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Showing posts with label Team Nigeria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Team Nigeria. Show all posts

Thursday, 8 April 2021

NSF: Team Rivers Clinch Scrabble Masters' Singles Gold

 NSF: Team Rivers Clinch Scrabble Masters' Singles Gold



Nsikak Etim Solomon added to the medal haul of team Rivers today at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Edo State after winning a gold in scrabble.


Nsikak Etim Solomon defeated favourite and first African to be crowned World scrabble champion Jighere Wellington to the top podium prize in the Masters singles event.


Wellington who is representing team Delta settled for Silver, while George Ezinore of Edo State won bronze.


In the female singles, team Delta's Tuoyo Mayuku won the gold, while Sule Success and Bukunmi Afolayan of Edo and Ogun State in that order won Silver and bronze.


Delta also dominated the open singles category with Godsfavour Whiskey beating Sunday Ituah (Lagos) and Itiemo Brigeni (Bayelsa) to the Gold medal.



Events continue at the multi sports festival after the Edo State government and the Federal ministry of sports reached an agreement to continue with the event.


There were initial plans to bring the festival to an end by the Local organizing committe after the federal government was not forthcoming with the funds it promised to support the event.

Edo 2020: SWAN President frowns at poor treatment of members

 Edo 2020: SWAN President frowns at poor treatment of members



The national president of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Comrade Honour Sirawo, has lamented what he describes as "the poor treatment" of members of the Association at the ongoing National Sports Festival, Edo 2020. Mr. Honour while addressing members at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, Thursday, decried the inability of the organizers of the Games to provide basic media amenities and the bare minimums pertaining to the media coverage of the event to members of SWAN.


He attributed part of the struggles and inadequacies of the organizers to the inability of the federal government through the federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to financially support the government of Edo state which had exhausted its budget for the Festival after the competition suffered a couple of postponements before it eventually commenced on April 2, 2021. Mr. Sirawo who is also the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers state Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, however called on members to remain calm and continue with their "commendable coverage" of the Games while he continues to interface with the Games' organizers with a view to improving the working conditions of members at the event. 



The sports championship which is currently taking place in Benin city, the Edo state capital, is the twentieth edition of the biennial competition and has participants drawn from all thirty-six states of the Federation and the FCT.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

NSF:Big Brother Naija Star To Compete In The Colours Of Team Rivers

 NSF:Big Brother Naija Star To Compete In The Colours Of Team Rivers



First Runner up at the 2019 edition of Africa's television reality show, Big Brother Naija, Mike Edwards will represent team Rivers at the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival in Edo State.


Mike Edwards is a professional athlete who had represented Great Britain in the past as a long jumper.


The lagos born, United kingdom based athlete was meant to represent Nigeria at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but was banned for representing Great Britain 10 years prior to the competition which made him ineligible to represent Nigeria as it 2018.



The 28 year old who is also married to an athlete, Perris Shakes-Drayton who is an olympian has now been presented with the opportunity to show Nigerians the stuff he's made of.


Mike Edwards became an household name in Nigeria when he featured in the 2019 Big Brother Naija, he finished second just behind Mercy Eke, though many touted him to win and his fan base has remained strong and intact ever since.


Apart from sports and entertainment which brought him fame, Mike Edwards is also an entrepreneur, Mike owns the first Black-owned cigar line in the United Kingdom known as Aireyys.



He's one of the athletes expected to win a gold medal for the well prepared team Rivers.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Tokyo 2020: AFN Assures Of Proper Preparation For Team Nigeria

 Tokyo 2020: AFN Assures Of Proper Preparation For Team Nigeria



The technical director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria AFN says the most important thing at the moment is to put in place a proper preparation for the Nigerian Athletes ahead of the Tokyo Olympic games.


Sunday Adeleye noted that despite the hiccups and hindrance portraying the AFN in bad light, the body will still do enough to ensure that the country's interest comes first.



