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NFF Lambasts, Challenges Flying Eagles Coach

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Nigeria Football Febertion, NFF President Aminu Maigari, has warned Flying Eagles coach. John Obuh following reports of ‘abuse’ and ‘personal interest’ in his team selection.

Obuh’s wards were eliminated in the first round of the Cape Town International Challenge in May, and the NFF was less than pleased at the outing.

Maigari made those feelings clear. “We are really disturbed. The NFF is not encouraged by your performance in South Africa and you have to work hard and be committed to a much better output in the qualifying series for the 2013 African Youth Championship, which start this month.”

Accusations of underhand dealings had made the rounds prior to, and after the tournament, and Maigari spared no punches as he ripped into Obuh and his assistants.

“Cases of dogged pursuit of personal interests and abuse have severally come out of your camp, and we are not happy about this.

“Here at the NFF, our job, our commitment and our task is always to raise teams that will make over 160 million Nigerians happy with good performance on the field of play. You are the champions of Africa and yet, you went to South Africa and lost all three group stage matches.

“This is disheartening.

“The fact that we give all the National Teams free hand does not mean that we don’t know what we are doing. You must consider it a privilege to be involved with a project that can give joy to the generality of Nigerians,” said Maigari.

The NFF President’s meeting with the Flying Eagles’ crew came against the backdrop of the team’s upcoming 2013 African Youth Championship qualifying fixture against Tanzania, which first leg comes up in Dar es Salaam on July 28.

 

Maigari added: “The Flying Eagles is a team known over the decades for giving joy to Nigerians through good results. Way back in 1983, the team became the first from Nigeria to participate in a FIFA tournament. We cannot afford to backslide so terribly.”

A suitably chastised Obuh pledged that he and his team will raise a team that will do Nigeria proud not only in the qualifying series, but at the African Youth Championship slated for Algeria between 16th – 30th March, next year.

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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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