Small Countries Can Host World Cup – Odegbami
FORMER captain of the senior national team, Segun Odegbami, has said that small nations considered poor should be able to also host the World Cup as against the current norm in FIFA.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday on a live programme, the former member of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), while highlighting reasons for his eligibility for the FIFA presidency, said small countries can team together to stage the World Cup.
According to him: “In 2006, we wanted five countries in West Africa to host the 2010 World Cup led by Nigeria. It was fantastic idea that Sepp Blatter bought.
The countries proposed were Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin… Nigeria shut it down because they didn’t know what have gone wrong. “FIFA eventually gave it to South Africa and they benefitted tremendously from it.
Nigeria didn’t benefit anything from it. …the five countries could have benefitted from the super highway, which could have been completed. The single currency we wanted, that is one currency for the region, one visa, were all part of the ECOWAS’s plan, which hosting the World Cup could have helped us to facilitate and accelerate. “But people didn’t understand it; they were looking at the World Cup as if one has to be like America to be able to host it.
So, we are taking this idea to FIFA, to change the orientation that poor countries cannot host the World Cup. Poor countries should also benefit from hosting the World Cup. It shouldn’t just be for the rich nations as understood in Europe.”