group to abandon it.
As he stepped into the venue of the meeting, an clearly elated MKO, beamed along with his average infectious smile and started calling some of the experts through their names. To reassure himself that the reunification was once real, he remarked; “with this array of sports journalists present, I need to suppose that the trouble is over, and this new government has the endorsement of all of you.” The response used to be a rousing applause. He was once no longer carried out but, “what did you say is the identify of the new president?” Fan Ndubuoke, we chorused. belief MKO, he probed further; “are you sure this Fan will rotate?”, in apparent reference to earlier failed attempts of reconciliation.
MKO did not simplest present the brand new government with the takeoff cash but a model new unique car for the place of work of the president. We changed into very shut and that i used to be all the time part of his entourage to main sports engagements. some of my colleagues at all times approached me to share a few of his hilarious proverbs. it’ll be unfair not to share a few of them right here.
whereas receiving the positive Golden Eaglets of 1993, at his Ikeja place of dwelling, MKO told the young lads: “You see all people cannot be possessed by using the Holy Spirit at the same time, some shall be possessed, others, shall be chorusing hallelujah. we are right here today to sing hallelujah in your behalf.” once more, “if rape becomes inevitable, a wise woman should calm down and experience it as a substitute of endangering her lifestyles.”
The sports activities philanthropist all the time wired the need for unity as in keeping with him; you can’t clap with one hand, if unsure, are attempting it. He always insisted on equity, after all, you can not shave a person’s head in his absence.
sadly, MKO’s quest to see Nigeria take her rightful location in world sports activities, particularly in football didn’t materialize in his life time. At an event organized through SWAN in Lagos in 1993, he expressed robust voice on the way in which ahead for Nigerian soccer.
specifically, the revered Pillar of sports in Africa was saddened that enterprise of the round leather-based sport in our united states of america was and continues to be not dedicated to long term building planning, even when it’s often called the only panacea for success. in step with him, even the perfect armies in the world can’t win battles with out proper organization.
Equally worrisome to him used to be lack of continuity in administration, whereas advising that we must discontinue with the shameful practice of pointing accusing fingers each time we lose a game.
MKO recalled that our painful defeats at fingers of African nations particularly North Africans and Cameroon used to be due to what he referred to as lack of ‘football Intelligence’. He explained that ‘soccer intelligence’ needed to do with data gathering about opponents, playing pitch, psychological angle, crowd behaviour, eating regimen and climate stipulations. He regretted that every one these weren’t taken into account when Nigeria confronted Cameroon in the last 1990 World Cup qualifier, hence Nigeria’s shocking loss.
The business mogul alleged that two days sooner than the game in opposition to Cameroon, the sphere was watered, being within the dry season, to offer the hosts brought good thing about taking part in with exhausting studs on a wet pitch, while the Eagles blind to this, wore quick studs. He said Cameroon has structures that ensures continuity and transition of players, coupled with the truth that the soccer authorities in Cameroon fund scouts to head in search of avid gamers together with folks who have twin nationality, simply to ensure they bring together their best possible at all times.
The philanthropist recommended that Nigeria should make a selection of which formation suits the crop of avid gamers now we have at any given time; is it the Brazilian four-2-four which won them the world Cup in 1970 or total football which made the Dutch dominant from early ‘70s. He seen that Cameroon at every given time, adopts a system that frustrates their opponents’ strengths and steered that to beat them to their own sport is to research their strengths and weaknesses. He warned against giving out too much details about the team’s guidance, strengths and weaknesses.
He disagreed that any coach would deliberately undermine his workforce for the straightforward purpose that it need to be assumed that every train want to have a just right CV, which means good results to give a boost to his career and bargaining power. The late sage frowned at steady change of invited avid gamers to the national workforce, noting that from Senegal ‘ninety two qualifiers to 1993, about 60 new faces had been invited to the national team. He mentioned this should best be performed when the technical crew is constructing a new workforce and now not on the time of preparing for a an important global engagement.
• till subsequent week, maintain attacking.