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Eaglet’s Age Scandal; Adokiye Sticks To Gun

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As dust is yet to settle over the age scandal rocking the Golden Eaglets, the man at the centre of the revelation, Adokiye Amiesimaka says he has his facts intact, insisting that Skipper Fortune Chukwudi is not eligible to play in the U-17 World Cup.

Adokiye, in his response to the widespread criticism that greeted his revelation, said the current article that is generating ripples is only one in a long list he has been writing, calling for sanity in the country’s age-grade competitions.”

I have written over 200 articles and even this one is part of a series that I started a few weeks ago, so how can anyone say I have not been speaking out?

“I recall clearly that during my time in Sharks, we played a friendly match against the Flying Eagles, who were camping in Port Harcourt in preparation for a qualifier, and Fortune Chukwudi was one of my prominent defenders then.

“In fairness to him, he looks as young now as he did then,” Adokiye said.

Adokiye went on to accuse the football leadership of failing in their responsibilities to clean up age cheats from the football system.

“We should actually ask those in the leadership of sports why they have done nothing against this age-cheating thing,” he said in kickoff.com.”

They have consistently failed in their responsibility to ensure that we comply with the eligibility rules. Real U-17s should be in secondary school or just passing out, and not men who have been playing in the League for years.”

Why can’t they organise competitions to get these talented players to represent the country?” the former Green Eagles player queried.

However, in a face saving response to Adokiye’s allegation, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF yesterday expressed utter shock at the comments made by the former player about the Nigeria U-17 team.

The Acting General Secretary of NFF, Barrister Musa Amadu said:

“We are not claiming to be perfect, as that is a virtue that belongs to only the Almighty God. But Nigerians are aware of the efforts we made to ensure that we put forward a genuine team.”The team underwent MRI scans at the National Hospital in Abuja and at the world famous Aspire Academy in Qatar, and is still being subjected to scans at the ongoing competition. But simply because he wants to destroy, Amiesimaka has gone out to ‘invent’.”We are not bothered. It is left for Nigerians to judge the kind of statements coming in the middle of a World Cup. We are only stunned that there are Nigerians who so passionately hate their own country, simply because they are not at the helm,” said Barrister Amadu.

Amadu concluded: “We should learn to celebrate excellence some of the time, not trying to bring down other people all the time. Has Amiesimaka been obsessed with so much hatred for our successful players because he never played in the World Cup? It is possible.”

It is a shame that people can take personal hatred and vendetta to the level that Amiesimaka has taken his own. We are shocked by his statements, particularly coming from a former international player, but we remain resolute and committed to lifting the image of Nigeria through football and refuse to be ruffled by such unpatriotic and silly comments.”

“At a time that all Nigerians are happy with the team that we have put forward despite the odds, and the team’s performance is making many people to talk about the strength and savvy of Nigerian football once again, the ‘destroy-them- by-all-means’ attitude of the likes of Amiesimaka is very strange.”

Also, NFF Executive committee member, Taiwo Ogunjobi accused Adokiye of ‘having an agenda’ after the former Green Eagles winger claimed in his weekly column that Nigeria’s Under-17 captain, Fortune Chukwudi is overage.”

He is just looking for a way to discredit Nigerian football,” Ogunjobi said. People like him, we know their plans. They are not after the interest of the country. They just want to discredit those who are there now so they can come in and take over.”

Addressing the key question of Chukwudi’s age, Ogunjobi reiterated that the player passed the MRI test, and not just once.”

Regarding this set of players, we have the confidence that none of them is over aged,” he said.

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Siasia In No Rush To Appeal Life Ban

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Former Nigeria coach, Samson Siasia is not in a rush to appeal against a decision by FIFA to ban him for life from all football-related activities.
Football’s world governing body handed Siasia, who managed the Super Eagles between 2010-2011 and for a spell in 2016, the ban on Friday for agreeing to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.”
But the 52-year-old, who has also managed his country at U-20 and U-23 level, has said that he will fight to clear his name.
“I’ve not done anything wrong and will continue to fight to clear my name,” he told Tidesports source.
“Everything is now in the hands of my legal team.”
The ban is expected to be served at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 (US$50,000) was also imposed on Mr Siasia.
An associate of Siasia, Prince Opukiri Jones-Ere says his legal representatives are studying the FIFA ruling and will issue a statement in a few days.
“The coach was unable to address the press as planned on Saturdday because he’s undergoing a lot of stress,” Jones-Ere said.
“His lawyers are studying the ruling and will make an official statement in a few days.”
A former international, Siasia won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria and played in their maiden World Cup appearance later that same year. He played over 50 times for his country while scoring 16 goals.
As a coach he led his country’s Under-20 and U23s to continental success in 2005 and 2015 respectively. He also guided the U-20s to a runner-up finish at the 2005 World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
Siasia is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.

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Lawmaker Tasks Youth On Sporting Activities

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The lawmaker representing Port Harcourt Constituency III, in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Azeru Opara has called on the youth in his constituency to engage themselves in sporting activities and stop social vices.
Hon. Opara, who is also the sponsor of the tournament noted that sport is one thing that exposes people to limelight in any society.
The lawmaker who was represented by his Special Assistant, Yusuf Momoh made the called at the weekend, during the opening ceremony of Diobu Youth Football Association Tournament, at St. Andrews Primary School, Mile One Diobu, Port Harcourt.
“Stop social vices and involve yourself in sporting activities. There are a lot of benefits in sports” Hon Opara said.
He commended the coordinator of the competition Junior Obianime, for putting the tournament together.
Hon Opara, further pledged to not fail the people of his constituency as they voted for him, saying that this is part of his electioneering campaign promises.
Also speaking the coordinator of the competition Junior Obianime stated that the competition is about bringing the youth of the area together through football tournaments, adding that sports, mostly football is one event that brings peace among the youth.
According to him, 16 teams registered for the tournament, as winner of the tournament will go home with the sum of N200, 000, while second and third place will walk away with N100,000 and N50,000 respectively.
Obiani used the medium to thank the sponsor of the competition Hon. Opara, for keeping to his electioneering campaign promises.
The opening match was between Mile one market FC and St. Thomas FC which ended 3-1 in favour of St. Thomas in a spot kick after regulation time.

 

Kiadum Edookor

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CAF CL: Asante Kotoko Fires Warning At Kano Pillars

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Asante Kotoko of Ghana’s Captain Felix Annan said his side are confident of beating Kano Pillars in the return leg of the 2019/2020 CAF champions league first preliminary stage round.
Both side will meet for the second clash this Friday in Ghana, after the first meeting ended 2-3 in favor of the Sai Masu Gida
However, speaking ahead of the decider which will hold in Kumasi, Annan said they now understand how Kano Pillars are set up to play and believed that they are capable of completing the job in front of their home fans.
“It is always difficult playing away from home in the champions league but to score 2 goals is a plus and it gives us much confidence going into the second leg in Kumasi.”
“We are very confident because of our play and knowing how they (Kano pillars) play now. So with our fans, we believe we will surely beat them. We now know their strength and weakness so we will work on that.” Annan said.
Kano Pillars must avoid defeat in Kumasi if they are to go through to the next round of the elite competition

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