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Monday, November 30, 2020

AMAJU PINNICK: 10 QUOTES ON 50TH BIRTHDAY



 

On Turning 50

 

I give all glory to God Almighty. It is a milestone and one must look back and reflect on how the journey has been. I am very happy about my journey, which has been mainly about football and business. I am fulfilled with the tremendous success I have achieved in both, and I pray that God will continue to guide my path so that I can accomplish even greater things in all areas. There is nothing that I have achieved of my own power, strength, wisdom or intellect. Everything has been down to God Almighty.

 

On Journey So Far With NFF Exco

 

It has been illuminating and educative. In the past six years and three months, we have all worked at not only steering the ship, but doing things differently. We have looked at the strategies, methods and processes and we have tried to make positive changes that would make things easier for those coming into the organization in the years to come. We have planned, toiled, ploughed, planted and prayed, and we still earnestly pray that all will end in praise. Nigerian football has so much potential; we believe the work we have been doing will begin to manifest very soon.

 

Challenges and Obstacles

 

There have been quite a number of challenges, odds, hurdles and obstacles. The important thing is we have remained indivisible, united and committed to the larger cause of the interest of the Nigeria game. Our focus has kept us all on the same page: Congress, the Executive Committee, Management and Staff. There have been tribulations and simulated slippery ground here and there, but we have managed to weather it all and stand tall. These trials have not been of our making, but the sincerity of our desire to improve the way things are done for the good of the game has never been in doubt.  

 

AFCON 2022

 

At the beginning of November, our expectation was that by now, we would have the ticket to the AFCON 2022 stuck in our pocket. Unfortunately, it did not work out that way. Against Sierra Leone, we scored four goals in 30 minutes and everyone thought it was a done deal.

It was not, and I believe that after that match and then going to Freetown to play another draw with the Leone Stars, the Super Eagles have learnt a big lesson.

Every game deserves not only your best output, but your best output throughout and until the referee’s final whistle. We have had a few conversations with the players and technical crew since then and I am confident this kind of complacency will not rear its head again. Having said that, I believe that we still have the ticket in our hands. We are still top of the group and all we need do is go to Cotonou to pick up three points against the Squirrels in March.

 

FIFA World Cup 2022

 

The lessons we learnt against Sierra Leone came at the right time, and will stand us in good stead in the World Cup qualifying series. If we had thrashed the Leone Stars, there would have been the temptation to take Liberia, Cape Verde and Central Africa Republic for granted in the World Cup qualifiers. Now, we know we cannot do anything like that. Every game, from the first one, must be approached with the best legs, mind and best attitude. Each of the six qualifying matches will be war and the knock-out games will be greater war.

 

Below-par Outing Of Nigerian Clubs In The Continent

 

I am very disappointed. In as much as we can point to the fact that the League has not started, there is something called the ‘Nigeria spirit’ and we expect teams flying Nigeria’s colours to have that in them. I am at a loss as to how Kano Pillars could be playing away from home, and they led their hosts, only to collapse to a 3-1 defeat. Nigerian teams should be made of sterner stuff. I commend Enyimba FC that won away against their opponents in Ouqgadougou; that is the way to do it. My challenge to the other clubs is to turn things around in the return legs and qualify for the next rounds of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup competitions.

 

Strengthening The Domestic League

 

 This is something we talk about among ourselves everyday. I mean, myself and colleagues on the NFF Board talk and toil on this but hurdles always come up. I believe we are getting out of the morass and there is light at the end of the tunnel that we can even see. Our prayer is that everything holds firm and we get things going smoothly as planned. The importance of the league being virile and attractive is not lost on any of us.

 

Vision for the Nigeria Game

Our vision remains building a sustainable football culture for our dear country. It is non-negotiable. We also are determined to improve football infrastructure and facilities both at national and regional levels, as can be seen in our passionate drive for FIFA projects across the country. We are equally committed to training and re-training, and enabling greater mass participation in the game of football, which is the single biggest unifier of all our peoples across several mental and physical divides, and also serves as robust lure for boys and girls away from all manner of social vices, not to talk of the international image-building component. We are also extremely passionate about developing the game at the grassroots.

 

FIFA Council Aspiration

 

I have consulted wide and this is the route I feel comfortable to take for now. Membership of the FIFA Council also confers a lot of responsibility on one and you have the opportunity to make crucial contributions to the running of world football. Things may change in a couple of years, but for now, I am going for the FIFA Council based on the consultations I have had and the plan that is on ground. For the CAF Presidency, we are supporting the aspiration of Dr Patrice Motsepe of South Africa. We believe he has the clout, means and organizational savvy to take CAF from its present low level to a place of regard and respect among the six confederations of FIFA.

 

NFF Presidency Third Term?

 

No way! I made my decision even before earning the second mandate on 20th September 2018. I will not be running for the NFF Presidency again. I want to thank the Members of the Congress, my colleagues on the Executive Committee, Management and Staff, and stakeholders of the game for their support. I will be stepping off in 2022 to give another person the opportunity to lead Nigeria Football. That is the truth

Perfect start for D’Tigers as 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Qualifier ends in Rwanda

 Perfect start for D’Tigers as 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Qualifier ends in Rwanda



D'Tigers concluded their first FIBA Afrobasket on a winning note as they maintained their unbeaten run with another emphatic 91-68 points win against Mali.

