Celebrate Segun ‘Mathematical’ Odegbami At 68 . . . Let Amaju Pinnick Be In FIFA Executive Council

By Daily sports on February 8, 2021

Views: 794

As a responsible media house, we join millions of football fans worldwide, to wholeheartedly congratulate former captain of the Green Eagles, Chief Olusegun Odegbami (MON), on his 68th birthday celebration last week.

He displayed great measure of patriotism when he was active on the field of play and his exploits earned him the famous nickname – Mathematical by late ace commentator, Ernest Okonkwo. His services in the national team and club level were simply dripping to say the very least.

Those of my generation would readily attest to Segun Odegbami’s finest hours in the round leather game. I first watched him during a league game between then IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan and Rangers International in Enugu. He was truly mathematical with the way and manner he used his legs to command the round leather.

Big Seg, as people close to him also call him, was beauty and expertise on display. Let me also recall that I came face to face with him after a game against the Spartans of Owerri, yet another dreaded side, in Owerri Township stadium and as usual it was a tug of war between both teams.

Odegbami’s dazzling displays from the right flank and that of Felix Owolabi were daring each time the IICC was on the offensive to the defence wall of the Spartans led by Francis Nwosu who same late Ernest Okonkwo also nicknamed German Wall due to his calculative checks on opponents that wanted to do damage.

Big Seg was all over the place but the solid defence mounted by Francis, Ikechukwu Madukairo on the left back with Goddy Ebomauche in goal then was equal to the task. At the end of that sizzling encounter way back in early 1980’s, the home team hammered their visitors 2-0 and it is on record that then IICC never won nor drew any game in Owerri even if Primary school boys were fielded.

He was a sportsman to the core and an advocate of violence free football arena. He remains one of the shining lights in football till date that gave his all for growth of the sport. His time in the then Green Eagles was peopled with great football talents and they loved themselves as one family. Big Seg gracefully crowned his football career in gold in the national team with the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations football summit which Nigeria hosted at the National Stadium, Lagos. Here, Nigeria booked her first ever Nations Cup win in the history of the tournament in which he (Odegbami) scored two goals that aided Nigeria hammer Algeria comprehensive 3-0.

At the club level, he was among the IICC players that won for the first also for Nigeria then Africa Cup Winners Cup in 1976.  The Daily Sports team celebrates this illustrious footballer of our time. This is an executive summary of him and if Nigeria is where round pegs find themselves in round holes, Patrick Olusegun Odegbami who has administered Nigerian football at the NFA or NFF level fitted into the adage.

But you all, especially those that followed his journey to head the apex football body in Nigeria knew how blockage and sundry stopped this egghead. His contribution to the development of the sport remains legion as his football Academy in Wasimi Ogun State remains a testimony. We wish him well in great health, body and soul…..Big Seg!!

Before I anchor this week, let me appeal to the aggrieved with the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, to in the spirit of the game allow the sleeping dog to lie and sleep deeply. Petitions’ have already started flying left, right and centre to FIFA and the latest from my good friend, Barrister Harrison Jalla had been replied. I won’t border you dear readers about it. FIFA’s reply should be a lesson and if anything would happen to Amaju Pinnick, FIFA said all sides of the coin must be thoroughly examined not just that a petition was forwarded.

My take is, let Amaju Pinnick be. He is a shrewd football administrator and would play his politics to win one of the seats in FIFA executive committee perfectly. Yes the gains that would accrue are his but what should concern us most is that Nigeria would take her rightful position in the scheme of things in the global and most sought after sport. A Nigerian sitting amongst the best in the FIFA executive committee will remain a plus.

We should also acknowledge that the so-called “giant” of Africa only has two spots to show, that is late Orok Oyo Orok and Dr. Amos Adamu. On that note, all hands must be on deck to lend support whichever way to ensure that Amaju Pinnick would emerge come the next FIFA executive committee election in March.

Let me categorically say here that I am not advocating or speaking for him however, the fact remains that he is eminently qualified to sit in FIFA Executive Council. He is knowledgeable and knows his onions in football. He would make an impact if he wins. He won’t push over or go there to drink tea or go there to March on the now popular Olusegun Obasanjo’s banana peel.

Fact is he is a serious administrator and knows his destination and what he wants to achieve at any particular time. I am not his fan but truth must be told. He is a solid candidate and has the capacity too to do the campaign resoundingly. Let him be and it is all for Nigeria. Here, no Nigerian has attained the position of CAF President yet we play a leading role in the continental football body.

We should start now to think aloud. We should stop this bring Down syndrome that has served as an ill wind that has blown us no good all these odd years. 

As the hand of the clock ticks, one would wish Amaju Pinnick well in his new dream. He knows what to do to clinch this position. He knows the terrain so well and there would be no excuse for him to fail. Nigerians are eagerly waiting to celebrate this? No more, No less. Good luck to the many who love to hate but have a big heart to accommodate even his arch opponent (s) even obvious enemies.

Our social media handles are open and we should be discussing FIFA elections to the executive committee council. Our son, brother, in-law, etc, Amaju Pinnick, is in the race and we are keenly following.

Keep shooting hard till next week as the struggle continues!! 

Source Daily sports

Posted February 8, 2021


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