In sport, the kick is never far away

If the leader of sport today sees only him/her self as important then it is not possible to conceptualise that there should be a successor one day.

At a recent General Assembly of the Pan American Sports Organisation, PASO, in Brazil, former President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, was asked to say a few words at the official opening ceremony.

He reminded the gathering that he was the longest serving President of the IOC and that he had to leave the leadership because of his age. Thereby hangs an important tale.

The point was quite clear. Samaranch, while presiding over the IOC, appeared to have changed the rules in respect of the age limits for membership. At the time of doing so he adopted a stance that left him out of the very limitations that he was creating for those around him, giving the President some exclusion from some of them.

Joao Havelange attempted to engage in a similar exercise in FIFA and was accused at one point of wanting to declare himself President of the organisation for life.

It is therefore inevitable that leaders who come to see themselves as the sole source of what is required to lead an organisation will find him/her self driven from their respective perches atop those organisations.

Their own failure to plan for withdrawal and to empower those around them inevitably leads to their rejection in a most disdainful manner by the membership.

In such situations, the rejected leader is quickly forgotten.

Perhaps it is in anticipation of precisely just this type of kick in the face that Trinidad and Tobago's Austin ‘Jack' Warner, constantly reminds the populace that he does not understand why Trinis do not like him. He knows that the inevitable kick is never far away.