PLAY!YA Nigeria

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Young Nigerians want to determine their own lives, shape their fu­ture, change their coun­try for the better. How­ever, the eco­nom­ic and social circum­stances in Nigeria are ex­treme­ly chal­leng­ing: lack of jobs and per­spec­tives, cor­rup­tion and vio­lence, law­less­ness and pov­erty are every­day life expe­ri­ences.

PLAY!YA Nigeria has brought to­geth­er com­mit­ted cit­i­zens and youth for more than ten years to offer free­ly ac­ces­si­ble sports and lei­sure ac­tiv­i­ties and con­tri­bute to human and social de­vel­op­ment. Find out more about our recent activities:


International conference on corruption in sports on 6 July 2023

Scene from the film 'Betraying the Game' about corruption in African football. Copyright: Copyright: Insight TWIAbuja, 04.07.2023 – PLAY!YA Nigeria in part­ner­ship with the African Centre for Media Infor­mation & Literacy (AFRICMIL), the Centre for Jour­nalism Inno­vation and Devel­op­ment (CJID) and HEDA Resource Centre will orga­nise the one-day "Inter­national Con­ference on Cor­rup­tion in Sports, Whistle­blowing and Trans­par­ency" in the Nigerian capital Abuja on 06 July 2023. The meet­ing con­tri­butes to the growing call for an in­de­pen­dent global anti-corruption agency (referred to as "ClearingSport") by adding African perspectives. Experience shows that big part of sports ad­min­is­tration in Africa – the Nigerian second to none – lacks account­ability. In fact, offi­cials often active­ly engage in brib­ery, cor­rup­tion, and direct steal­ing of royalties or exploit sponsor­ship deals, sub­ven­tions, and other forms of income for their own benefit. This funda­ment­ally under­mines the ability of African athletes to (success­fully) perform. Against this back­ground, the panel­lists and partici­pants are invited to exa­mine the com­plex inter­relations between sports, cor­rup­tion, good gov­er­nance and social justice and dis­cuss ways forward. Online par­tic­i­pa­tion is pos­sible with­out prior reg­is­tra­tion via the link stated below. The con­ference starts at 09.30am (West African Time, UTC+1) re­spec­tive­ly 10.30am (Central European Summer Time, UTC+2). Further in­for­mation can be found in the programme.

arrow Programme of the international conference on corruption in sports (PDF 200 KB)

arrowarrow Online participation via Zoom (access only through Zoom platform)

arrowarrow African Centre for Media Infor­mation & Literacy (AFRICMIL)

arrowarrow Centre for Jour­nalism Inno­vation and Development (CJID)

arrowarrow Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre)


PLAY!YA Nigeria speaks at the international conference Play the Game 2022

Eze Alloysius from PLAY!YA Nigeria speaking at a panel during the Play the Game conference in Odense, June 2022. Copyright: Thomas Søndergard/Play the GameOdense, 05.07.2022 – For the twelfth time in 25 years, the one-of-a-kind con­ference "Play the Game" brought together hundreds of par­ti­cipants from the world of sport, academia, civil society, and media to ex­plore the darker sides of modern sport. The meet­ing took place in Odense, Den­mark, from 27 to 30 June 2022. Several major issues such as cli­mate change, cor­rup­tion, human rights vio­la­tions, or mega-events were clo­sely examined. Eze Alloysius, director of PLAY!YA Nigeria, was one of the few African acti­vists to take part. In the panel "Sports gover­nance: A global outlook", he out­lined the bit­ter reality of cor­rupt sports politics and cor­rupted sports federations in Nigeria and other African countries. He showed how society as a whole and mil­lions of sport-loving people at all levels - from school to elite sport - suffer as a result.

arrowarrow "Many nations lack the will and resources to implement governance reforms" (04.07.2022) - Report about the panel with PLAY!YA Nigeria at Play the Game 2022

arrowarrow Documentation of Play the Game 2022 – "Is there a cure for sport?", 27-30 June 2022


Online conference "Sports Governance Crisis and Sports Underdevelopment in Africa" on 28 September 2021 (organised by PLAY!YA Nigeria, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism and HEDA Resource Centre)

Online Conference "Sports Governance Crisis and Sports Underdevelopment in Africa" on 28 September 2021, 3:00 PM (West Africa Time)Lagos, 15.09.2021 – As the first of its kind, our online conference examines major struc­tural prob­lems of African sports. It links grass­roots ex­pe­riences and in­sights into inter­national sports ad­min­is­tra­tion with broader social, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic re­al­i­ties to bet­ter under­stand the chal­lenges at hand. It also ex­plic­it­ly ex­am­ines the role of in­ves­ti­ga­tive sports jour­na­lism in ex­posing sys­te­mic prob­lems. While issues like doping or match-fixing are di­rec­tly re­la­ted to sport­ing prac­tice, other mal­prac­tices in the sports in­dustry like brib­ery and cor­rup­tion, money laun­der­ing and tax eva­sion, or human traf­fick­ing and sex­u­al har­ass­ment are clo­sely inter­twined with society at large. The con­fe­rence analyses these complex inter­re­la­tions, debunks the fier­cely de­fend­ed notion of the "auto­nomy of sport" and relates the African (and global) "sports gov­er­nance cri­sis" to the broader is­sues of good gov­er­nance, human rights and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. Please register online and join us on 28 September 2021 at 3:00 PM (West Africa Time / UTC+01:00).