Captain, Ike Diogu led from the front as he powered the team to its third victory with 14 points, 5 rebounds to emerge the team's top performer.

Although Mali won the first quarter, 16-13, they lost their way in the second quarter 26-15pts as Nigeria headed into the break with a 39-31 points lead.

It was all about the Coach Mike Brown led team when the second half resumed with the team winning the third and fourth quarter (22-20, 30-17) no thanks to some sloppy play leading to series of turnovers which the Malians paid for dearly.

Point Guard, Ike Iroegbu continued his sterling performance and consistency for the team scoring an amazing 17 points, 4 steals and 6 assists.




Obi Emegano and Keith Omoerah combined to score 23 points on a night that the team confirmed its superiority.

Despite the heroics of Ibrahim Djambo who sank 22 points and 5 rebounds, it was not enough to stop the determined D'Tigers team who had their eyes fixed on their third straight win after defeating South Sudan and host-Rwanda.

As life under the new coach continues, attention will now shift to the next set of group matches slated for February, 2021 with Nigeria sitting pretty easy atop group D. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

ON THE PURPORTED POSTPONEMENT OF THE 2020 NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL

 *ON THE PURPORTED POSTPONEMENT OF THE 2020 NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL*




By *_Engr. Chika Chukwumerije_* _OLY, MNSE_



Two major political elections were held in Ondo & Edo; the National Festival of Arts & Culture was held in Plateau; Churches & Mosques across the nation threw open their gates; NYSC camps are open; millions of children have flooded back into the classrooms to continue their education; and millions of businesses have welcomed back their employees.



Yet, the 2020 National Sports Festival is to be purportedly postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.



Prior to the holding of these other events, ‘concerns’ were raised about the impact of COVID-19, but the events were ultimately allowed to hold, despite the fact that the ‘crowd size and crowd proximity’ involved are similar to those that will gather at the National Sports Festival.



One must then ponder this situation where, despite the ‘concerns’ raised, national activities and events related to Religion, Politics, Culture, Education, Business did not suffer; yet Sports which is the only entity that provides an amalgamation of all the forementioned entities unfairly suffers due to the same concerns. 



Expectedly, sports enthusiasts and dependents are crying out at the selective and marginalized application of these concerns. They are also wondering why the dates were fixed in the first place without final authorization first being secured, this pointedly being the reason for the unfolding confusion and distress. 



Most certainly, health should be the priority in deciding to hold or postpone the National Sports Festival – but it is only one side of the health argument that is being put up.



The other side of the health argument is the MENTAL HEALTH & SANCTITY of tens of thousands of youths and officials for whom sports is their anchor; in addition to the FINANCIAL HEALTH of legion of sporting youths from across the 37 states, who have looked to the 2020NSF to salvage some of the financial damage inflicted by the COVID-19 disruption. 


This is why the European leagues are back in play because they understand that the damage wrought on people’s mental health accompanied by the financial losses incurred are hugely disproportional, especially when one considers that the spread of covid-19 can be mitigated in a controlled environment.


The depression and anxiety felt by the sports community is real, and the 2020NSF was the defibrillator needed to counteract the sporting arrhythmia currently being experienced by tens of thousands of sporting youths.


If Kenyans were allowed to travel 4760km from Kenya to Nigeria to participate and enjoy the benefits of the recently held Kaduna Marathon, it is only fair to argue that Nigerians be allowed to travel much fewer kilometers to participate and benefit from the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival.


To this effect, all efforts must be made to satisfy whatever conditions are necessary to ensure the 2020 National Sports Festival are safely held, either at these original dates proposed or within the next two months.


Leadership at all levels should properly align for a major decision like this.

Flying Officers Cup: The Biggest Women Football Pre-Season Championship In Africa

 Flying Officers Cup: The Biggest Women Football Pre-Season Championship In Africa. 



Africa's biggest women football Pre-season Championship, the "Flying Officers Cup" ended on Sunday, the 22nd of November 2020 with a lot of funfair and glamour. 


The Championship which started on Monday the 16th of November at the Guards Brigade Stadium, Abuja had five NWFL Premiership heavyweights and three others competing. 



Following the success of the 2019 edition which was held at the Aper Aku Stadium Makurdi, the organisers of the competition, Ratels Sports Foundation deemed it fit to primarily rebrand the tournament and rename it the Flying Officers Cup in honour of the late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile who lost her life at the age of 24. 


The 2020 edition had defending Champions Edo Queens, 2018 NWFL Premiership Champions, Bayelsa Queens, 2019 AITEO CUP Champions Nasarawa Amazons, Royal Queens, Confluence Queens, Naija Ratels, Honey Badgers and Kaduna Queens all competing for the One Million Naira prize money. 



Ratels Sports Foundations, catered for the accommodation, feeding and general welfare of all the teams during the one week duration and also gave all the teams branded jerseys, giant trophy for the winner for keeps, 10 branded ball each for all participating teams, high premium special awards, such as MVP, Best goalkeeper etc which was presented to players who distinguished themselves at the final, high premium medals was also given to teams. 


Further more, all the 16 games was streamed live and each of the teams that participated were given N60,000, while each of the coaches also went home with N20,000 each. 



