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AFCON: Rohr Rules Out New Players

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Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, has ruled out bringing in new players to bolster his squad ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The three-time African champions are returning to the tournament after missing back-to-back editions in 2015 and 2017.
They won the competition during their last appearance in 2013 in South Africa.
Despite admitting that he has goalkeeping concerns – with first-choice Francis Uzoho struggling for regular football this season, Rohr is not ready to call up another goalkeeper.
“We have a little challenge because our young goalkeeper Uzoho has not really played at his club this season.”
“Uzoho made one mistake in the last qualifier (against Seychelles) but we gave him a chance with the U-23 side and it was good for his confidence.
“Daniel Akpeyi is playing now for a big team in South Africa and doing very well. Our third goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa too is good, so we can work harder with them.
“We have a good spirit as a team since the World Cup, so there’s no time to bring in new players,” Rohr told Tidesports source.
The Eagles have struggled to fill the void created by the shock retirement of the country’s most capped player, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama in 2015, and the premature exit of his replacement Carl Ikeme over health reason.
A lack of experience has been highlighted as a weakness but Rohr, who led Gabon to the last eight of the 2012 Nations Cup on home soil, is focusing on turning his young team into a major force in North Africa this summer.
“We can work on every aspect to improve the team, that is why we have the friendly matches,” he added.
“We qualified without two of our most experienced players in Obi Mikel and Victor Moses. I know what pressure is because I have experienced it with Gabon as hosts in 2012 – so this (challenge) is nothing new.
“For the World Cup, our (Nigeria Football Federation) president said we could go to the semi-finals but we saw what happened – now in Egypt he says we have to win it.

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Rivers FA Cup: 15 Clubs To Battle For Glory

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A total of 15 clubs  are participating in this year’s Aiteo Cup Competition in Rivers State, despite the fact that two clubs are to represent the state at the national level, as Rivers Angels do not have an opponent in the female category.
This year the number of registered clubs was far below the previous year’s, where the number of registered Clubs got up to 30 or more. This may not be unconnected with the short time given for registration by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Earlier, the Acting Chairman of Rivers State Football Association (RSFA), Ibigoni Benjamin Akobo, has called for  the readjustment of the time table.
According to him, the deadlines given to State FAs to register clubs, preparation of licences,  commencement of the  competition and conclusion were really short and tasking.
“ For them to have waited from January, for only last week to make a statement and send timetable for the competition was a near failure.
We are not expected to commence registration without given a go ahead” Akubo said.
He equally said that this was exactly what happened last year and finally came up to say that states should submit one team each.
“ Last year too, they came up with this delay manner and ended up saying that states should produce one team each” he stated.

By: Tonye Orabere

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Edo Set To Host NWFL Super Six

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All  is now set for Edo State to host the best of the Nigeria’s Women Football League, the Super Six Tournament, billed for Monday, May 16 to Sunday, May 22,  2022.
Six giants in the fast developing women league will battle for the sole ticket to represent Nigeria at the regional second edition of the CAF Women Champions League .
The six participating  teams  are host state team, Edo Queens , defending champion, Rivers Angels, Bayelsa Queens, new comers, Naija Ratels, Nasarawa Amazons and runners up in the first edition,  Delta Queens .
The teams qualified from two groups, based on their placement in each group in the regular season.
While Nasarawa Amazons, Edo Queens and Naija Ratels emerged the three best teams from their group, Bayelsa Queens, Rivers Angels and Delta Queens, outwitted other teams to pick the three available tickets from their group .
Edo Queens, who narrowly lost the top spot by a point to Nasarawa Amazons at the conclusion of the 2021/2022 regular season is poised to clinch the top prize going by  preparations , motivation by the state government and support by the home fans in Benin.
The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and the University of Benin Sports Complex are the two venues with three matches  scheduled daily .
Two games will be played simultaneously  by 10am and 4pm respectively.
The hosting of the Nigeria Women Football League  Super 6 is a pointer to the fact that Edo State is a sports hub and preferred destination for stakeholders as well as investors in the sports industry, with state of the art facilities .
No wonder , the state successively hosted   the Aiteo Cup for male and female categories, the Betsy Obaseki pre-season women football  tournament , the 20th National Sports Festival and now set to host the 2nd edition of the Super 6.

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Eguma Blames Players Over 2-0 Loss Against Heartland

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The Technical Manager of Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, Stanley Eguma has blamed his players for the defeat of the team by Heartland Football Club of Enugu. Heartland had defeated Rivers United 2-0 at the weekend, in match day 28 of the ongoing Nigeria Football Professional League (NFPL).
“We would have gotten two goals before the end of  first half but my players could not convert their chances,  but  Heartland made use of theirs,” Eguma said.
He further attributed the loss to the poor state of the pitch, saying that his players could not pass the ball effectively due to the poor nature of the pitch.
Eguma said this in a post match interview with sports writers. However, he stressed that the technical crew will go back and work on the grey areas.
“ I commend Heartland, they won two zero, that is football, you don’t take chances,” he stated.
In his response, the chief coach of Heartland, Erasmus Onuh said the team will continue to improve in every match.
“ As I came, one of things I requested was to relocate the team from Orlu and the result has started coming.
I  am under pressure but later I will explain that,” Onuh said.

By: Tonye Orabere

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