Soccer fans have called for the overhaul of Super Eagles and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), following their dismal performance at the current World Cup fiesta in South Africa.
Nigeria on Thursday lost 1-2 to Greece in their second Group B match and had earlier lost 0-1 in the opening game to Argentina.
The fans said that overhauling the team and the football governing body became necessary if Coach Lars Lagerback’s contract would be extended to raise a new team.
In Enugu, the fans said that the team’s performance so far in the tournament had been disgraceful, especially the encounter with Greece.
They expressed the view that the solution to the Super Eagles’ gloomy outings was the overhaul.
Benson Akigwe, a businessman, said that he was unhappy with the level of the team’s indiscipline, adding that it contributed to their loss to Greece.
“The team played without commitment and not only unfit but unprofessional in a World Cup game.
“You can’t have your cake and eat it. It will be unjust for the unprepared Eagles to beat at a well prepared side. I hope we have learnt our lessons,” Akigwe said.
He urged the Presidency to ensure that Lagerback was given the opportunity to groom fresh players and improve the quality of the nation’s football.
Nwabueze Okoronkwo, a civil servant, advised the Federal Government to immediately do away with the top officials of the NFF.
Okoronkwo urged the government to create a forum for the election of experienced people to pilot the affairs of football.
The fans in Awka called for the disbandment of the team and the football governing body.
They said the team had brought the country to a low ranking in soccer worldwide.
Fred Okoro, a trader said that the players’ “participation in the World Cup is a waste of the tax payers’ money.”
“The problem of the team is caused by the NFF which should have planned and ensured early preparation for the tournament.
“I think this team and the NFF Board should be disbanded if we want to retain Lagerback to raise a new squad for us”.
Emeka Maduka, a teacher, said football administrators should begin now to plan a programme for raising a new team.
Henry Monye, a businessman, praised goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama for his efforts and for being nominated Man of the Match in the two games with Argentina and Greece by FIFA.
In Kano, fans who said the loss to Greece was painful to them, wondered why the team would always crash out of major tournaments very early.
Abdullahi, a journalist, noted that the NFF officials had over-stayed their welcome, and “are only serving their selfish interest.”
Malam Bala Nasir, a public commentator, blamed the team’s loss on corruption.
RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports
The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports.
He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered.
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents.
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said.
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development.
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.
24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship
The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including; the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.
Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials
Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran 10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday.
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record. The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster. The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.
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