When quizzed about the controversy rocking AFN as regards faction, Sunday Adeleye said "Well, so far so good, we don't know what the faction is all about, but as a federation we are working hard and our team is ready, we are making sure that athletes are getting set for the event".


"We are doing what we need to do as a federation.We can not pretend as if there is no problem, we keep talking about interference, we've had several issues in the court and judgements have been given in our favour that Ibrahim Shehu Gusau remain the substansive president of the AFN and Sunday Adeleye also it's technical director".



The AFN Technical director noted that the federation has done enough to put the house in order and confirmed that they have tried severally to meet with the Honourable Sports Minister.


"We have tried severally to meet with the Honourable Sports Minister but our efforts have proved abortive".


He frowned at the ministry's manner of disrespecting the decision of the court and flout its orders, he described it as disheartening.



He said he's hoping that the crisis does not affect  team Nigeria irrespective of the distractions.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Why Taraba, Oyo States Are Disqualified From Participating In Edo 2020 – Director NCDC

 Why Taraba, Oyo States Are Disqualified From Participating In Edo 2020 – Director NCDC

By Niyi Busari




Director Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) Edo State, Dr. Bruce Osha has explained why Team Taraba and Team Oyo will not participate in the 20th National Sports Festival, BSNSports.com.ng reports.

According to him,  this is because both states failed  to conduct Covid-19 and Vaccination tests for athletes and officials before traveling to the venue of the competition.

Bruce added that the two states and others who failed to follow the laid down procedures will be readmitted if they can go back to their states and conduct the two tests for athletes and officials.

“Oyo State and Taraba State will be sent packing because they did not follow the rules. The rules states that before each state depart their state, they should have their PCR results which they’re expected to bring with them and also vaccinate all their athletes but yesterday, Taraba and Oyo State did not come with their results and we cannot bend the rules, the rules must be followed so they have to go back, do their test and bring the results before we can allow them to take part in the competition.” Osha told BSN Sports.

He added, “The two states can still be admitted when they come with their results and PCR is Polymerase Chain Reaction, it’s a test that we use to detect Covid-19 virus. We use it to know whether or not someone is having Covid-19.

“You know this is the first time to country is organising sports festival in this pandemic so the rules were made by the authorities and it must be followed by all states that are competing in the sports festival.

“And the rules concerning Covid-19 PCR test is that each athletes before they leave their state must do the Covid-19 test to ascertain whether they are positive or negative and coming to the games village, they will present it for us to clear them but unfortunately Taraba State and Oyo State did not do that so that is why they will be sent back to go do their test, they can come back as they will be admitted.”

Sporting activities at the Edo 2020 will commence on Sunday 4th April and end 14th April.

National Sports Festival: Team Rivers Arrive Edo

The Rivers state contingent to the forthcoming Edo National Sports Festival arrived in Benin City, the state capital on Friday, April 2, 2021.



Up next for the team as expected is to sort out registration processes for the multi sports event.


Before their departure, the state government promised them mouth watering rewards if they win the 20th edition of the games .

 

Team Rivers are competing in 29 sports events and are expected to perform creditably following the quality and level of preparations as well as the support the team got from the state government.



The athletes and officials will receive their festival kits this weekend ahead of Tuesday's opening ceremony.


The Vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo is expected to declare open the National Sports Festival alongside the Sports Minister Sunday Dare

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

National Sports Festival: Rivers State Government Confident of A Colourful Outing

The government of Rivers state has expressed confidence that its contingent to the 20th National Sports Festival tagged Edo 2020, coming up later this month will excel.



Commissioner for sports in the oil rich state Boma Iyaye during a press briefing today as the state continue to put finishing touches to their preparations for the multi sports event said the government is doing everything humanly possible to ensure that the Athletes will not lack basic motivation.


In his speech, He said "Rivers state has always participated in all editions of the National Sports Festival since the inception in 1973, we have hosted two editions in 1988 and 2011 respectively"



The commissioner added that "In recent past, we have been a major contender during the 2011, 2012 editions, it's our commitment and desire to maintain the BAR in the Edo 2020 edition, in spite of the several postponements".


