Ex-Nigeria international, Friday Ekpo, has lauded the management of Rangers International FC, Enugu for appointing Benedict Ugwu as the team’s Caretaker Head Coach.
Tidesports source reports that the management announced Ugwu’s appointment last Wednesday, following the expiration of Olugbenga Ogunbote’s contract as technical adviser in June.
Ugwu is expected to hold the position, pending the employment of a substantive technical adviser.
Reacting to the appointment in an interview with newsmen in Enugu yesterday, Ekpo described Ugwu’s appointment as “the best thing to happen to the club’’.
He said: “Ugwu, who we call `surugede’, is a player with the blood of Rangers flowing inside of him and he has the passion to make positive impact in the players.
“Rangers management has really done well to have a look in his direction.
“He has what it takes to deliver the goods with adequate support from his colleagues and management.’’
Also, Sunday Onuoha, a staunch Rangers fan told newsmen that the club’s management had done well to entrust the team to Ugwu and his colleagues.
“With the much I know about him, he will do well with adequate support from all.
“Sincerely, we need this kind of tasks thrown to our people to prove the stuff they are made of.
“Ugwu can do it as he has shown with the state football team during the 2012 National Sports Federation in Lagos.”
Onuoha also said that Ugwu distinguished himself, when he handled the Rangers’ feeder team before his elevation to the senior team.
Another ardent supporter of the Enugu-based club, Ifeanyi Okonkwo, also commended the club for recognising hard work and commitment in appointing Ugwu.
“We are happy with the management’s decision to put a square peg in a square hole.
“I know that Ugwu will not disappoint. He will deliver as he did with the club’s feeder team,’’ Okonkwo said.
It would be recalled that Ugwu plied his trade with Rangers and the defunct BCC Lions of Gboko FC during his active days as a footballer.
He spent 10 years playing for the “Flying Antelopes’’ and was a strong member of the team that won the National Challenge Cup in 1983 and 1984.
He helped the Gboko side to a national Challenge Cup in 1989 and the CAF Cup Winners trophy in 1990.
During the period, the then fullback maestro won the Best Player Award in Nigeria and third best player on the continent.
He also played for El-Kanemi Warriors and 3SC where he also excelled before travelling abroad.
Ugwu is a graduate of the National Institute of Sports, Lagos and holds the Confederation of African Football coaching licence.
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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