arrow Programme of the online conference "Sports Governance Crisis and Sports Underdevelopment in Africa" (28 September 2021)

arrowarrow Registration for the online conference via Zoom

arrowarrow More information about HEDA Resource Centre

arrowarrow More information about PTCIJ


Two-day workshop on investigative sports journalism and the fight against corruption with around 40 participants from Ghana and Nigeria

Workshop on investigative sports journalism organised by HEDA and PLAY!YA Nigeria in Abuja, March 2020. Copyright: PLAY!YA NigeriaAbuja, 11.03.2020 – Sports, most es­pe­cial­ly foot­ball, are an im­por­tant part of pub­lic life in Nige­ria and Af­ri­ca as a whole. Major inter­na­tion­al lea­gues and com­pe­ti­tions are fol­low­ed and dis­cuss­ed en­thu­sias­tic­ally. How­ever, the close ties be­tween sports, pol­i­tics and bus­i­ness and the re­sul­ting prob­lems such as cov­ert in­flu­ence, cor­rup­tion or em­bez­zle­ment of pub­lic funds have hard­ly play­ed a role in Af­ri­can sports re­port­ing to date. The Ni­ge­rian human rights NGO Human and En­vi­ron­men­tal De­vel­op­ment Agenda (HEDA) and PLAY!YA Nigeria there­fore or­ga­nised a ground­breaking work­shop on in­ves­ti­ga­tive sports jour­na­lism in Nigeria. The ap­prox­i­mate­ly 40 par­ti­ci­pants, among them the well-known Gha­naian under­cover jour­na­list Anas Are­me­yaw Anas and sev­er­al sports of­fi­cials, ex­changed views on the var­i­ous di­men­sions of cor­rup­tion in sports and the need for crit­i­cal re­port­ing be­yond sport­ing re­sults. In a de­cla­ra­tion, they also agreed to co­op­e­rate more clo­sely in the fu­ture and to base their work on trans­pa­rent criteria.

arrow Workshop programme (PDF 350 KB)

arrow Final communique of the workshop (PDF 100 KB)

arrowarrow Article published by the anti-corruption platform "Corruption Anonymous"

arrowarrow Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA)

arrowarrow PLAY!YA Nigeria facebook page


AFFF 2020 sheds light on labor exploitation and corruption in soccer

Still picture from the film 'Betraying the Game' about corruption in African footballLagos, 30.01.2020 – African migrant workers build­ing the 2022 World Cup sta­di­ums in Qatar or Gha­na­ian soc­cer of­fi­cials ac­cept­ing bribes - the fourth edi­tion of the Afri­can Foot­ball Film Fes­ti­val (AFFF) from 16 to 30 Jan­u­ary 2020 again show­ed dark sides of mod­ern soccer. Accom­pa­nied by dis­cus­sion panels, an enter­tain­ment pro­gramme and short clips, two main films were screen­ed: "Betray­ing the Game" by in­ves­ti­ga­tive jour­na­list Anas Are­me­yaw Anas, whose re­ve­la­tions led to the dis­so­lu­tion of the Ghana Foot­ball As­so­cia­tion in 2018, and "The Wor­kers Cup" by Adam Sobel, which doc­u­ments the bleak liv­ing con­di­tions of mi­grant work­ers in World Cup won­der­land Qatar. Apart from its usual lo­ca­tion in Gowon Estate, the fes­ti­val also made its first visit to Festac Town, an­oth­er so­cial­ly de­priv­ed neigh­bour­hood in the mega­city of Lagos, to share soc­cer info­tain­ment with even more people. In mid-March, PLAY!YA will host a two-day work­shop on in­vesti­ga­tive sports jour­na­lism for the first time as part of the AFFF. The event will take place in Abuja with the par­ti­ci­pa­tion of Gha­na­ian jour­na­list Anas and to­gether with the Nige­rian NGO Human and En­vi­ron­men­tal De­vel­op­ment Agenda (HEDA).

arrow AFFF 2020 – Programme with film summaries (PDF 1.3 MB)

arrowarrow Coverage of the AFFF 2020 on Lagos TV (YouTube, 3:01 min)

arrowarrow AFFF facebook page

arrowarrow Betraying the Game

arrowarrow The Workers Cup