Boma Iyaye stressed that the support of the state Governor, His Excellency Nyesom Wike has been tremendous, He said his interest in sport gives credence to his intention of unifying the state through youth empowerment and his will to tackle youth restiveness.



For the multi sports event, Rivers state is going to Edo with 434 athletes and 144 officials to compete for Honours in 29 sports.


Abula, Beach Volleyball, Athletics, Ayo, Badminton, Boxing, Chess, Cycling and Table Tennis are among the sports team Rivers is expected to take part in.

Friday, 15 January 2021

Nigeria's Golden Eaglets Qualify For AFCON

 The Nigeria u-17 team Friday evening beat Burkina Faso 1-0 to qualify for the final of WAFU zone B tournament.



In so doing, the team also picked a ticket for the Africa Cup of Nations for the u-17 scheduled to hold later this year in Morocco. This is a first major breakthrough for Nigerian football whose teams in international competitions have pile up series of bad results.

Nigeria’s solitary goal was scored in the 77th minute by Michael Emmanuel Papo. The team will play the final match against the winner of Cote d’Ivoire and Niger Republic which will hold later on Friday evening.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Wrestling: NWF Set For Maiden Champion Of Champions Tournament

 Wrestling: NWF Set For Maiden Champion Of Champions Tournament

 


The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) have concluded plans to stage the first-ever Champion of Champions tournament in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

 

The invitational tournament, which will feature the top 5 wrestlers in the six Olympic weight classes in Women Wrestling and Freestyle events, will take place at the ultra-modern Theatre of Wrestling Complex, Yenizue Gene from 15th to 18th January, 2021 under strict Covid-19 compliance.

 

It would mark the return to competition for Nigerian wrestlers, who last competed at the 2020 African Senior Wrestling Championships in Algeria nearly a year ago, no thanks to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

 

NWF President and sponsor of the competition Hon. Daniel Igali said the Champion of Champions invitational tourney will help put the country’s ‘Olympic hopefuls’ in prime shape and ready for the 2021 African Championships and Africa/Oceania Olympic qualifiers both in El Jadida, Morocco in early April.

 

“The Champion of Champions (tournament) is an initiative of mine, and the reason for it is to get our Olympic hopefuls prepared for the African Championships and the Africa/Oceania Olympic qualification tournament coming up in early April,” the World and Olympic gold-medalist said.

 

“The goal for this tournament is to have the top 5 athletes in the Olympic weight classes to square off. So, all five of them will square off against each other.

 

“So, they’ll have four quality matches in the middle of January, just to get them prepared and to set the stage for the rest of the season.”

 

The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development also disclosed that prizes will be awarded to the eventual champions, adding that the federation will observe the prevailing Covid-19 protocols in the course of the tournament.

 

“We plan to have prizes for them (the champions),” he disclosed. “Baraza Multi-Purpose Society will help with some prizes. We are going to get details in the coming week.

 


“It (the tournament) will be Covid-19 compliant. We are only going to allow the required number of people in the hall – just the coaches, the referees, the wrestlers and very essential staff. So, we are not hoping to have more than 80 people in the hall for this competition.”

 

Interestingly, the competition is at no cost for the participants, as the NWF have decided to take care of the transportation, accommodation and feeding of the athletes, coaches and referees.

 

 

 

Emeka Dennar

Media Officer

Nigeria Wrestling Federation

Sunday, 3 January 2021

National Sports Festival February Date Sacrosanct- Minister

 *February Festival Date Remains Sacrosanct.    Minister*





The Minister of youth and sports Development Mr. *Sunday Dare* has reassured that the February  14th 2021 kick off date for the National  Sports Festival  remains Sacrosanct.



According to the Minister,  "After the  National Sports Festival in February this year, we will move to the National Youth Games and  continue the build up to the Olympic Games ".



Building quality facilities and engaging good coaches, which are keys to producing World- class athletes, require heavy investment. 