In an highly pulsating finals on sunday in Abuja, which was graced by top football administrators such as the Chairperson of the NWFL, Aisha Falode, NFF second Vice-president and LMC Chairperson Mallam Shehu Dikko, the Parents of the late Nigeria first ever female helicopter combat pilot, Tolulope Arotile, Mr and Mrs Akintunde Arotile and lots more has Bayelsa Queens pipped Nasarawa Amazons by a lone goal, scored by Olaiya Barakat in the 16th minute. 


Speaking after the event, the founder of Ratels Sports Foundation and President of Naija Ratels Foot all Club, Barrister Paul Edeh thanked everyone that made the competition a success and also stated that the competition was primarily named after the late Tolulope Arotile who lived an exemplary life and thus rose to become the first female helicopter combat pilot, a feat that is priceless and difficult to come by. 



He further went to say; " The tournament is now an annual event and will continue to be named after her, as a a way of immortalizing the young flying officer whose life and time embodies the spirit of sportsmanship which made it possible for her to set the pace for other aspiring women to join the ranks of Flying Officers in the Nigerian Airforce. Edeh said. 


Also the Chairperson of the NWFL, Aisha Falode, hailed the organisers for pulling out a perfect competition and want them to continue with the success story. 



" This is unprecedented, I am really impressed and hope this will even be better in the coming years. We endorsed this competition because we believe in the ability of Barrister Paul Edeh. His love and passion for the women's game is great.


Mr Akintunde Arotile, Father of the deceased Flying Officer, who was emotional and also grateful to Ratels Sports Foundation for honouring his daughter, described her as a special, talented and brave child. Mr. Arotile went on to say his daughter was a very religious person, who loved to cater for the welfare of the less privileged girl child.



The next edition of the Flying Officers Cup will be held in Benin City, the capital of Edo state in August 2021.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Flying Officers Cup 2020: Ali, Alani, Jerry Named In Best XI

 Flying Officers Cup 2020: Ali, Alani, Jerry Named In Best XI. 



Following sunday's conclusion of the 2020 edition of the Flying Officers Cup, staged at the Guards Brigade Stadium, Abuja.


Four Bayelsa Queens players, one each from Confluence Queens, Royal Queens and Nasarawa Amazons, while two each representing Naija Ratels and Edo Queens made the official Flying Officers Cup 2020 team of the tournament. .


The team was selected by a 5- strong panel of  technical study group, led by Oluchi Tobe-chukwu, which also included some top women football journalists. The technical observers made their choices based on various criteria, which had been outlined before the tournament.


1. Onyinyechi Okeke, (Bayelsa Queens)


Okeke was arguably player of the match in the final against Nasarawa Amazons, capping off a marvelous tournament between the sticks for the 'Restoration Girls'. It was hard to blame her for any of the goals the champions conceded. The former Edo Queens Goalie brought a claiming presence to her team's backline. 


2. Alani Jumoke (Edo Queens)


Jumoke was quietly effective at right-back for the Obaseki girls. The former Jokodolu Babes defender showed great energy in getting up and down the flank and also made some timely tackles and interceptions at the back and even scored an important goal against Naija Ratels. Her major contender in this position is Naija Ratels Aishat Animashaun, who was also fantastic all through the competition. 


3. Uzoamka Igwe (Bayelsa Queens). 


Uzoamka played with intelligence and maturity that is usually associated with players of her calibre. She did so well from her left full back position and initiated some of Bayelsa Queens goals. 


4. Chioma Oliseh (Royal Queens).


The young forward was terrific and was the engine room of her team, breaking up opposition attacks and starting her team's own with some fine all round displays. Though her side narrowly lost out of semi-final, Oliseh was superb even without captain Osas Enoma. She scored two goals from her position, one from a corner kick against Kaduna Queens, the other a fantastic free-kick against Edo Queens.


5. Paulina Ali (Naija Ratels FC)


It does feel right to label Naija Ratels a surprise package, but Ratels certainly exceeded all expectations at the Flying Officers Cup. Ali was solid and resolute at the back and helped her side concede less than any side in the competition. 


6. Abidemi Ibe (Bayelsa Queens)


A top class centre half, Ibe was too strong for most opposing attackers. The former Ibom Angels defender marshalled the Restoration Ladies backline brilliantly, with her reading of the game particularly impressive. 


7. Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens)


 Voted player of the the tournament, her decisive contributions in front of goal and her high work rate from all part of the pitch ensured Bayelsa Queens had a clinical edge to go with their solid foundation. She was practically everywhere on the pitch and was a great leader too. 


8. Aminat Bello (Naija Ratels)


She had a great partnership upfront with jolly friend Grace Obi and was involved in general play, conjuring and contributing to match winning moments as Olowookere Bankole's ladies made it all the way to the semi-finals.  


9. Joy Omewa (Confluence Queens)


She scored six goals to emerge top scorer, including the famous five goals against Honey Badgers FC. 


Though her side failed to make it past the first round, her influence on the pitch was top-notch and her goals gave her team a good record in the competition. 


10. Osas Igbinovia (Edo Queens)


The Super Falcons midfielder was brilliant in every match she played, helping Edo Queens control possession and demonstrating a useful ability to continually identify and execute the right pass at the right moment. 


11. Chiemere Opara (Nasarawa Amazons)


After a lengthy hiatus from football, because of a career threatening injury, Cheimere Opara scored two important goals for her side, to ensure they got to the final of the Flying Officers Cup. The diminutive forward gave the Christopher Danjuma side a lot of life upfront.

