The ill treatment meted to
Enyimba FC players by Etoile Du Sahel of Tunisia was a ploy to distract Enyimba in the group stage of the CAF Champions League, Enyimba’s top scorer Mfom Udoh said.
The sensational striker made the assertion in an interview with newsmen yesterday in Lagos.
Udoh, who was reacting to the outcome of the match with the Tunisian side, said that Enyimba had an ugly experience during the qualifiers in Tunisia.
The current highest goal scorer in the CAF Champions League with seven goals helped Enyimba to the group stage when he scored a sensational hat-trick in the first leg of the competition.
The former Akwa United striker scored 23 goals for the People’s Elephant last season to emerge the league’s highest goal scorer.
“The hostility meted out to us by our host is a ploy to distract our team from winning the crucial encounter.
“The Tunisia game is over now and we are happy that we won which is the most important thing.
“We scaled through, in spite of the antics of the Tunisians, what happened are antics and distractions to make us lose focus which almost happened.
“What we need to do now is to prepare well ahead of other tough matches, football is a challenge and we want to make sure that the cup comes back to Nigeria.
“We are already challenged and we are on the right track now, it is our target to return the cup which had eluded us. We are working hard to achieve that,’’ he said.
On Enyimba’s prospect of retaining the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) top slot in the current season, Udoh said the club was on course to achieving the feat again.
“We have what it takes to retain the NPFL; we must match our records even to do well in the continental. We have to take it from home where charity begins.
“We are aware of our status at home and abroad and we will ensure that we do well domestically.’’
Udoh added that he might be plying his trade in the North African club but that his task was to ensure that Enyimba had something to show at the end of the season.
According to the Media Officer of Enyimba, Farriel Alaputa, the team was badly treated by their host, prompting a petition to CAF on the matter.
Alaputa said that no Etoile du Sahel representative was on ground to receive the team except officials of the Nigerian embassy who assisted them.
“ The threat of violence was so high that Enyimba officials were on the bench during the game as that was the only safe place they could hide.
“In spite of that, rocks, iron rods and plastic bottles were rained down on the roof of the bench throughout.
“During half time, the match officials and match commissioner were victims of the stoning and they had to retreat to the bench of Etoile,’’ he said.
Enyimba FC, two-time winner of the CAF Champions League, is the nation’s only representative left in the continental competition this season.
Other Nigerian representatives, including Akwa United, Nasarawa United and Warri Wolves crashed out before the group stages.
However, basking in the euphoria of their remarkable victory over the reigning CAF Confederation Cup winners, Enyimba got what they did not bargained for in Tunisia.
NYG: Rivers Basketball Team Embarks On Preparations
The Rivers State Basketball Association,has commenced preparations for the forthcoming 2021 edition of the National Youth Games (NYG) scheduled to hold September, this year.
This was disclosed by Head Coach of the body, Dagogo Okumgba, yesterday during an exclusive interview with Tidesports, at the state basketball court.
According to him, the team has commenced the preparation, ahead of the upcoming sports fiesta to build and fortify its athletes for the task ahead and other engagements that may likely come up in the future.
Coach Okumgba explained that the athletes were in high spirit and are doing well in their preparation for the competition, saying that they (athletes) would compete honourably, when the fiesta eventually gets underway.
“The athletes are working assiduously to ensure they compete favourably and are poised for victory at the NYG scheduled to be hosted by Ilorin, Kwara State,” Okumgba said.
However, the coach feared team sports might not participate in the competition, as he lamented their (team’s) absence at the National Sports Festival (NSF) held in Edo early this year.
“I think the decision was made as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to reduce the number of athletes to take part in the festival. I don’t know, if what happened then will repeat itself, considering the third wave of the virus,” he said.
He urged his athletes to keep faith and keep the fire burning, adding that they should not relent in their preparation for the competition, whether or not they take part in the fiesta, the preparation will definitely keep them fit for other engagements.
“ It is better to be ready than not, just as the motto of the Boys Scout, l believe early preparation, being prepared at all times, is one major key to success,” he concluded.
By: Nancy Briggs
Covid-19 Scare: Team Nigeria Undergoes Daily Tests In Tokyo
As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Tokyo, venue of the 2020 Olympics, Team Nigeria’s camp has resorted to daily testing of the members of their contingent.
Tidesports source gathered that there had been daily reports of athletes and officials contracting Covid-19 at the Olympics Games Village in Tokyo.
The Tidesports also reported that a Nigerian official in his 60s was hospitalised after contracting the virus.
One of the athletes, who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said athletes and officials were taking necessary precautions to ensure they did not contract the virus.
According to him, this includes daily testing and staying away from the public.
“We are doing everything that needs to be done not to contract the virus. We test daily and don’t mingle,” he said.
Another athlete, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it was not the type of Olympics she would have loved to compete in due to the deadly virus. “It has not been easy here trying to adjust to the high temperatures. Covid-19 here is real. Athletes, particularly me, are very careful. Life isn’t easy here at all. Not the kind of Olympics I would have loved to take part in but in all, I’m glad to be here,” she said.
Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, Femi Adetula, said the unnamed Nigerian official was already getting better but declined to name the official, saying the NOC was respecting his rights.
“It’s been confirmed that an official contracted the virus. He is in isolation, receiving treatment and he is doing fine. In a matter of days, the official will be out of isolation because of the recovery rate,” he said.
NBA: Milwaukee Star Anxious To Visit Nigeria – Wants To Learn About His Roots
Milwaukee Bucks All StarGiannis Antetokounmpo wants to visit Nigeria soon and cannot wait to learn more about his roots.
Antetokounmpo, who produced a performance for the ages to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA title since 1971 after a 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns last Monday, was born in and represents Greece.
“Obviously, a lot of people don’t know where I’m from. A lot of people think my mom or my dad is from Greece, but no,. Both of my parents are black. Both of my parents are Nigerians.” Antetokounmpo said.
“I grew up in a Nigerian home, Obviously, I was born in Greece and went to school in Greece. But at the end of the day when I go home, there is no Greek culture. It’s straight-up Nigerian culture. It’s about discipline, it’s about respecting your elders, having morals,” he said.
Antetokounmpo, who said his original surname Adetokunbo was mispelt at the Greek Passport office, hasn’t traced his roots in person yet, but hopes to visit Nigeria either this summer or next summer , revealing that he got his Nigerian passport in 2015.
“I want to see where my family comes from, where my mom was raised, see my family, see where my dad was raised. That is very important. I hope my kids can do the same thing for me,” Antetokounmpo said.
Meanwhile, Basketball legend and NBA Hall of Famer, Hakeem Olajuwon said Nigerians were proud of Giannis Antetokounmpo despite the Milwaukee Bucks All-Star representing Greece.
“I’m sure Nigerians are very proud of him, especially because of the way he has conducted himself and how he is dominating the league,” Olajuwon said. He has accomplished a great deal in such a short period of time,” he said.
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