"We have asked for  25 percent of the Lottery Fund to come to sports. Jamaica and England give between 31 to 38 Percent of their Lottery Funds to sports, but right now we are getting nothing from the fund.



We hope to get the approval for the Lottery Fund money in the first quarter of  the year."

On the adopt-an-athlete initiative, which was  introduced to cater for athletes' welfare, *Dare* said it has been  successful so far, assuring that this year,  it would  accommodate more athletes.

"The initiative provides $10, 000 training Funds for home-based athletes, while the  foreign-based  get $20, 000.The money's goes directly to the athletes, who are expected to use it for  their training, medicals and travels for competitions. 




The benefiting athletes sign MOUs with the adopting companies or individuals so that all the parties are protected.

"The initiative was stalled by the COVID-19 outbreak last year, but more companies have lined up to be part of it. We are looking at an initial 48 athletes benefiting "


Signed 


*Media Office To The  Minister Of Youth And Sports Development*

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

GOALS GALORE AT MKO ABIOLA STADIUM AS ICONICA FC FALLS TO GATEWAY UNITED

 *GOALS GALORE AT MKO ABIOLA STADIUM AS ICONICA FC FALLS TO GATEWAY UNITED*





Iconica FC of Ibadan were outshined by Nigeria National League side (NNL) Gateway United as they fell 5-2 at the M.K.O Abiola Stadium, Ogun State in a Pre-Season Friendly. 


Gateway opened the scoring from a penalty spot but that lasted for three minutes as Adeyemo Emmanuel levelled for Iconica FC. 


 The pressure from Gateway United was too much for the visitors as they conceded yet another penalty. 


The home side went ahead from the second time in the 22nd minute to make it 2-1 and followed up with another in the 30th minute. 





The game looked home and dry as more Gateway United combined so well to score from open play just before half time to conclude an all-action first half in Abeokuta. 


 Iconica FC trio of Idowu Quadri, Adeyemo Emmanuel, Animasaun Teslim pushed forward to restore pride to the Ibadan based team and was rewarded in the 75th minute as they combined so well to make it 4-2. 


The home side put finishing touches to what they began in the first half as they got the fifth for the day to make it 5-2. 





Iconica FC a non league side held their heads up high as they hope to pick the positives from the friendly. 


Iconica FC Starting XI


Ajibade Toheeb GK

Abdulsalam Malik

Ogunmola Emmanuel

Idowu Quadri

Adeyemo Sodiq

Animashaun Teslim

Lawal Kehinde

Adekunle Tunde

Adeyemo Emmanuel

Kayode Yusuf

Olanipekun Lekan


SUBS

Jimoh Abdulahi

Adewunmi Sodiq

Hammed Ayobami

Abiola Mustapha

Taiwo Ibrahim

Dauda kazeem

Rasaq Lateef

Agunbiade Quadri

Bakare Micheal

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Z Expo Championship Kicks Off Friday

 *Z Expo Championship Kicks Off Friday* 




The second edition of Z Expo Championship will kick off on Friday December 18, 2020 at the Sports Complex of Oshogbo Government High School with 32 teams taking part.



Z Expo Championship is sponsored by Shekeenah Zelter Global Concept Ltd and packaged by ITS Football Management (a football business management consultant).



The tournament will be played over 12 days and matches will be decided on knockout basis and will conclude its activities with the finals on Thursday December 31, 2020.



CEO of Shekeenah Zelter Global Concept Ltd, Ibrahim Taofeek Kayode, said the company sponsored the prestigious tournament to the tune of #1m (One Million Naira). 



According to Oro as the philanthropist is fondly called, the aim of the tournament is about investing in the development of sport, ploughing back into the communities and its upliftment.



He further stated that he is sponsoring the tourney to encourage youths to use the beautiful round leather game to get together, build life-long friendships and get to know each other.



The winner of the tournament goes home with a guaranteed giant gold trophy, gold medals and #200, 000 prize money, #100, 000 for runners up and silver medals.