Jenny Anusiem gives reasons for floating Imo Angels FC; seeks partnership with Imo SWAN

 Jenny Anusiem gives reasons for floating Imo Angels FC; seeks partnership with Imo SWAN



The Chief Executive Officer, Imo Angels FC, Jenny Anusiem has reiterated that her decision to float a female club was borne out of her curiosity to fill the apparent space in women's football in the Eastern Heartland.


Lady Jenny Anusiem who disclosed this when she and her management team paid Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Imo Chapter a visit on Tuesday in Owerri to seek partnership noted that she had held series of competitions for the female folks in her community but that the urge to take it to the next level informed her decision to float Imo Angels FC.


She said a lot has been put in place to change the narrative regarding how women's football is viewed in the state and that all these would be unfolded at the unveiling/ public presentation of the club on Saturday, November 28 at the City School field along Wethedral Road, Owerri as from 9 am.


"Imo Angels FC is a female football club in Owerri. Our vision and mission for this club is to help the girl child. As we all know, I run an NGO, the Jenny Uzor Foundation and we have done a lot to help the girl child living in our society," Anusiem informed www.dasportstainment247.com.


"I started by sponsoring female football competitions in my village and has been held for three years. I started to upgrade this year because I saw the space in female football in Imo State and it is why I introduced Imo Angels FC to young talented Imo girls who have chosen football as a career."


Lady Anusiem appealed to Imo SWAN to help propagate the activities of the club noting that sports writers and sports generally are like siamese twins that can't do without each other and that it was the reason they came to officially invite Imo SWAN members to the unveiling of Saturday and to also seek partnership with the organisation.


"We shall be unveiling the club on Saturday 28th November 2020 at the City School by 9 am. When you train a girl you train a nation. We want to ensure that our young talented girls go through the proper rudiments of the game. 


"Football has to move with the media and it is the reason we are here to partner with Imo SWAN so that our activities can be relayed to the outside world and Imo people."


The General Manager of the Imo Angels FC, Chuks Dike stated that it is the objective of the club to ensure that women with football potentials are taking off the streets to stardom and that several activities have been lined up for the girls discovered during the screening exercise that was conducted in Owerri recently including embarking on training tours and also inviting foreign scouts to come and look at the girls.


"You cannot be doing the same thing and you expect a different result and that is why if you have followed what we are doing you can agree with me that we are having a different approach to the way things are done," Dike, a former player of Jaspers United, Enugu Rangers, Doyin Babes among others said.


"We are trying to bring to take the girls away from the streets and bring them to the pitch and make them superstars. We can't achieve this without meeting the right stakeholders and it is why we have been going round to seek partnership with relevant stakeholders. After going around, we are going to get the Board of Directors and ambassadors for the club. 


"We also want to bring International scouts to come and look at the girls and see what they can make of them. We are also planning to embark on international tours."


Earlier the Vice Chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Imo Chapter, Johnkennedy Uzoma who represented the Chairman, Everest Ezihe thumbed up the activities of Imo Angels FC officials and promised them that Sports Writers in the State would help spread the reach of the club through their reports both in print, electronics and online media.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

I AM USING BASKETBALL TO PROMOTE PEACE AND UNITY IN JOS, Sam Oguche

 I AM USING BASKETBALL TO PROMOTE PEACE AND UNITY IN JOS, Sam Oguche 



By Akin Bolarinwa 


The founder of Sam Oguche Basketball foundation, Samuel Oguche has stated the reason behind the launch of J-town Basketball Peace tournament holding next year in Jos, Plateau state. 


Speaking from his base in United Kingdom, Oguche opined that the Jos town basketball tournament is part of his own little way of giving back to the Nigerian kids and Africa has a whole.


After more than seven years of  helping Nigerian youths through basketball empowerment, Oguche said the trip to Jos is to create awareness for the game and also an avenue to discover, nurture and mould  career for young dunkers. 


Samuel Oguche says "A week long tournament which is scheduled for 8th to 15th of January  2021 is targeted at taking the kids off the street and educating them on how to play safe and stay safe on and off the basketball court".


The Azi Iyako youth center will host the J-town basketball peace tournament. 


"The aim of the tournament is to take kids off the streets and give them moral education "


"Basketball clinic, music and dance performances would be unleash during the tournament". Oguche stated.

African football tainted again!

 African football tainted again!




By Bassey Ibiatisuho


FIFA's pronouncement of a five-year ban from all football related activity on the President of CAF, Africa's football governing body, Ahmad Ahmad did not come to many as a surprise, but rather left millions of football loving Africans wondering to what extent the beautiful game has been betrayed, battered and looted by those entrusted to develop football in the continent.


When Ahmad Ahmad took over the presidency of CAF in March 2017, he pledged to develop the game of football on the continent and reform the scandal-tainted organisation. He also promised to introduce a new code of ethics and extend ethics checks on African football officials. His vision was seen to be consistent and attractive to that of newly elected FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, who was on a mission to salvage the reputation of the football governing body.


Unfortunately, two years later Ahmad became a subject of a FIFA ethics investigation after his former Secretary-General Amr Fahmy made various allegations to football’s world governing body against the Malagasy which led to his ban for five years from all football related activity on November 23, 2020 following the report of the independent Ethics Committee which found him guilty of corruption and abuse of office. A ban which came four months before the expiration of his tenure in March 2021.


