31 March 2006

Honest Dishonesty in Nigeria

In what is perhaps the best recent demonstration that Solomonic Wisdom is alive and well in the modern world, the acting head of the Nigerian Football Association said that referees in the African nation can accept bribes but that they should not allow them to influence their decisions on the field:

Fanny Amun, acting Secretary-General of the Nigerian Football Association, said bribery was common in the Nigerian game.

"We know match officials are offered money or anything to influence matches and they can accept it," Amun told Reuters on Friday.

. . . .

"Referees should only pretend to fall for the bait, but make sure the result doesn't favor those offering the bribe," Amun said.

At the seminar, Nigerian football league chairman Oyuiki Obaseki reprimanded referees for poor quality match reports, saying that bribery was to blame.

"The quality of your reports have not done our league any good, so please desist from corrupt practices," he told delegates.

Initially, I thought this was just an isolated incident -- one bad apple spoiling the barrel -- but the article goes on to say that "Nigeria consistently ranks among the most corrupt countries in the world". What?! Why is this the first I'm hearing of this?!

I swear, one more report like this and I'm going to stop sending my personal information to those kind Nigerian folks who e-mail me from time-to-time, requesting my assistance in moving their hard-earned oil revenues.

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