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Ezeji Testimonial: Battle For Shirts Delays Final Players’ List

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A battle for shirts to play
the prestigious Victor Ezeji Testimonial, VET Match delayed the release of the final shortlist of players for the event.
However, late on Monday, the final shortlist of players to feature in the game was made available to Victor Ezeji Testimonial, VET Media.
On the Team Ezeji side, top names like Makpor Dibofun who was top scorer at Sharks in the 90s, Imama Amapakabor, who captained Sharks in Victor Ezeji’s debut season and Ahmed Abdulrahaman will feature.
Abdulrahman played for Dolphins for 14 years from 1991 to 2005 and is now secretary of Rivers United.
Former Flying Eagles captain, Abubakar Musa, Mbwas Mangut who played for Sharks and Heartland as well as Iyenemi Furo who played for Sharks in the 90s and the Super Eagles at the AFCON 2000 are in the list for the Team Ezeji side.
Member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Kelechi Nwogu and camp commandant at the Rivers State Government House, London Owen Irifeke will also feature for Team Ezeji.
For the Team NPFL, there are no star names because they are all star players.
Mobi Oparaku of the Atlanta 96 fame, Sam Ledor who played for Sharks and Enugu Rangers, Dondo Avaa who was at Jasper United in the 90s as well as Kennedy Okogba who was with Sharks and Iwuanyanwu Nationale will feature on the Team NPFL side.
Others in the Team NPFL are Shehu Dikko, Albert Chinwo, Alari George (elder brother of Finidi George) who played at Sharks in the 90s.
Joseph Cole, Sam Sodje and Bode Babington are also in line to play for Team NPFL.
Chairman of the Main Organising Committee, China Acheru revealed to VET media that it took some time to get this list together as a lot of players wanted to be involved.
“When you play in the League for twenty seasons, you will surely have made lots of friends and that was how difficult it was for Victor (Ezeji) to get his list together.
“It took some chopping and changing also as some other people pulled out when the schedule changed from December ten to seventeen and then January 7 but finally we have a list of people to play the game and we believe they will all be in Port Harcourt for the event,” Acheru said.
“A player like Sudan based Kelechi Osunwa previously signed up to play but the schedule changed he was forced to pull out of the event,” Acheru said.
Former Super Eagles defender and coach, Austin Eguavoen and Stanley Eguma of Rivers United will coach the Team NPFL while Alphonsus Dike and Joseph “Zico” Egbu will coach the Team Ezeji.

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Aisha Buhari Cup: FIFA, CAF Presidents Grace Kick-Off, Falcons Win 2-0

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Substitute Gift Monday handed Nigeria a sweet 2-0 victory on the opening day of the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament in the City of Lagos.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State led eminent political big-wigs, and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and CAF President, Patrice Motsepe led football’s top echelon, including President of NFF and FIFA council member, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to the showpiece at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.
Monday, interestingly a player of FC Robo Queens of Lagos, spurned in the air to meet a cross by Captain Asisat Oshoala in the 83rd minute and nodded past goalkeeper Fatoumata Karenta, six minutes after coming into the fray for Francisca Ordega.
The goal put the Super Falcons in the lead after a rather turgid day on Lagos island, with the Malians showing greater zest and desire in the opening half and returning after the recess with the same impressive fighting spirit.
The visiting Female Eagles had survived a raid on their area in the 5th minute as Nigeria looked to go into the lead with a corner, but the defence cleared. Nine minutes later, Ordega sidenetted from another quick dash upfront, and in the 18th minute, Ageusissa Diarra tested Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie from a 30-yard free-kick.
In the second half, Uchenna Kanu sidenetted in the 67th minute, before Oshoala, who should have scored with only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to get past Karenta. In the 74th minute, Karenta again saved from Kanu.
In the 83rd minute, Monday rose highest in the box and nodded past Karenta, bringing so much excitement to the arena.
One minute into added time, Monday was again at the end of an Asisat’s assist, and looped the ball over an advancing Karenta to put huge smiles on the faces of Nigerians.

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Enyimba Appoints Finidi George As Head Coach

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The former Ajax and Real Betis winger, George Finidi, who replaces Fatai Osho whose contract expired at the end of August, has joined the eight-time Nigerian champions, Enyimba FC, on a two-year contract.
George, a legend of Nigeria’s men’s senior national team, made 62 appearances for the Super Eagles in an illustrious playing career that lasted up to fifteen years.
He was a key member of the glorious era that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and represented the country at two FIFA World Cups, the 1994 and 1998 editions.
Tidesports source reports that at club level, George won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and went on to play for Real Betis, RCD Mallorca, and Ipswich Town.
His first official game as Enyimba head coach will be the CAF Confederation Cup’s second preliminary round fixture against Senegalese side, Diambers FC in mid-October.
Speaking to Enyimba’s media immediately after putting pen to paper, George said, “I have to say it’s a great opportunity for the club to have this confidence in me.
“I want to thank the chairman, the members of the board, and the supporters for even thinking about me. On my own part, I will be here to just work and do the job. It’s never going to be easy but I’m here to work and make the team win.”
Chairman of Enyimba, Felix Anyansi Agwu, stated that the arrival of George represents a new chapter for the club.
“I believe that the time has come for us as a club to open up a new chapter, a chapter that will showcase the many hardwork that has been going on behind the scene and usher in lots of success.
“For us to have engaged a coach like Finidi George who is coming from Europe is a clear statement of intent about our aspirations,” Agwu said.

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Arteta Sees Light For Arsenal

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he sees a bright future for the club despite suffering their worst start to a season for 67 years.
The Gunners climbed off the bottom of the Premier League table with their first goal and first points of the campaign by beating Norwich 1-0 last weekend.
However, Arteta’s position is still under scrutiny ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Burnley after spending £150 million ($207 million) on new players during the transfer window.
The Spaniard claimed after beating Norwich he had enjoyed the “best 10 days of his career in this industry” during an international break when his side was rock bottom of the table.
And Arteta was equally optimistic on where Arsenal are headed with all six of his summer signings aged 23 or under.
“I’m telling you I’m very positive most of the time. I’ve seen the light and I can see bright lights,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“There can be bumps in the road within that light, but I can see a lot of light.”
Arteta is also hopeful the criticism his squad suffered after defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City will only serve to make them stronger.
“It’s tough because it hurts, because you want to see something different. But what you want is not always what happens,” he added.
“Things happen for a reason and maybe what is happening had to happen and it’s going to be really good for the club and really good for myself and everybody experiencing that situation. We have to believe that.”

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