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Tricky Finale As NPFL Championship Playoffs Ends

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The Championship Play offs for the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) ends today at the Agege Stadium in Lagos with a tricky but fitting finale.
It is a deserving end to the six-club competition which, in spite of its abridged nature from the beginning in January, is climaxing with three matches crucial to the available rewards.
Three matches daily over four match days since June 4 have shown that the Super Six competition can always be an exciting prospect.
With 36 goals scored during eight wins and four draws in 12 matches, Wednesday’s three matches offer hopes of more exciting moments.
The day’s first match at 3 p.m. will see Rangers International Football Club of Enugu needing to beat FC IfeanyiUbah of Nnewi to finish among the top three.
Rangers who won the Group A of the abridged regular season and are presently fourth need the full points to leapfrog now third-placed Akwa United FC of Uyo.
FC IfeanyiUbah are already out of contention for any of the three tickets to play on the continent next season, but they will not just lie in wait to be crushed.
However, going by the statistics, Rangers look capable of beating them, even by the slimmest of margins, in spite of their Eastern Nigeria rivalry.
But the question is whether beating FC IfeanyiUbah will be enough to earn Rangers a CAF Confederation Cup competition ticket, given that Akwa United can still upstage them with a win.
The Uyo side will take on Enyimba International FC of Aba from 5 p.m. and a win will keep them within the top three bracket for a return to the continent.
They, apart from having won Group B of the abridged regular season, are unbeaten so far at the playoffs just like Kano Pillars.
However, Enyimba will need just a draw to be in line for a CAF Champions League ticket, and they can seek a win to be able to claim the season’s title.
Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi and Kano Pillars meet from 7 p.m. to round up proceedings at the playoffs, with the latter needing a draw to win a continental competition slot.
But the unbeaten Kano Pillars have all it takes to claim a win which will not only upstage Enyimba but also give them the 2018/2019 title.

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Siasia In No Rush To Appeal Life Ban

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Former Nigeria coach, Samson Siasia is not in a rush to appeal against a decision by FIFA to ban him for life from all football-related activities.
Football’s world governing body handed Siasia, who managed the Super Eagles between 2010-2011 and for a spell in 2016, the ban on Friday for agreeing to “receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.”
But the 52-year-old, who has also managed his country at U-20 and U-23 level, has said that he will fight to clear his name.
“I’ve not done anything wrong and will continue to fight to clear my name,” he told Tidesports source.
“Everything is now in the hands of my legal team.”
The ban is expected to be served at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 50,000 (US$50,000) was also imposed on Mr Siasia.
An associate of Siasia, Prince Opukiri Jones-Ere says his legal representatives are studying the FIFA ruling and will issue a statement in a few days.
“The coach was unable to address the press as planned on Saturdday because he’s undergoing a lot of stress,” Jones-Ere said.
“His lawyers are studying the ruling and will make an official statement in a few days.”
A former international, Siasia won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria and played in their maiden World Cup appearance later that same year. He played over 50 times for his country while scoring 16 goals.
As a coach he led his country’s Under-20 and U23s to continental success in 2005 and 2015 respectively. He also guided the U-20s to a runner-up finish at the 2005 World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
Siasia is the most decorated African football coach at the Olympics, winning silver at the Beijing Games in 2008 and bronze at the 2016 Games in Rio.

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Lawmaker Tasks Youth On Sporting Activities

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The lawmaker representing Port Harcourt Constituency III, in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Azeru Opara has called on the youth in his constituency to engage themselves in sporting activities and stop social vices.
Hon. Opara, who is also the sponsor of the tournament noted that sport is one thing that exposes people to limelight in any society.
The lawmaker who was represented by his Special Assistant, Yusuf Momoh made the called at the weekend, during the opening ceremony of Diobu Youth Football Association Tournament, at St. Andrews Primary School, Mile One Diobu, Port Harcourt.
“Stop social vices and involve yourself in sporting activities. There are a lot of benefits in sports” Hon Opara said.
He commended the coordinator of the competition Junior Obianime, for putting the tournament together.
Hon Opara, further pledged to not fail the people of his constituency as they voted for him, saying that this is part of his electioneering campaign promises.
Also speaking the coordinator of the competition Junior Obianime stated that the competition is about bringing the youth of the area together through football tournaments, adding that sports, mostly football is one event that brings peace among the youth.
According to him, 16 teams registered for the tournament, as winner of the tournament will go home with the sum of N200, 000, while second and third place will walk away with N100,000 and N50,000 respectively.
Obiani used the medium to thank the sponsor of the competition Hon. Opara, for keeping to his electioneering campaign promises.
The opening match was between Mile one market FC and St. Thomas FC which ended 3-1 in favour of St. Thomas in a spot kick after regulation time.

 

Kiadum Edookor

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CAF CL: Asante Kotoko Fires Warning At Kano Pillars

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Asante Kotoko of Ghana’s Captain Felix Annan said his side are confident of beating Kano Pillars in the return leg of the 2019/2020 CAF champions league first preliminary stage round.
Both side will meet for the second clash this Friday in Ghana, after the first meeting ended 2-3 in favor of the Sai Masu Gida
However, speaking ahead of the decider which will hold in Kumasi, Annan said they now understand how Kano Pillars are set up to play and believed that they are capable of completing the job in front of their home fans.
“It is always difficult playing away from home in the champions league but to score 2 goals is a plus and it gives us much confidence going into the second leg in Kumasi.”
“We are very confident because of our play and knowing how they (Kano pillars) play now. So with our fans, we believe we will surely beat them. We now know their strength and weakness so we will work on that.” Annan said.
Kano Pillars must avoid defeat in Kumasi if they are to go through to the next round of the elite competition

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