Nigeria Federation Cup
finalists, Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt has recorded a disappointing outing at the just concluded pre-season invitational tournament in Abuja, the Super 4 after losing all five matches played and scoring only once.
The Port Harcourt based club and one of Nigeria’s representatives in the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup apparently suffered from poor preparation, lack of focus and match fitness following their late return to camp before the tournament. It is now left for the coach and management to turn around the fortunes of the team before their first continental engagement this month.
Reacting to the poor outing of the club, the supporters club Chairman of the club, Comrade Franklin Owhor, said that the exit of some of the key players in the team last season, especially, Emem Eduok, who has joined Esperance of Tunisia contributed to the unimpressive performance.
He also said that the non-payment of salaries and allowances of players should not be an excuse for the team’s poor outing, adding that they should blame themselves for not showing enough commitment. He advised the players to get down to work, prepare themselves and raise their game in order to make good impact this season.
“In spite the fact that the club was not adequately prepared for the tournament, as most players reported to camp late, the players should demonstrate more commitment and focus.
We do not want to hear that non-payment of salaries as an excuse, because, most of the clubs are also owing salaries”, Owhor said.
In the same vein, the Secretary of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Rivers State Branch, Olalekan Ige said that the team should not be judged with the outcome of the Super 4, saying that it was just to test-run the players they have and identify the grey areas in the teams.
“Fans and supporters of Dolphins should not use the Super 4 tournament as a yardstick to judge the team, because it was an opportunity for the Coach to know the areas they need players and correct mistakes.
‘I do know that CAF champions League and Premier League competitions are different ball game from the Super 4 tournament”, Ige said. The SWAN scriber, expressed confidence that Dolphins would perform better when they get to the continental games proper.
Meanwhile, Dolphins FC lost all her five matches at the Super 4 tournament, they are expected to return to base today.
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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