FOOTBALL OUT, MOVIES IN
Koko: So, the president has banned international football for two years?
Kaka: Which is a very good decision.
Koko: It is a terrible decision and anybody who is not dumb can see that.
Kaka: Thanks for the compliment but the President has spoken.
Koko: He has not spoken well. In fact he has over-reached himself.
Kaka: This is not about speaking 'big English'. Our football is in dire straits and Jonathan has simply declared a practical emergency. We need help, so let's go get help.
Koko: He can be sued, you know.
Kaka: Great! Summon all the best Senior Advocates of Nigeria and we will make sure you spend what you money you think you have for the next four years and still teach you all you didn't know about Presidential powers.
Koko: I think we will start with a press conference.
Kaka: You should also start a Save Nigeria Football group and hold rallies in all regions. My friend, wake up and smell the coffee, you cannot stop the owner of a business from shutting down his shop to repackage or redecorate his premises for better efficiency.
Koko: So Jonathan is the owner of this business?
Kaka: You are gradually waking up. It is the President's business to ensure that this nation works and things are too bad in almost every area of our national life. The kid gloves are coming off.
Koko: You simply are not seeing that our football will be worse by the time this nonsense ban is lifted in 2012.
Kaka: That is a lie by desperate people who are not telling us what they have been gaining from our moribund football. How could things get any worse? Have you seen a product repackaged in two years coming out worse than it was? You guys should explain why this country should continue to spend money we can ill-afford on unproductive tournaments.
Koko: What will those Super Eagles boys be doing for two years?
Kaka: The same thing they have always done, play football abroad. Or were they playing in Lagos or Minna before the ban? Let them go shine in their foreign clubs like they have always done. We need to clean our house and go for deliverance from the spirit of football failure.
Koko: What about all the other losses? There are corporate sponsors who have invested money in the super Eagles via endorsement, for instance.
Kaka: We should refund them what we have not spent or have you guys spent money meant for next year?
Koko: What will happen to joints and viewing centres?
Kaka: Were we going to those viewing centres to watch Kanu and Kaita playing for Eagles? See, those centres and joints were set up so we can watch foreign football in all its glory and elegance. We go to those places to watch Man U, Real Madrid, Arsenal and the rest of them. Our children know everything about Messi, Fabregas and even Drogba. We all go to those joints to watch English Premiership, UEFA Championship and La Liga.
Koko: What about the soccer newspapers around the country, should they now sack their workers?
Kaka: Oooh God, I'm ashamed of you Koko. Were those papers reporting Nigerian football alone? Is there anyone of them called Nigerian Football, Complete Eagles, Eagles' Soccer? Spare me these colourless arguments. Nigerian sports newspapers report Jose Mourinho and what international soccer stars do abroad, they only sprinkle a bit of local football for balance. Nothing will change. We will still report whatever Utaka and Haruna do abroad. We'll still report transfer fees and the highest paid footballer in the world.
Koko: Don't forget that football is an emotional and unifying thing in his country.
Kaka: So are Aki and PawPaw, Osuofia and Mr Ibu. In fact, Nollywood is more entertaining than our football. Nollywood is a bigger money spinner. It creates more employment and we don't have to take 100 government officials anywhere and pay huge travel allowances and monumental hotel bills to watch movie premieres. It's time we put our money where our mouth is.
Koko: And the best way to do that is to throw out the baby with the bath water, close shop and let the goods rot?
Kaka: The goods are already rotten. For almost 10 years now, all we have done is wobble and fumble until your so-called goods humiliatingly graduated from Super Eagles to Super Chickens.
Koko: Is that why you have decided to eat them for dinner?
Kaka: Not exactly. They can still redeem themselves. The President has just shown that he has the will to do what is right even if it is painful and unusual. He feels our shame, our pain each time we fall on our faces in front of our fans and international spectators. You must break an egg to make an omelette.
Koko: You don't behead a man to cure him of his headache. This ban is too drastic, too much.
Kaka: Now, you are really provoking me. What is it with football anyway? How does it solve any of our problems? Does it contribute to our foreign reserve or what? Will this country fold up, collapse if we don't play international football for two years, will it?
Koko: You are not considering our image in the eyes of the world…
Kaka: What image? We do not have any real image right now and football image is not what we need. We don't have electoral image. We don't have infrastructural image. We don't have educational or healthcare image. Those are the real sectors. If we can't play football, we can't play football.
Koko: FIFA is angry, very angry.
Kaka: FIFA? Is that the name of the company that will deliver on the power stations or new refineries? Is FIFA bringing the trains or creating jobs in Nigeria? Is FIFA the name of our Messiah? Oh please! Tell FIFA that this is our country, our football, our money and our problem to solve.
Koko: Don't you like the way our boys shine abroad? We have to lift this ban, we have to. Football is a practical thing. It's different from building refineries.
Kaka: I think Jonathan should even extend the ban to four years. We need time to clean out our so-called age group competition and stop fielding 30 year olds as under-17. Little wonder they play for 10 years and fizzle out just when you think they are 27 but are indeed 40. All that corrupt arrangements must end.
Koko: The Federal Government should just have set up a probe, send the anti-graft agencies after the Football House instead of this ban.
Kaka: Another probe will be throwing good money after bad. Aren't we still probing everything 'probable' in the National Assembly? Where has that led us?
Koko: Maybe we should ban the National Assembly?
Kaka: It's not the same thing.
Koko: It is not? Tell me the difference.
Kaka: The problem is the humiliation, the steady decade of humiliating performance. All the foreign coaches have not been able to save us. We need to nurture another team from the beginning.
Koko: I think we should also ban NEPA (or is it PHCN?) and NNPC.
Kaka: We need to make our leagues work, make it attractive to satellite television stations who are investing millions of dollars on English Premiership. We need to refocus the NFF.
Koko: How about banning INEC for two years because they have done as badly as NFF in the same number of years? That should give us more time to refocus our electoral process too, don't you think?
Kaka: I have made my point and this discussion is over. Football stays banned. This sitting is adjourned till another day.