Nigeria missed out on a chance to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games football tournament when they were held 0-0 by South Africa at the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo on Friday.
Unmarked Sunday Faleye wasted a great chance to snatch victory for the Nigerians in the final minute of their last Group B game by heading a cross wide when a goal seem inevitable.
Ivory Coast edged Zambia 1-0 through a goal from Kouadio-Yves Dabila in the other Group B match of the eight-nation qualifying competition.
The final group matches were played simultaneously in the Egyptian capital with all four countries in contention for semi-finals places before the kick-offs.
Ivory Coast (six points) topped the final standings followed by South Africa (five) and they advanced to the semi-finals tomorrow while Nigeria (four) and Zambia (one) headed home.
Impressive Group A winners Egypt will face South Africa at the penultimate stage followed by Ivory Coast against Group A runners-up Ghana.
The semi-finals winners are guaranteed places at the Tokyo Olympics while the losers get a second chance in the third place play-off to fill the third and last African slot.
Egypt has competed at Olympic football tournaments 11 times – a record for an African nation, but have never collected medals.
Ghana will be seeking a seventh appearance, South Africa a third and the Ivory Coast a second at a tournament where Nigeria (1996) and Cameroon (2000) have won gold.
Olympic qualifying is restricted to under-23 footballers, but three ‘over-age’ stars are permitted at the finals.
Meanwhile, Henry Nwosu has called on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to go back to the drawing board after Dream Team VII failed to reach the semi-final of the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The Imama Amapakabo’s men played out a goalless draw with South Africa in their final Group B game at Al-Salam Stadium on Friday and crashed out in the process.
Nwosu said that it will be unfair to blame the failure on the players and added that the NFF was distracted by the corruption case hanging around their neck affected the Nigerian teams.
“The team did not do well. They did not qualify for Olympic which is our expectation for them,” Nwosu told Tidesports source.
“I believe the corruption case the federation has been battling with affected out teams because if our house is in the order we will be able to make better planning and preparation.
“We need to re-plan and make the system better so that it can work for the players, the coaches and Nigeria will be the better for it.
“We can’t blame the players, they did their best. It is the federation that needs to put their house in order.”
Diobu Football Competition Is To Foster Peace – Nsiegbe
The Chairman of the organising committee of the ongoing Diobu Peace/Unity Football Competition (DPUFC), Okechukwu Nsiegbe, has said that the competition is to bring peace, love and unity among youths in the area.
He explained that the competition is intended to discover talents that will excel in the football industry.
Nsiegbe stated this in an exclusive interview with Tidesports on Wednesday at the Roumuowaji play ground after Ikwerre Street FC defeated D/Line FC 9-10 in a penalty shout out after regulation time.
“The essence of the competition this period is to bring peace, l ove and unity among youths, because Christmas season is time to make peace “Nsiegbe said.
According to him, scout will be around to discover players during the tournament.
He further revealed that 16 teams registered for the tournament.
“The competition is a knock out basis, by this weekend the competition will reach quarter final stage” he stated.
By: Kiadum Edookor
Rivers Boxing Championship Discovers New Talents
The President of Nigeria Boxing Federation (PNBF), Kenneth Minimah, says the second edition of the Rivers State Open Boxing Championship (RSOBC) has discovered new talents and exposed them to limelight.
He stated that the competition is an important avenue to discover hidden talents.
Minimah, said this on Wednesday, in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in day two of the Championship, at the Port Harcourt boxing gym, Basketball court complex, Old Port Harcourt township.
The boxing President noted that the state has been the home of professional boxers in the 80s.
According to him, talents discovered during the championship will be given the right direction for the sport.
“Rivers State Open Boxing Championship is trying to rejuvenate the sport in the state” Minimah said.
The retired general used the medium to call on those who have passion for boxing and cooperate bodies in the state to support sponsorship of boxing competitions in the state.
“Boxing should also be taken to the grassroots,” he stated.
In the same vein, he commended Anthony Joshua, as he reclaimed his titles after had beaten Andy Ruiz Jr.
According to him, Joshua has his career back on track, adding that he had also put his mother nation back in the boxing board.
He also urged the upcoming boxers in the state to see Joshua as a role model.
By: Kiadum Edookor
2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Eagles Know Foes, January
Nigeria’s senior national team, the Super Eagles will know their group stage foes for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying series next month.
The Super Eagles had featured in each of the last three World Cup tournaments and will be bidding to make it four in a row for the first time ever and seventh overall in Qatar in 2022.
Tidesports gathered that Nigeria will be joining thirty-nine (39) other African countries in the second round (group stage) draws, which has been scheduled for the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
The second round of the qualifiers will kick off in March 2020 and will conclude in October 2021. Group winners will advance to the third round, which is scheduled for November 2021.
The ten group winners from Round 2 will be paired up for knockout matches, with the five winners securing a berth at Qatar 2022, a format reminiscent of the 2014 World Cup qualifying race which saw Nigeria defeating Ethiopia en route to qualification.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar between 21 November and 18 December 2022.
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