AFRICAN CHALLENGE: Obi Asika Share Deep FIFA World Cup Secrets.

 Obi Asika is the CEO of Storm Vision, a media content and production company in Nigeria. He is a trained lawyer and was once into sport marketing. He was also a skillful footballer that almost captained the English junior team to the world cup in his ace days.
Hear Him…

A lot of people talk football but they don’t know football. I am telling you, football is deep. And one day, Africans will understand why they always lose out in the world cup.

I can tell you this because I used to represent a company called ISL. It was the largest sport marketing company in the world and for 25 or 30 years they owned all FIFA rights.

ISL were running what became FIFA marketing today. If you go to the FIFA website and check FIFA marketing, you’ll see all FIFA rights. ISL used to run all that stuff before. But that company went bankrupt in 2002 because they were expending, they bought the 82 sports for $12 billion and they got confused.

But I want you to understand this; FIFA is a very serious commercial animal. FIFA is going to be making profits, £3 to £5 billion from 2014 world cup in Brazil. So first of all, football is business! The people that bring the biggest business are the biggest market, which is the European market: Germany, England, France, and Italy. How many of these countries have reached the finals at the world cup - every one of them. The bottom-line is your commercial capacity has an impact on your ability to win on the pitch.

There are countries that make FIFA world cup commercially viable. Some how, these countries must be at every of the mundial: Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, and England. Now, USA, Mexico and Columbia are spearheading the North American challenge.

You see. FIFA understands the excitement current star players like Leo Messi, Cristano Ronaldo, and Frank Ribery can add to the party. And for these star players to be at the world cup their countries may enjoy some advantage during play offs.

Indeed, FIFA might also consider the African challenge and countries like Cameroon, Nigeria and perhaps, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire may also enjoy some kind of advantage in the African qualification series. Fans enjoy such dramatic upsets these African sides can bring to the world cup. But for an African country to win the world cup, it’s not possible!

When you see an African side play and you say the Referees are being silly; the fact is, every FIFA barged Referee have been tutored to understand the commercial value of the world cup and how it should play out among participating countries. FIFA would rather prefer a USA to win or perhaps, China or UAE because of their commercial capacity.

It was a struggle for FIFA to allow South Africa host the World cup in 2010. But for an African country to at the mundial is something unthinkable. That alone may cause a commercial earthquake that might shake the very foundation of FIFA and not even Sepp Blatter would allow it happen in his tenure as FIFA President.

It’s incredible the way many football scholars from Europe want to make us believe that African teams aren’t good enough and no African country may yet win the world cup in any foreseeable future.

They say African teams lack technical and tactical dept. Since most of the players don’t play top flight football, they find it difficult to keep up with the pace of the game at the world cup. But the fact is, African teams have their own style and should be allowed to express themselves. We’ve seen countries like Cameroon defeat world champions, Argentina, in the opening match of 1990 world cup, even with star players like Diego Maradona in that Argentinean squad - It didn’t go down well with FIFA.

The truth is, it isn’t about Africans inability to play the game. It is about FIFA commercial lineage. Some scholars too have spark off series of accusations that FIFA has sold the soul of the game to big business.

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