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NFF Okays Super Eagles For US Invitational Tournament



The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Abuja announced the participation of the Super Eagles in an eight–nation invitational tournament in the U.S. in February 2011.

Dr Sanusi Mohammed, NFF’s Assistant General Secretary (Competitions), told newsmen that the tournament tagged “2011 Green Soccer Bowl Tournament’’ will hold from February 12 to February  20.

The competition is being organised by the U.S. Presidents’ Day Celebration Soccer Invitational Tournament Foundation.

“The tournament will involve teams from the African, European and Asian continents and Nigeria has been drawn in Group A with Poland, Malaysia and Iraq.

“The organisers have been in touch with us for some months now and they are requesting for either our team A or B.

“But, we feel it is a good avenue to expose the locally–based players and an opportunity for the players to show what they can do.

“Therefore it is a worthwhile invitational tournament,’’ Mohammed said.

Our correspondent reports that three teams from Africa, two from Europe and three from Asia will participate in the competition, with Group B having African champions Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya and Bahrain.

The tournament will be staged at the Ford Field Stadium in Detroit, Michigan State and the PHP Stadium in Dallas, Texas State.

Mohammed listed the tournament’s benefits to the participating teams to include the opportunity to try and develop players from their local leagues in an international match.

“This is a good benefit, instead of relying on players playing professionally abroad all the time,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Mano Menezes, a specialist in leading big clubs out of the doldrums but little-known outside his own country, became the coach of Brazil on Saturday when he accepted an offer from the five-times world champions.

The 48-year-old, currently coach of Corinthians, confirmed he had said yes to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), which had been turned down by Muricy Ramalho the day before after his club refused to release him.

“For the whole of Brazil, I say that I officially accept the invitation,” Menezes told a newsmen at a conference.

Menezes, who replaces Dunga in the hot seat, will have the huge task of trying to rebuild Brazil’s national team.

The team had been discredited after their quarter-final World Cup exit against Netherlands three weeks ago, and win a sixth world title when they host the 2014 World Cup.

Winning their own World Cup is seen as an obligation by Brazil’s 190 million inhabitants.

With Brazil’s failure to win on home soil in 1950 still being mentioned regularly, the pressure on Menezes and his team will be greater than ever.

Menezes, 48, made his name in 2005 when he led former South American champions Gremio out of the second division.

In an extraordinary decisive game, Gremio had four players sent off, survived a penalty miss by opponents Nautico and then snatched a goal to win 1-0 and clinch promotion.

Two years later, he took them to the final of the Libertadores Cup, the South American equivalent of the Champions League.

He then joined Corinthians, another hugely popular team, and led them out of the second division in 2008.

Since then, his side have won the Copa Brasil and signed former Brazil World Cup winners Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos.

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‘Super Eagles Coach Lacks Class’



Former Nigeria international, Victor Ezeji, has slammed Gernot Rohr, describing the German as a coach who has not improved the Super Eagles, with reference to their style of play and talent management.
Rohr recently helped the three-time African champions qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after their third-place finish at the 2019 tournament in Egypt.
Despite the team’s success, the former Enyimba striker said the tactician, who has been at the helm since 2016, has not impacted the Super Eagles with a particular style of football and he lacks the class to co-ordinate the players.
Ezeji expressed his frustration after Rohr’s men failed to score a goal in their twin friendlies against Cameroon. They suffered a 1-0 loss against the Indomitable Lions last Friday before playing out a goalless draw on Tuesday.
“I have never been a fan of Gernot Rohr but the truth is, sometimes it is not even about the result and sometimes, your team can play very well and lose, people could say they lost and there is prospect for the team,” Ezeji told news men.
“But in the case of this Gernot Rohr’s team, they are not playing very well and they are not winning; so, people will definitely complain. We have known our Super Eagles to have flair when playing, but that has not happened under him, whichever way he wins his game.
“There is no flair in their game, I think he is done with the team if you ask me because he is not showing anything, no class. We’ve got the players but I think what we lack is who co-ordinates them.”
Last year May, Rohr agreed on a two-and-half-year contract extension to remain as Super Eagles coach with the target of guiding the country to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar and also win the 2022 Afcon.
Ezeji argued that the former Bordeaux manager has not been a success in Nigeria and he recalled how indigenous coaches Christian Chukwu also led the country to a third-place at 2004 Afcon before Stephen Keshi’s side triumphed at the 2013 edition in South Africa.
“I don’t know what his contract with the NFF looks like but personally, I don’t think he has achieved anything because even our indigenous coaches got to third at Afcon and we became the continent’s champions,” he continued.
“In his own case, third-place is not enough at all with the kind of personnel and abundant of talents we have in Nigeria presently, he should do better. As I stated earlier, it is not about winning the cup but it is about playing good football and there are ways you do that.
“Remember Imama’s [Amapakabo] U23 boys’ game against Libya in Asaba [U23 Afcon qualifier in March 2019], we needed three goals to go through but after the first-half, everybody was like even if they did not get through we are satisfied with their performance but the boys got the result and advanced.
“We need to start seeing that kind of performance in our Super Eagles, nobody has any confidence now that even if we play market women they will win. We need to have that confidence in our team and be rest assured of good football against any opponent.”

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350 Golfers Set For IBB Golf Captain’s Tourney



No fewer than 350 golfers and 50 tennis players will be competing in the inaugural IBB Golf and Country Captain’s Tourney in Abuja.
The tourney which is expected to tee-off from Friday, June 10, to Saturday 11, 2021 at the IBB Golf and Country club which will see professional golfers battle in the Handicap 19 to 36 event while the amateur will clash in the Nest event.
According to the Chairman Organising Committee of the 2021 Inaugural IBB golf Captain’s club, Olabanjo Obaleye said preparations are in top gear to host a successful tournament.
He also noted that the golfers and officials would be in adherence to all the COVID-19 protocol towards ensuring the safety of all Stakeholders.
“This tournament is to usher in the new Executive Members of the IBB golf and Country, which is done after every new executive Member is elected.
“We have gotten some sponsors for the tournament and I can tell you that they would be mouthwatering prizes for the winner and consolation prizes for best loser.
We will also have a dinner on Saturday where the prizes will be presented to the winners.
“Also we have put some modalities in place to ensure the safety of all players and Officials for the tournament.” Olabanjo said.

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HiFL: UNIBEN Royals Tackle UNICAL Malabites



Pace Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, the organisers of the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL), has released the draws for the round of 16 games at an event held in Lagos. The games are scheduled to be held between June and September 2021.
In Week 1, AAUA Luminaries will play OAU Giants in Ondo, FUTA Tigers will tackle UNILAG Marines in Akure, LAUTECH Hunters will attempt to hunt down the FUTMINNA Transformers in Ogbomoso while KSU Steelers engages UNILORIN Warriors.
For the week 2 games, Uniben Royals will play defending champion UNICAL Malabites, IAUE Minders will tackle UNN Lions in Port Harcourt, ABU Nobles will confront UAM Tillers in Zaria while BUK Stallions slugs it out with UNIMAID Desert Warriors in Kano.
Speaking at the draws, Director, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, Sola Fijabi acknowledged the efforts of all participating schools and encouraged them to maintain their sportsmanlike conduct as the games go on. “We are now at a very exciting stage of the league. What was witnessed during the qualifiers was the tip of the iceberg. The schools are ready and what we assure lovers of collegiate sports is double excitement. We appreciate the support of NUGA and our sponsors Nivea Men and Minimie for their trust in HiFL and as we deliver value to all our stakeholders,” Fijabi said.

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