Z Expo Championship Round Of 32 Fixtures




Friday December 18, 2020


Oyinlola FC vs House Of Prayer 2pm


Ikoyi Esho vs Young King's 4pm





Saturday December 19


Itunu FC vs Leke Hamzat FA 10am



Knights FC vs Awolu FC 12pm



Young Lion vs Amazing FC 2pm



Barrier FC vs Sharp Striker 4pm





Sunday December 20


36 Lion vs Golden Boys 10am


City Roller vs Hamola Global 12pm





Monday December 21


Imo Babes vs Fly KKD 2pm



Soccer FC vs Police FC 4pm





Tuesday December 22

Deen Babes vs Diamond FC 2pm


Ejigbo Utd vs Zakariyau FC 4pm





Wednesday December 23


Excel FA vs Ijesha Golden Warriors 2pm



Dynamic Iwo vs TSI FA 4pm





Thursday December 24

Olansile FA vs KSB FC 2pm


3FC Ifon vs La Planet Sport Academia 4pm

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Lagos agog for Olukoya Cup

 Lagos agog for Olukoya Cup



Youths of Yaba community in Lagos state will be treated to the best of football on Saturday, 12th December, 2020 as the final of the first edition of Dr D K Olukoya Youth Football Competition takes place at Evans Square. 

The grassroots competition is sponsored by Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) General Overseer, Dr Daniel Olukoya. 

There will be two finals for the U-20 and U-15 respectively. 

Tagged Dr D K Olukoya Dominion Cup, the event resumed a few days ago after it was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent ban on contact sports by the federal government of Nigeria, which has since been lifted. 

At stake in the U-20 final will be N1m for the winners, N750k for runners up and N500k for the third-place finishers. The U-15 has N750k for the winners, N500k for second place, and N350k for third place. 

Aside from monetary incentives, teams will also go home with giant trophies and medals. 

Recall that Dr Olukoya is the sole financier of MFM Football Club and MFM Women Basketball Club, who play in the Nigeria premier leagues and have represented Nigeria on the continent. 

Expected at the event are Nigeria Football Federation Big wigs, ex-Super Eagles players, and football agents.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

NWFL Premiership 2021 Week One: Preview, Analysis, Players To Watch And More

 NWFL Premiership 2021 Week One: Preview, Analysis, Players To Watch And More.




The NWFL Premiership returns on Wednesday, with 2017 Champions Nasarawa Amazons hosting Lagos based side FC-Robo in the league's curtain-raiser. 


Nasarawa Amazons had a difficult season last year and failed to make it to the super 4 for the first time in 7 years as Bayelsa Queens topped their Group. 


Also on Wednesday, Bayelsa Queens will host Sunshine Queens at the Samson Siasia Stadium, in what promises to be one of the standout fixtures of the opening round, Osun Babes will be facing Ibom Angels in Uyo, Delta Queens against Dreamstar Ladies, Edo Queens up against Royal Queens in Benin, while Abia Angels will host Pelican Stars. Another interesting fixture to look forward to this mid-week is undoubtedly the game between Confluence Queens and Rivers Angels, where Whyte Ogbonda will be facing his boss Edwin Okon again after losing to him in the finals of 2019 Super 4 in Lagos. 


www.thenwfl.com took a look at the seven opening games this mid-week and analysed each of the games. 


NASARAWA VS FC ROBO.  (Lafia City Stadium, Lafia)


Same fixture as that of the 2018 opening game. Both teams have a very similar style, playing from the back and holding a very high backline while pressing. 


Nasarawa Amazons forward Chiemere Opara who is back after a long layoff from injury could be an important player upfront for the 'Solid Babes' , Amarachi Okoronkwo, Adejoke Ejalonibu are also both experienced and could play an important role in the game, while the trio of Monday Gift, Folashade Ijamilisu and Esther Oyenezide should be handy for the defence line of Nasarawa Amazons. 


