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Futsal Qualifier: Oyekale Invites 20 For Egypt

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Coach of the Futsal National Team, Oladunni Oyekale has invited 20 players to camp for next week’s Fifa Futsal World Cup qualifying match against Egypt in Cairo.

The Futsal Eagles reached the final stage of the African qualifying campaign without kicking a ball, following the withdrawal of Gabon, but the camping in Lagos gave former international defender Oyekale the opportunity to look at the cream of Futsal players available in the country and come up with a shortlist of 20.

Egypt pounded Tunisia 9-3 on aggregate, winning 4-1 in Tunis and 5-2 in Cairo, to set up a meeting with Nigeria. But Oyekale says his boys fear no foe and will be ready to for the battle when the whistle goes for kick-off in Cairo on June 8.

“We are ready to take on Egypt. I tell you, these boys have shown a lot of enthusiasm and go-go spirit, and they have the skills and the discipline to triumph. I thank the Nigeria Football Federation for giving us this opportunity and by extension, giving the Futsal game the opportunity to grow in our country,” said Oyekale.

The 20 players invited were advised to report at the Golden Destiny Hotel, Ajao Estate in Lagos yesterday with their international passports.

The return leg will take place at the Gymnasium of the National Institute for Sports, National Stadium in Lagos on June 24, with the winner earning one of the three tickets due to Africa at the Fifa Futsal World Cup finals taking place in Thailand in November.

Kano Pillars’ ace Gambo Mohammed, who was in the Nigeria team to the African Futsal Championship in Libya in 2008, has been called.

Full list Of Invited Players:

Ebuka Okafor (Enugu), Chidindu Madu (Warri), Uche Ike (Enugu), Kabiru Nosiru Olumide (Lagos), Israel Banigo (Port Harcourt), Hakeem Husseini (Lagos), Olaniyi Jejelola (Lagos), Taiye Ochei, Dimeji Hassan, Jones Adepoju, Amei Elisha, Sani Mohammed (Gombe United), Sylvester Francis (Sharks FC), Sani Suleiman, Alabi Wasiu, Michael Joel Okoro (Port Harcourt), Pelewura Olumide, Dayo Olanipekun, Gambo Mohammed (Kano Pillars), Prosper Edewor (Insurance FC).

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Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists

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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.

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D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket

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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.

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Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45

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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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