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Mixed Reactions Trail Siasia’s Sack



Mixed reactions have started to trail the sack of Nigeria Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia, last Friday, by the board of Nigeria Football Federation.

The action of NFF was occasioned by the inability of Siasia to qualify the national team, for the forthcoming Orange Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equitorial Gunea, January, next year.

In his reactions, the Chief Coach of Sharks FC, Port Harcourt, Imama Amapakabo, said the contracted agreement should be respected, adding that the sack of Siasia was based on the terms of agreement.

According to him, Siasia is not the problem, but the structures of Nigeria football, adding that NFF has failed to address the fundamental problems.

“The issue is not the coach we are failing to address the real problem, what is our league like? Amapakabo asked?

Amapakabo stated that the major problem facing the country is lack of developmental programmes for football in the country.

“How many Nigerian players that plays in first team in their various clubs abroad? You can imagine in our local league there are no credible personal to take our football to the next level in terms of administration and technically.

In his view, the Chief Coach of Rivers state football Association, Tony Chuku, said that the sack is justified as Siasia signed in agreement with NFF to qualify  the Eagles for Nations Cup pointing out that his failure was no body’s fault.

“I believed in agreement and as he signed the agreement with NFF to qualify us, since he has failed, he will be sacked because agreement is agreement” he said.

Meanwhile former Enugu Rangers skipper and national team invitee Ndubisi Ajomiwe, said that the NFA had no moral right to sack the beleaguered coach.

“Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the nation’s cup was caused mainly by the ineptitude of the NFA so it should also give way for the nation’s football to be repositioned.

“It will be difficult for a new coach to succeed under the defective structure put in place by the NFA, so the changes should be holistic.’’

Chief Adol Awam, foremost sports promoter in the state, supported Siasia’s sack, noting that the Eagles needed a coach who could effectively manage the players considering their complex orientation.

“The deplorable situation of our football warrants the appointment of a coach who would command the respect of the players and make them understand the significance of playing for the national team.

“Siasia failed in his assignment because he saw the players as rivals, on whom he must enforce discipline without recourse to diplomacy or other friendly means.”

Nicodemus Omenka, a former Ebonyi Commissioner for Youths and Sports, however, condemned Siasia’s sack, saying that he could have been allowed to correct his mistakes.

“Siasia started a rebuilding process of the team which ought to have been given some time to materialise.

“His antecedents with the various national teams show that he could have identified his shortcomings and fashioned out modalities that would bring back the glorious days of our football,’’ he said.

Ifeyinwa Ezeakum, a member of Ebonyi female football team, called on the NFA to appoint a foreign coach for the Falcons to return the team’s dominance on the African continent.

“Female football globally has gone above the knowledge of local coaches, so a reputable foreign manager is needed to infuse the desired technical input into the team,” she said.

Technical Director, Awka United FC of Uyo, Charles Bassey, has welcomed the sack of Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia, by the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) saying “the decision was justified.”

Siasia was relieved of his appointment over the weekend by the Executive Committee of the NFA over his inability to qualify the team for the Africa Nations Cup.

Bassey, a former coach of defunct Mobil Pegasus FC of Eket, told the Tidesports over the weekend in Uyo that Siasia did not live up to the terms of his contract.

“He was doing well initially but later lost grip. He had a problem of quarrelling with the players.

“Players are your tools. If you scold them, you later draw them close to yourself again.

“Siasia is, however, growing, this is a big lesson to him. In future he will be able to handle situations properly,” Bassey said.

He said that the problem of Nigerian football was not that of coaching alone.

“NFA also needs to search itself. We need a good league system to enable us select good players,” Bassey said.

Also reacting to the sack of Siasia, the Akwa Ibom Chairman of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Mr Uwem Ekoh, said the decision of the NFA was a welcome development.

“The decision is a way of moving forward. Siasia was too concerned about discipline in the team to the detriment of other considerations, so let him rest,” Ekoh said.

In the same vein, Former Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Technical Director, Kashimawo Laloko, and Super Falcons coach, Paul Hamilton, have backed the sack of the Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia.

The two coaches, however, warned the NFA against employing foreign coaches for the national teams.

The executive committee of the NFA last Friday sacked Siasia after ratifying the decision of the technical committee at their extra-ordinary meeting in Abuja.

Hamilton, who had also handled the Green Eagles, said that it was expected that Siasia would be sacked following his inability to qualify Nigeria for the 2012 Africa Nation‘s Cup.

While maintaining that Siasia‘s sack was not the solution to the problem,they added that hiring a foreign coach would be a mistake.

“NFA employed Siasia and as far as he could not keep to the terms of the contract, then he should not be surprised at the decision.

“The NFA should go back to the drawing board to know where we got it wrong, then proffer solution because foreign coaches cannot give us the solution,’’ Hamilton said.

Reacting to the disengagement of Siasia, Laloko, the proprietor, Pepsi Football Academy, said that it was not a surprise that he was sacked.

He, however , advised against the employment of foreign coaches, stressing that local coaches would perform better if given adequate international training.

“Siasia had many assumptions. In that kind of job, one needs patience, concentration, perseverance and a heart of forgiveness.

“Our coaches need adequate international training and FIFA licence to perform better. Even Siasia is not FIFA licenced,’’ Laloko said.

He advised the NFA to go to the grassroots to scout for viable players for football to take a new shape in the country.

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020



Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week



The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in 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 pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions



The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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