The latest ban which is also the biggest for the African continent is one out of many imposed by Infantino's led FIFA on CAF officials found guilty of various extra-curricula activities.


In 2016, FIFA banned Bootun Balkrishna from Mauritania for four years from all football related activity for match manipulation incident. In that same year, three former officials of the South African Football Association, Leslie Sedibe, a former SAFA chief executive, was banned for five years by Fifa’s ethics committee. Steve Goddard and Adeel Carelse, both former heads of the SAFA’s refereeing department, were each banned for two years. The cases were linked to that of the former SAFA executive member and head of referees Lindile Kika, who was banned for six years by Fifa in October of the previous year.


In 2017, Ghanaian referee Joseph Odartei Lamptey was banned for life by FIFA after being found guilty of influencing the result of a World Cup qualifying match.


In 2018, Ghanaian undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas released a documentary showing African officials allegedly engaging in acts of corruption.


The documentary prompted the Ghanaian government to dissolve the country's FA and forced its football chief Kwesi Nyantakyi to resign from the top positions he held with FIFA as a council member and CAF as a Vice President.


Assistant referee David Laryea was banned for life while six other Ghanaian referees and assistant referees as well as a CAF technical instructor, Wellington Joseph were banned for 10 years for corruption. Fourteen other referees and assistants from Benin, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Congo, Madagascar, Ghana and Liberia, including Hamada Nampiandraza, who was a referee at the 2013 African Cup of Nations were also provisionally suspended following a meeting of CAF's disciplinary board.


Adel Range Marwa, a Kenyan World Cup-bound referee who was filmed accepting a cash gift, was banned for life and removed by Fifa from its list of officials for Russia 2018 while Nigeria's chief coach Salisu Yusuf was another victim of Anas's investigations, as he was caught on camera accepting cash from undercover journalists posing as football agents who wanted him to select two players for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).


Match-fixing, sexual misconduct, bribery, financial misappropriation, deal-swapping, votes buying, unilateral decisions by FA, unsporting bargaining, match manipulation, league mismanagement and many other underhand dealings and corrupt practices from member countries to the confederation have perpetually kept African football undeveloped, unattractive and untrusted.


Its been a-free-for-all corruption in CAF the last three years, it is now time for FIFA to redeem the image of football in the continent. The FIFA General Delegate for Africa led by General Secretary Fatma Samoura must see to it that their task of improving the professionalism of the organisation and supporting growth and development of football in all African countries is comprehensive and the forensic audit of CAF should be extended to various national FAs.


This is the time to win back the trust of football fans and reform CAF, which has become a symbol of corruption following years of scandals. National governments must collaborate with FIFA to liberate the beautiful game of football from corrupted individuals who have tainted the objective and role football plays in national and continental development.

Monday, November 23, 2020

ANFSC Endorses China Acheru's Book

 ANFSC Endorses China Acheru's Book



Authentic Nigeria Football Supporters club (ANFSC) have come out to endorse A Thousand Times On The Same Road a book, by Veteran sports journalist, China Acheru.


President of Authentic Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Prince Abayomi Ogunjimi while receiving copies of the book on behalf of the club stated that he always appreciates innovative ideas and likes to support progressive thinking people.



"I have known China Acheru for quite sometime albeit from afar but I have always loved his storytelling style, I recommend this book for lovers of Nigerian football as it tells us about a lot of behind the scenes happenings in Nigerian football" Prince Abayomi stated. 


Prince Abayomi Ogunjimi also present Mr China Acheru with the club's branded nose mask while stating that the club supports  the government's Covid-19 guidelines and urges citizens to adher to the protocols and he also stressed that the club in its own little way supports the community by giving out Hand sanitizers and Nose masks.


A thousand times on the same road is a book about the adventures of China Acheru while covering football at sixty-one stadiums across 49 Nigerian towns, seventeen stadiums across sixteen African cities and stadiums in Europe and South America spanning three decades.



Authentic Nigeria Football Supporters Club is proud to endorse this book and has bought copies to be shared to its members.


Authorized 

Management

BREAKING: CAF President Banned By FIFA

 Confederation of African football president Ahmad Ahmad was banned for five years by FIFA on Monday for financial misconduct.




The ban was announced during the Madagascan official’s campaign to be re-elected for four more years as the head of African soccer. His position also makes him a FIFA vice president.

The FIFA ethics committee found “Ahmad had breached his duty of loyalty, offered gifts and other benefits, mismanaged funds and abused his position as the CAF President.”

Ahmad’s first four-year term was clouded with allegations of financial wrongdoing and misconduct at the Confederation of African Football headquarters in Cairo.

The CAF election is scheduled for March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.

Flying Officers Cup: Jerry, Omewa And Okeke Lead Individual Awards

 Flying Officers Cup: Jerry, Omewa And Okeke Lead Individual Awards.



After 16 matches, the Flying Officers Cup 2020 came to an end on Sunday, 22nd of November. The competition culminated in a thrilling contest between two NWFL Premiership heavyweights, with Bayelsa Queens eventually prevailing 1-0 over Nasarawa Amazons to become the champions of the biggest women football Pre-season Championship in Africa. 


Football may be a team sport, but a few selected players delivered such outstanding individual performances over the course of 7 days as to merit and receive special recognition.



