Rivers United must win the
Nigeria Professional Football League next season, if they are to repay the gesture of the Rivers State Government which went on to organize a state reception to honour the team despite finishing second in the just concluded league season.
Formers Sharks FC and Dolphins Football Club hitman, Victor Ezeji who spoke in Port Harcourt, said that winning the league would be the only way to repay the state government for its gesture towards the club which also saw players and officials pick up cash gifts and awards from the state government.
Ezeji acknowledge the state’s government monetary reward and hosting of the team to a dinner was surprising and sees it as nothing but a charge for the team to do better, as second place has never been rewarded in the state previously.
“This is the first time in the history of Rivers State that a team comes out second and there is a reception for them” he said.
“I can remember vividly in 2005 we (Dolphins FC) came out second on the continent, that’s talking about the CAF Confederations Cup and nothing of such happened.
“For a team to have come out second and the state government came out to say you guys have done well, I think they are just trying to encourage them to do more” he added.
Ezeji said Rivers United has been left no choice but to emerge champions of the league or at least win laurels in the next season.
“The players too should in turn know that in life to whom so ever much is given, much is also expected.
“In as much as the Rivers state government has gone on to splash real money on them for coming out second they should do all they can to come out first next time.
“I think what the Rivers state government has done is the height of encouragement for these boys, it is the height of motivation. They have to go all out, no excuses whatsoever, to doing well in the next season.”
Asides United Coach, Stanley Eguma, who was given one million naira, players of Rivers United received five hundred thousand naira each and the club has been promised a training tour in Madrid, Spain by the state Governor ahead of next season’s CAF Champions League.
Also, Ezeji who only recently announced his intention to stage a testimonial match after a 20 year playing career, (which included spells at Sharks and Dolphins) expressed gratitude to the Rivers State Government for its pledged support of his upcoming testimonial.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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