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Crowd Violence: Stakeholder Canvasses Fans’ Education

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A football analyst, Mr Bayour Issah, on Tuesday advised the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and clubs to educate fans against pitch encroachment during league matches.

Issah, who gave the advice in Ilorin in an interview the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), lamented the high rate of crowd violence in the ongoing 2011/2012 Nigeria Premier League (NPL).

According to him, a lack of understanding of the rules and regulations that govern soccer in the world is a major factor that leads to crowd violence in Nigeria’s apex league.

“Basically, most of the spectators do not understand the rules of the game and if you and I do not understand the ethics of football, how do you know when a referee defaults.

“These are some of the teething problems that must be solved in recent time.

“Fans need some enlightenment and education indeed, because when you do not know the rules, how do you support a team?” the analyst said.

He claimed that there are 17 laws of the game and the 18th law “is the discretion of the referee”.

“How many of us know the rules, even those that went through the four walls of the university?

“The problem is application. You cannot challenge a judge who sends a criminal to prison after all appeal, because he knows why.

“So, if a referee punishes a player for an offence, fans should not start reacting,” he said.

Issah explained that there might be one or two errors by a referee and urged fans to be patient in expressing their grievances.

It will be recalled that Gombe United had, after their week 30 match in Ijebu-Ode against their hosts Sunshine Stars FC of Akure, complained of crowd violence.

Gombe appealed to the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) to take immediate action to forestall crowd violence for the overall interest and development of the league.

The club said that a situation where visiting teams approached games with fear of brutality would not augur well for the competition.

Also, Enyimba FC of Aba complained to the NPL on how they were allegedly beaten during pitch encroachment at Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa, after their Week 26 match with Ocean Boys.

It was also the same experience in Ilorin in the Week 12 between Kwara United FC and Sunshine which led to the game being abandoned in 81st minute.

A re-scheduled Week 28 match between Sunshine and visiting 3SC of Ibadan was also put to a halt for 10 minutes in Ijebu-Ode because of crowd violence.

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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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