Bayelsa Queens Captain Joy Jerry was honoured with the MVP award as the tournament's best player, her teammate Onyinyechi Okeke won the best goalkeeper award, Naija Ratels Midfielder Emmanuel Blessing's superb Semi-final strike against Nasarawa Amazons was voted best goal of the championship, while Confluence Queens attacker Joy Omewa ended as topscorer with six goals.



Most Valuable Player~ Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens)


Best Goalkeeper ~ Onyinyechi Okeke (Bayelsa Queens)


Highest Goalscorer~ Joy Omewa (6Goals)


Best Goal of the Tournament~ Emmanuel Blessing (Naija Ratels)


Coach of the Tournament~ Moses Aduku (Bayelsa Queens)


Best Behaved Coach ~Bankole Olowookeere (Naija Ratels)


Fair Play Award~ Naija Ratels


The eventual champions, Bayelsa Queens defeated last year's winner Edo Queens in the semifinals before going on to defeat Nasarawa Amazons in the final on Sunday.

Flying Officers Cup: Bayelsa Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Edo Queens And Ratels Receive Competition Prize Money

 Flying Officers Cup: Bayelsa Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Edo Queens And Ratels Receive Competition Prize Money. 



Flying Officers Cup 2020 Champions Bayelsa Queens, finalist Nasarawa Amazons, third and fourth placed teams Edo Queens and Naija Ratels have all acknowledged receipt of payment for the competition's prize money on Sunday evening. 


The prize money of N500,000, N300,000 N200,000 and N150,000 was paid respectively, after the final game between Nasarawa Amazons and Bayelsa Queens.


The President of Ratels Sports Foundation, Barrister Paul Edeh said it was neccesary for the payment to be made in time, announced and well documented for transperancy sake. 



The legal luminary also thanked all the teams that participated at the Preseason Championship and urged them to use the technical lessons learnt from the competition to prepare well ahead of their various leagues. 


Beyond the prize money, clubs that crashed out in the first round will get N60,000 each, while all their coaches will also smile home with N20,000 each. 



Furthermore, clubs also got free accomodations all through the period of the competition with their feedings well taken care of by the organisers and they were also given set of branded jerseys with ten branded balls each. 



The Flying Officers Cup was formerly known as the Naija Ratels Pre-season Championship and it was renamed to honour the memories of the late Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile.

Arotile, Falode, Dikko Others Graced Flying Officers Cup Final In Abuja

 Arotile, Falode, Dikko Others Graced Flying Officers Cup Final In Abuja. 



The final of the 2020 Flying Officers Cup was graced by the parents of the late Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, who was Nigeria first ever female combat helicopter pilot. 


Mr and Mrs Akintunde Arotile who were special guest of honor at the final of the Flying Officers Cup, a competition set up in honour and memory of their daughter who was regarded as a great patriot during her time. 


Some of the top football administrators in the country were also in attendance as the final of the biggest women football Preseason Championship in Africa took center stage in Abuja on sunday evening.


LMC Chairman and second vice President of the NFF, Mallam Shehu Dikko, NWFL Chairperson Aisha Falode, Nasarawa State Commissioner for sports, Othman Bala Adam, Chief Operating Officer of NWFL, Mrs Faith Ben-Anuge, Former Ex-international and Chairman of Confluence Queens, Abdul Sule and a whole host of others were in attendance as Bayelsa Queens won Nasarawa Amazons 1-0 in the final game.



In her remarks, the Chairperson of the NWFL, Aisha Falode was impressed with the organisation of the event and openly praised them for doing a great job. 


Mr Akintunde Arotile, Father of the deceased Flying Officer, who was emotional and also grateful to Ratels Sports Foundation for honouring his daughter, described her as a special, talented and brave child. Mr Arotile went on to say his daughter was a very religious person and loved to cater for the welfare of the less privileged girl child.


Ratels Sports Foundation President, Barrister Paul Edeh while speaking thanked all the dignitaries that graced the final of the 2020 Edition of the Flying Officers Cup and promised to make the event even bigger next year. 



Bayelsa Queens were crowned Champions after defeating Nasarawa Amazons 1-0 in the final on Sunday evening at the Guards Brigade Stadium, Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment, Abuja.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Flying Officers Cup: Bayelsa Queens Emerge Worthy Champions Of 2020 Flying Officers Cup

 Flying Officers Cup: Bayelsa Queens Emerge Worthy Champions Of 2020 Flying Officers Cup

 




Bayelsa Queens emerged as winners of the 2020 Flying Officers Cup after a slim 1-0 win over Nasarawa Amazons on Sunday evening in Abuja. 


Chairperson of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), Ms. Aisha Falode declared the final game opened, while the mother of the late Flying Officer Mrs. Arotile performed the official kick.



Before kick-off, a moment of silence was held in memory of the late Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile, whose parents were present here at the Guards Brigade Stadium.

 

Barakat Olaiya scored the only goal of the game for Bayelsa Queens in the 14th minute to clinch the title for the 2018 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership Champions. That was Barakat Olaiya’s only goal of the tournament and it was a precious one for her side.



Bayelsa Queens ward off threats from 2019 AITEO Cup Champions, Nasarawa Amazons to win the biggest Women Football Pre-Season Championship in Africa.


They commenced their campaign with a 7-0 win over Honey Badgers. Followed it with two draws against Confluence Queens and Nasarawa Amazons in the group stage before defeating Edo Queens in the semi-final.



As Champions, Bayelsa Queens will go home with a trophy and N500,000 prize money.


