The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has
congratulated Nigeria’s international midfielder, John Mikel Obi, over the UEFA
Champions League victory.
Obi’s club, the English Premiership team,
Chelsa defeated the Germany’s Bayern Munich in Saturday’s finals, 4-3 on
penalties to wrestle the trophy for the first time ever.
A statement, signed by Ademola Olajire,
Chief Media Officer of NFF, quotes the federation’s President, Alhaji Aminu
Maigari as describing Obi as a pride to the Nigerian nation, not only for his
club’s victory but also for personal commitment and high performance in the
It said: “We are all very proud of Mikel
Obi and we congratulate him for this sweet victory.
More gladdening is the fact that he was not
a docile member of the team or a bench-warmer.
“He was very active and played his part
brilliantly in ensuring a magnificent triumph for Chelsea.
“The whole nation should praise the young
man. He fought hard and showed dedication all through the campaign and in the
process, lifted our country’s name high in international football”.
Meanwhile, several hundreds of Chelsea fans
trooped to the streets of Port Harcourt in celebration Saturday night moments
after the Blues’ penalty shout out victory over Bayern Munich.
From the Egbelu,/Wofe and Rumuokwuta axis
of the City, Chelsea fans were seen in their numbers singing and drinking.
Shouts of Blues for life’, ‘the Sky is
blue’ and Coach Di Matteo for Stamford Bridge filled the air.
Drinking joints, were busy making sales as
the fans called for cartons and creates of drinks. Bonifires, broken bottles
and sound of explosion were also evident as the fans celebrated.
One of the fans, Augustus Ajere described
the victory as pre-destined. He admitted
that the Bayern Munich was the better
team, but just like against
Barcelona in the semi final, desting saw Chelsea overcome the Germans in their
For Alphonsus Afulike, it did not matter
how Chelsea won. He was in cloud nine
and according to him, Chelsea has joined the European Champions exclusive clubs
after winning the title for the first time.
“It has been an obsession with the club and
now that we have won it, the colour is blue in Europe”, he said.
There were reports of huge celebrations by
the fans in Diobu and old township of the city.
The President of the Brothers Sports Club
of Nigeria, Mr Chinedu Ezenwa, in Lagos, attributed Chelsea’s FC victory in the
finals of the UEFA Champions League to its African contingent.
Ezenwa said yesterday that all the African
players who played in the match did the continent proud.
“I am so proud of the handiwork of the
African players in the team led by Drogba who scored the equalizing goal and
the winning penalty kick.
“Drogba was indeed the man of the match”.
Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.
D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket
Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.
Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45
Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.
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