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Expert Counsels Football Authorities On Crowd Control

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A security consultant, Damian Ajah, has urged football authorities in the country to ensure adequate security at all domestic league match venues to prevent crowd problems.

Ajah spoke with newsmen on the need for security at match venues against the backdrop of the crowd trouble in Egypt recently which left 73 people dead.

The fans were killed during a clash between rival fans of Al-Masry and Al-Ahly football clubs at Port Said, while 1,000 were reportedly injured. Al-Masry had upset its bitter rivals 3-1 in the match.

Ajah, who is based in Abakaliki, said that efforts should be made to avert such problems as Nigeria was experiencing internal security challenges as Egypt.

“Egypt has been in political turmoil since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak just as Nigeria has the menace of Boko Haram.

“The Egyptian authorities failed to realise that the protests across the country could spill over to football venues, a situation linked to the Port Said incident,” he said.

Ajah called for an increase in the number of security personnel and other apparatus at match venues, especially in identified flash points to check incidents of crowd troubles.

“Football authorities should not leave security issues at match venues to the home teams alone but ensure that resources are committed to make security personal dedicated to their duties.

“Crowd unrests at match venues now will be disastrous due to the high level of passion attached to the game and which contributed to the large casualty figures in Egypt,” he said.

He advocated for a mechanism where clubs would be mandated to enlighten their supporters on the need to maintain law and order at stadiums.

“They should be educated on ways of channelling their grievances through appropriate quarters and not taking the law into their hands.

“Spectators found to constitute security threats at match venues should be identified and banned from stadiums to serve a deterrent to others,” he said.

Ajah called on Nigerian referees to be fair while discharging their duties and avoid making biased decisions that would incur the wrath of fans.

According to him, 90 per cent of crowd troubles at stadiums are caused by poor officiating.

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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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