Second-placed Nasarawa Amazons will also go home with N300,000 prize money for their efforts, while Edo Queens will hold on to N200,000.

Flying Officers Cup: Tolulope Arotile Parents Present At Semi-Final, To Grace Final Game

 Flying Officers Cup: Tolulope Arotile Parents Present At Semi-Final, To Grace Final Game.



The Parents of late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile, Nigeria first ever female helicopter combat pilot graced the semi-final match of the Flying Officers Cup, which was renamed in honour of her memory.


The late Flying Officer Tolulope Arotile contributed significantly to combat operations against insecurity on the northern states of Nigeria and was considered as a patriotic and fearless officer during her life time. 



Mr and Mrs Akintunde Arotile were given a standing ovation as they made their way into the Guards Brigade Stadium, while Naija Ratels were battling with Nasarawa Amazons in one of the semifinal fixture on Saturday.


The couple' will also join other dignitaries to attend the final of the Flying Officers Cup on sunday evening in Abuja where Nasarawa Amazons will face Bayelsa Queens in the final.

 Flying Officers Cup: Players, Coaches Smile Home With Cash Gift Despite Crashing In Group Stage.



President of Ratels Sports Foundation, Barrister Paul Edeh has promised a cash gift of N60,000 to the four teams that crashed out in the first round of the Flying Officers Cup. 


In the same vein, the coaches of the four teams namely Confluence Queens, Royal Queens, Kaduna Queens and Honey Badgers will smile home with a cash gift of N20,000 each.


Barrister Edeh made this announcement when he held a meeting with all participating clubs in the 2020 Flying Officers Cup on Friday evening. He noted that it is neccesary to encourage and lend a shoulder of support to the four teams who couldn't go past the first round. 



"I must commend you all for coming out here to participate in the Flying Officers Cup. For me I think you are all winners even though you didn't go far here. 


"The spirit of sportsmanship is key and it will must always remember that participation is important. 


"I am giving this token just to encourage you guys and make you believe you can do better next time. He concluded. 


Ratels Sports Foundation are the sole sponsors of the Flying Officers Cup 2020, where eight women football clubs across the country are participating with the winner going home with a cash prize of N500,000, second placed team N300,000 and third place N200,000.



The final will hold on Sunday between two NWFL Premiership heavyweights, Bayelsa Queens and Nasarawa Amazons.

Flying Officers Cup: Oladiti in Optimistic Mood Ahead of Final Showdown With Bayelsa Queens

 Flying Officers Cup: Oladiti in Optimistic Mood Ahead of Final Showdown With Bayelsa Queens 



Nasarawa Amazons midfielder Bola Oladiti is in an optimistic mood ahead of their Flying Officers Cup final with Bayelsa Queens on Sunday evening in Abuja. 


The former Confluence Queens player told the Media after their semifinal clash with Naija Ratels FC that they will give their all when it matters most on Sunday.


" We had a very difficult semifinal game with Naija Ratels, we never expected it to be that tough. 


" We expect the final against Bayelsa Queens to be even more tougher. We respect them alot, but we also have a team that can spring out surprises on a good day.


" Playing in the final is special and I want the memories to linger with me for long and that can only be possible if we end up winning. She concluded. 


Nasarawa Amazons and Bayelsa Queens will clash at the final of the Flying Officers Cup 2020. The third place match will be between Naija Ratels and Edo Queens.

Flying Officers Cup: Bayelsa Queens Set To Take On Nasarawa Amazons In Final.

 Flying Officers Cup: Bayelsa Queens Set To Take On Nasarawa Amazons In Final. 





Two Nigeria Women Football League, NWFL Premiership sides will trade tackles in the final of the 2020 Flying Officers Cup after Nasarawa Amazons’ penalty win over Naija Ratels FC on Saturday. 


Sikiratu Isah converted a penalty in the sixth minute after Naija Ratels’ goalie, Omilana Faith had brought down Chemebere Opara to score the first goal of the game for Nasarawa Amazons.

 

Naija Ratels FC put up an impressive fight in the second half to equalise in the 53rd minute. Blessing Emmanuel scored a wonderful goal to level the scoreline.


Both sides could not be separated after 90 minutes and the lottery of penalties decided the winner.



Nasarawa Amazons went on to defeat Naija Ratels FC 5-4 on penalties to book a date with Bayelsa Queens in the final of the 2020 Flying Officers Cup.


Naija Ratels FC on the other hand will trade tackles with Edo Queens, the same team that defeated them 1-0 in their final group game in the third-place match.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

ANFSC Shines At The Kaduna Marathon

 ANFSC  Shines In Kaduna Marathon



The city of Kaduna was turned into a carnival like, as award winning Authentic Nigeria Football Supporters Club was in hand to give life and glamour to the 2020 Kaduna Marathon.



The melodious tunes from the supporters club got the fans and the athletes entertained.


The Kaduna City Marathon which was hosted by the Kaduna state Government and organized by Nilayo Sports Management Limited NSML.



Prince Abayomi Ogunjimi, the leader of the group commended the Kaduna state government led by Mallam El rufai , who is a patron of ANFSC and the management of Nilayo Sports Management Limited NSML for putting up such a wonderful sporting event.

Vandrezzer FC Appoint Ex Manchester City And Arsenal Sports Scientist

Vandrezzer FC Appoint Ex Manchester City And Arsenal Sports Scientist. 