BAYELSA QUEENS VS SUNSHINE QUEENS (Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa)


This should be one of the biggest opening matches of the NWFL Premiership. Wemimo Matthew and Moses Aduku are accomplished Managers in the Premiership and that will surely tell on the game. 


Despite Bayelsa Queens recent victory at the Flying Officers Cup, Aduku still thinks his side have a great hurdle to cross in the league. 


Joy Jerry, Anjor Mary, Vincent Precious are all rearing to go against a Sunshine Queens side who has Suliat Abideen, Iheoma Goodness and Innocent Patricia all in good form too. The Super Falcons coach will be looking to secure atleast a point in Yenagoa, which explains the fact that they will be going all out to score first before their host. 


IBOM ANGELS VS OSUN BABES. (Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo)


Osun Babes have a good record in Uyo, the Omoluabi Queens have only lost once in their last four meetings at the 'Daakada' State. 


Both teams have beefed up their squad and will be aiming to pick favourable results when they battle in Uyo on wednesday. 


New signing Juliet Bassey should play an important role, same with Uyime Johnson who joined back from Edo Queens.


Meanwhile, Osun Babes had a very difficult start to the season last time around and will be looking to start off better this time around. In-form forwards Yemisi Samuel, Kesiena Ojiwovyi, Yetunde Fajobi might give the "Orange Ladies" defence alot of problems too. We are in for an exciting encounter. 


ABIA ANGELS VS PELICAN STARS (Umuahia Township Stadium, Umuahia). 


It is not the most heavyweight battle of the week, but Ann Chiejine would surely love to start on a winning note. 


No doubt she has done something special at Abia Angels, since joining the 'Angels from the East' four seasons ago. The Super Falcons manager will be facing an experienced too in Edat Egan, who has a team that can cause problems for their host. 


Abia Angels will be depending on Camerounian duo of Belong Michelle and Bakendj Reine, while striker Jane Abraham is also a player to watch out. 



DELTA QUEENS VS DREAMSTAR LADIES (Agbor Stadium, Agbor)


Delta Queens will be hosting Lagos based side Dreamstar Star Ladies at the Agbor Stadium, Delta State, in what promises to be highly engaging. Both teams lost key players last year and have surely signed new players to replace them. Coach Anya Ugochi technical prowess will be tested in Agbor on Wednesday evening, Anuoluwapo Salisu, Juliet Emereole and  Hambefen Ayatsea are players the 'Galaticas' will be relying on, while the host will be keying on Ajuyah Jennifer, Captain Ihuoma Onuegbu, Ijeh Eluemunor and others. 



EDO QUEENS VS ROYAL QUEENS (UNIBEN Sports Complex, Benin). 


Rollandson Odeh will be expecting nothing but victory, when the 'Obaseki Ladies' faces Royal Queens on matchday one in Benin.


The two sides met at the Flying Officers Cup some weeks ago with the game ending 1-1. 


Captain Fantastic Osas Igbinovia will be leading her team infront of their home fans for the first time in the league and the experienced midfielder will be hoping that the likes of Taibat Odueke, Jumoke Alani, Rebecca Ajimuda can live up and help defeat a youthful Royal Queens side which includes Osas Enoma, Chioma Oliseh, Vera Samuel and others. 


The 'Canadian Geese' will be hoping to cause an upset in Benin. This is a game you wouldn't want to miss!!



CONFLUENCE QUEENS VS RIVERS ANGELS (Confluence Stadium, Lokoja). 


It's going to be a big test for Whyte Ogbonda. His former side Rivers Angels will be thinking of picking a point or more at the Confluence Stadium on Wednesday. 


Ogbonda is a manager who brings out the best in his players and will definitely do the same against Rivers Angels. Joy Omewa will be hoping to score goals against a side who desperately needed her services two years ago.


 Christopher Precious will be playing at the Confluence Stadium for the first time since making a big money move to the 'Jewels Of Rivers'.


*NWFL MEDIA®️*

Monday, 30 November 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, 26 November 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.

Wednesday, 25 November 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.

Tuesday, 24 November 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.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

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.

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