The Wright View – Sports took massive beating in 2015

first_imgThe year 2015 is over. Whew! Good news. I am of the opinion that sports in general took a massive beating, with scandals and corruption allegations taking away headlines from the ones who make sports exciting and entertaining – the athletes themselves.That is not to say that the athletes who excited and entertained us were ‘saints’. What last year’s headlines revealed was that those who were supposed to administer the competitions and ensure fairness were there only to enrich themselves and their ‘pardeees’.I view all evidence of malfeasance and corruption as equally abhorrent. Therefore, there is no scandal worse than another. The multiple arrests, allegations, and confessions of the administration of world football, FIFA, take the lead position mainly because of the extent of the problem. But the revelations in athletics, WADA, and the IAAF should not be viewed as any less than what is going on in FIFA. Corruption is corruption, and as Dick Pound is quoted as saying: “In the old days, sport was well outside of anything that governments had focused on. They were all private organisations, and they were run kind of informally like clubs, and so on, and they have tried to pretend that they can do that even in 2015 … and they can’t.”It simply won’t work in this day and age; you have to be more transparent, which doesn’t mean that you have to run around buck naked, but people have to understand how a decision was reached, and by whom, and for what reasons, and that sort of thing never used to happen. There was a code of silence. Sport has got to change, or it’s going to be changed.”The world, now really a global village, means that Jamaica is not immune from the stain of the revelations.In football, the local administrators have steadfastly continued to use a formula for a return to the World Cup that has failed repeatedly, but in the past, such failures were pooh-poohed by a confident president, who knew that he could rely on his contacts and ‘pardees’ in FIFA to arrange international games, tours, and invitations to international tournaments to keep our football relevant.GLOOMY 2016?Now, with a business partner with FIFA clout under house arrest and other ‘friends of Caribbean football’ constantly looking over their shoulders at moves and statements by the female attorney general of the United States, things do not look good for 2016.The hiring of a German coach with a salary package that could not be supported by local financing, coupled with the inability to compensate ‘foreign’ Jamaicans who are used to ’nuff’ money when playing for Jamaica, will end with the failure (again) of this nation to qualify for another World Cup.In cricket, the present regional administrators of the sport have rubbished a report prepared by a CARICOM subcommittee on cricket – that they initiated and for which they handpicked some of the members – determined to continue on their merry way, owing millions of US dollars to the Indian cricket board, antagonising and alienating our best cricketers, and insulting island prime ministers, regardless of what the fans and the other cricketing nations think of West Indian cricket.In track and field, the present administrators have steadfastly refused to answer the reasonable questions raised by colleague columnist Laurie Foster re ‘peculiar’ occurrences regarding tickets bought and used for athletes who did not travel to a particular meet.Dick Pound’s quote in the first paragraph rings true.”There was a code of silence. Sport has got to change, or it is going to be changed.”May 2016 be the year when sport rids itself of corruption! The first salvo in the fight for change is term limits for ‘volunteers’ in administration! Then, 2016 can be better than 2015.It must be better for sports’ sake.last_img