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Former Internationals Disagree On Eagles Defeat In Conakry

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Former soccer internationals — Okey Isima, Henry Nwosu and Bright Omokaro — have differed on why Nigeria lost Sunday’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea in Conakry.

Tidesports source reports that while Isima and Nwosu believed that FIFA’s suspension of Nigeria affected the team’s performance, Omokaro said it had no bearing on the loss.

Alleging government interference in football administration, FIFA on Oct. 4 suspended Nigeria from international football only to temporarily lift the action last Thursday to enable the Super Eagles face Guinea in the qualifier.

Isima blamed the 1-0 defeat on the suspension.

“The players and officials were not sure if the match would hold until the last minute and that, no doubt, must have affected the players’ morale,” said the former defender.

“The Eagles played as if there was nothing at stake. The players did not show commitment.

“The kind of coordinated football Green Eagles of old were noted for was lacking and at a stage, I had to switch to the other match involving Ghana and Sudan to enjoy myself “.

Isima called for the prompt appointment of a substantive coach for the team before their next game against Ethiopia.

“This interim or caretaker coach appointment given to Eguavoen (Austin) does not augur well for concentration.

“The man does not know if he will be in charge for the next match and this instability will definitely hamper any long term coaching plan,” he added.

Former midfielder, Nwosu, said the loss was unfortunate and blamed the defeat on FIFA’s suspension.

“Guinea’s pedigree in football coupled with Nigeria’s suspension by FIFA contributed to the loss on Sunday in Conakry.”

Nwosu agreed with Isima that the uncertainty surrounding the game must have affected the players .

“The players and their handlers were not sure if the match would be played until the last minute and that must have affected them psychologically,” he added.

The former Asec Mimosas of Cote D’Ivoire star advised the coaching crew to work on the  players psyche ahead of Nigeria’s next match.

“The players’ psyche must be worked on collectively and individually before the next match  to enhance their winning mentality,’’ Nwosu said.

Omokaro differed from his former colleagues and called for the inclusion of some players from the domestic league in the team.

“The coach should include 80 per cent of the local players in the team to ensure stiff competition for shirts.

“Westerhof (Clemens) did that with us and it worked. I have noticed that majority of the foreign-based professionals don’t have anything to offer.

“They will wake up and show more commitment if they are displaced by the local players.

“I don’t subscribe to blaming the loss on Nigeria’s suspension by FIFA. The suspension was done indoor while football is played on the pitch.

“Was it FIFA that asked them to play badly and lose?’’, asked the former Insurance FC of Benin star.

Tidesport reports that Guinea now leads the group with six points followed by Nigeria and Ethiopia with three points each, while Madagascar have yet to win any game in two outings.

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CAF Mulls Super League Idea

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The Confederation of African Football [CAF] is discussing the idea of introducing an African Super League, a continental competition which would likely replace the current CAF Champions League and hopefully boost revenue for the organising body.
The revelation was made as CAF President Patrice Motsepe issued a statement outlining the changes and reforms the new leadership is making to ensure African football is globally competitive and self-sustaining.
The idea has taken shape even despite the disastrous European Super League [ESL] proposal earlier this year, which caused major controversy before being banned after most founding member clubs bowed to fan pressure and pulled out.
“ExCo [the CAF executive committee] may have to discuss and consider new CAF competitions which may generate additional funding or income for CAF, its member associations and bodies and also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining,” Motsepe was quoted as saying by Tidesports source.
“In this regard, we are assessing and [are] in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League. We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.”
CAF is looking to boost income after recent forensic auditing revealed that the organisation has been beset by financial irregularities.

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NPFL: Rivers United’s Coach Praises Players

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The Chief Coach of Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, Ndubuisi Nduka, has praised his players after a 1-0 win over Katsina United FC in the match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) in Port Harcourt.
He stated that his boys (players) gave all their best  to ensure they secured the maximum three points for the team, and described the encounter as very tough. 
Nduka, said this on Sunday, during a post match interview with sports journalists, after the Pride of Rivers, defeated their opponents  1-0, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.
According to him, what made the match more difficult for his players was that they failed to utilise goal opportunities they created in the first half of the game.
The only goal of the game came in the 77th minute by home boy, Malachi Ohawume, who made his goals four for this league season.
“It was a tough game; I think our boys gave it all.
What made it more difficult for us was the chances we lost especially in the first half, “ Nduka said.
He explained that the second round of the league is always difficult because every team is fighting to be at top and some are fighting not to be relegated.
“At this point and time of the league, the second round, we are stretching to the finishing point.
“It is always difficult and if you remember the position of Katsina United, they are not safe so they are looking for where to pick points, so I gave kudos to my boys as they secured three points for us, “ he stated. 
Rivers United is now 4th on the log after 28 matches with 48 points.

By:  Kiadum Edookor

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Hockey Championship: Team Rivers’ Performance Excites Coach

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The Head coach of Team Rivers State, (female) hockey, Comfort Nya, has commended her players after they defeated team Edo, 3-1 in the ongoing, 2021 Mabisel National Hockey Championship (MNHC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. 
She, described the match as one of the toughest games they have played, saying that the calibre of players she saw in the team Edo lineup was intimidating.
Nya said this on Monday in her post match interview with sports journalists, after their first victory in the championship, at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports in Port Harcourt. 
According to her, their first game in the championship was difficult because of the heavy downpour, adding that they could not play well but today they are awesome.
“It was a tough one, honestly speaking I would not tell lies, and the players I saw in team Edo lineup are old and good players and my girls are just upcoming.
“I was thinking of draw or let them just play but with this result I am so happy with their performance, “Nya said. 
The coach further explained that their next outing will be against team Kaduna, they are going to do more better.
“Our first game was disturbed by heavy rainfall, they could not play well but today they have performed well.
“In our next game against team Kaduna, we are going to do better,” She stated..

By: Kiadum Edookor

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