OGENYI ONAZI, HENRY OKOROJI AND OUR WORLD CUP DREAMS
When I read about the match Fixing allegations the British Police was investigating prior to the Nigeria/ Scotland Match, I waived it off as one of those attempts by the British media to paint Nigeria black.
However, events of the last few days has confirmed my worst fears.
Considering the fact that we are still recovering from the Amos Adamu bribery fiasco, the revelation that a Nigerian match-fixing agent, who is also a licensed FIFA agent is offering matches involving Nigeria to the highest bidder has cast a dark cloud over the quality of Nigeria’s participation in this month’s world Cup.
As I write this piece, images of Yakubu Ayegbeni's Goal mouth miss and Sani Keita's unnecessary red card kept flashing though my mind, unfortunately for us these sad memories which has refused disappear are about to be re-enacted.
The activities of Mr. Henry Chukwuma Okoroji who was caught telling an undercover reporter that he could fix games and organize certain outcomes during the tournament in Brazil this month is not only despicable but deeply regrettable.
Furthermore, his attempt to lure Ogenyi Onazi one of Nigeria's finest players into this shameful scam is a clear indication of how far these criminals are willing to go to in their quest for sour grapes.
Nevertheless, Onazi must be commended for being a true professional as evidenced by his decision to rebuff Mr. Okoroji's offer, choosing to place the country above financial and material gains. Onazi's experience should be an eye opener to other players, that endorsement could sometimes mean a career ending free ticket to jail.
A critical review of the Nigeria/ Scotland match also tends to suggest that Unlike Ogenyi Onazi some players might already be dancing to Mr. Okoroji's tune.
Finally, as we match towards the World cup In Brazil, I am not convinced that the present crop of players paraded by Stephen Keshi has what it takes to make us proud, but for the sake of the over 170 million Nigerians I sincerely pray I am wrong