See a press statement from the club


Vandrezzer FC is pleased to announce the employment of a Sport Science Director. He is Chris Barnes.


Barnes is a renowned, England-based expert with over 20 years experience in Sports Science. He holds two Master Degrees in Exercise and Sport Science as well as Business Management.

He's also an International Sports Science consultant who has worked with CAF and UEFA, as well as clubs like Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle United,

Great Britain Basketball Association, The English Rugby Football League among others.


The renowned sports science expert will work with the VFC academy to actualise the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP)  strategy which focuses on developing better home grown players. These players will be groomed in our academy which through systemic development, we expect to assume a Category 1 status in the nearest future.  


He will also be in charge of implementing an effective sports science framework for first team players and staff, interpretation and analysis of individual and team data, maximisation of athletic potential of players on and off the pitch of play as per physical fitness, injury crisis management, nutrition, sleep, recovery, mental health among other roles.


Additionally, he will coordinate the mentorship of Elite Performance staff at Vandrezzer FC, a role he previously played at Manchester City, Arsenal, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Leeds United and Everton. 


In April 2020, Vandrezzer FC had taken delivery of four units of world-class Artificial Intelligence -  powered VEO cameras, which will assist in gathering scientific data for post-match/training analysis and improvement in players’ performance. Also acquired are football GPS performance tracker vests which uses the latest GPS and sensor technology to accurately track players fitness and other multi-million-naira worth of training equipment. 

All these will come in handy and effective with Barnes, expertise on ground.


We say a BIG WELCOME to our latest team member - Chris Barnes. 


Vandrezzer FC ...won't walk that road without you

Flying Officers Cup: Sandra Chichi Urge Teammates To Create Their Own History

 Flying Officers Cup: Sandra Chichi Urge Teammates To Create Their Own History. 



Edo Queens Goalkeeper Sandra Chichi has urged her teammates to create their own history by winning the Flying Officers Cup for the second consecutive year. 


Edo Queens won the Championship last year when it was still known as the Naija Ratels Pre-season Championship and will face a tough opponent in Bayelsa Queens on Saturday afternoon in Abuja. 


The experienced goalkeeper who has been in superb form since returning to football, is hoping to get beyond the Restoration Ladies and book her team a place in the final on sunday evening.  


" This is the start of something great with the team, if we do well here, it means we will have our heads high when the league starts. 


" If we win the competition back to back, it means we have created something unique and that's what we are aiming. 


" It's a Preseason Championship but its also a special competition with alot of glamour and we want to celebrate with funfair at the end.


" They are a good side and we would give our all, as we are more than confident that we would end up triumphant." She concluded.

Flying Officers Cup: Anjor Confident Ahead Semi-Final Clash With Edo Queens

 Flying Officers Cup: Anjor Confident Ahead Semi-Final Clash With Edo Queens. 



Bayelsa Queens forward Anjor Mary says she is confident her team will beat defending champions Edo Queens in the first semi-final fixture of the 2020 edition of the Flying Officers Cup.


The 'Restoration Ladies' have shown signs of being a side capable beating anyone on their day and the 2019 NWFL Premiership topscorer isn't mincing words on her optimism. 


"I expect a very difficult game though", She told the Flying Officers Cup Media. 


"We know they are quick and strong upfront, most especially with Taibat Odueke, but we might have an edge tactically and I think we have all what it takes to win the game and get ourselves into the finals.


"As a team, we respect them alot, but won't do that on the pitch. We have only one aim, and that's to get to the finals." She concluded


Bayelsa Queens recorded two draws against Nasarawa Amazons and Confluence Queens but mauled Honey Badgers by 7-0.

Plateau state athlete Dalyop wins 2020 Lagos Women Run title

 Plateau state athlete Dalyop wins 2020 Lagos Women Run title



Plateau state athlete, Patience Mwanwang has emerged the winner of the fifth edition of the Lagos Women Run 2020, tagged 'Run Anywhere, Everywhere.'


Dalyop, breasted the tape at 33 minutes 43.73 seconds to win the Elite Open category.

Awawu Haruna finished second place at a time of 34 minutes 02. 24 seconds.

Abiye David finished third place at a time 34 minutes 16.39 seconds.



Dalyop, got a record cash prize of N1,000,000 for the special virtual edition of the Women Run, while second place Awawu Haruna got N500,000. Third place Abiye David got N300,000 for her efforts.

Winners in the Elite Open category were presented their cash prizes by the Honourable Commissioner for Sports, Lagos State, Segun Dawodu.


In the Veteran category, Lagos State athlete, Anna Seriki, emerged the winner after crossing the finish line at 45 minutes 47.11 seconds. In second place was Plateau state athlete Ladi Henry, she ran 46 minutes 16.90 seconds. While Kareem Bolanle finished third place at 46 minutes 40.74 seconds.

Seriki, Ladi and Kareem got N300,000, N200,000 and N100,000 respectively.

The presentation of cash prizes to each the Veteran category winners was done by the Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Sola Aiyepeku.



For the 2020 edition of the Lagos Women Run, all the Covid-19 protocols approved by the Lagos Government were followed strictly. 

All the athletes were given two disposable face masks at the start point which was at the Tafawa Balewa Square. The organisers also created cells of six athletes each on a single row, this created the much desired social distance before the race was flagged off.

At the end of the presentation ceremony all the athletes that finished the race were given certificate and medals.

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