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Rangers Set To Redeem Image Against FC Nouadhibou

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With a solitary point from possible nine points in the Total/CAF Confederation Cup 2019/2020 competition, Nigeria’s Rangers International FC has vowed to annex all three points at stake as they set to redeem their image when Mauritanian league champions, F.C Nouadhibou come visiting to ‘The Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu, this weekend.
The coach Salisu Yusuf tutored side is fired up for the match day 4, Group A fixture after been held to a scoreless draw in Nouakchott, a fortnight ago by the coach Santiago Martinez wards.
Midfield maestro, Chiamaka Madu, who missed mid-week’ NPFL win over F.C Ifeanyiubah through injury, in an exclusive chat said, “We appreciate the task before us in the continent and we have tasked ourselves to ensure we get all three points in this encounter against Nouadhibou in Enugu.
“With the level of preparation we have put into the coming game, I believe we will make our fans happy at the end of the match.”
Captain of the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Temitope Olusesi said of the encounter, “Our continental match will be tough but we shall come out with the needed victory to put us back on track for a quarterfinal place. “No doubt, we have not started the group stage as we wished but we have come through the bad patch and focused for better things to come both in the domestic league and continental stage.”
Coach Salisu Yusuf on his part said, “Since my coming into the team, we are gradually and steadily getting to play some good football but very unlucky in front of goals.
“Nonetheless, we are working on this and I believe that we shall get it right against the Mauritanians as we have started getting our confidence back with the win last Wednesday in the NPFL”
10-man Rangers squad lost its first group stage match to Pyramids of Egypt 1-3 which was followed by a 4-2 loss to Al-Masry in Egypt on match day 2 before being held to a 0-0 draw by F.C Nouadhibou on match day 3 in Nouakchott.
The visitors (32-man delegation) who flew into Nigeria, Tuesday and connected to the Coal city, Wednesday, have not done too well in the competition they are featuring for the first time since its formation in 1999, losing twice and earning a draw in one.
Competition organiser, CAF has fixed the match day four encounter to kickoff by 5.00pm (17.00 hours) and will be handled by referees from Benin Republic led by FIFA badge referee, Adissa Abdul Raphiou Ligali.

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Interference: South-South Threatens To Boycott NFF Activities

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Miffed by the steps taken by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Delta State Football Association (DFA), the chairmen of Football Associations in South-South zone have threatened to boycott the activities of NFF.
It will be recalled that the NFF set up a Normalisation Committee chaired by Henry Nkeki that has three months mandate to organise a fresh election in Delta.
But in a statement signed by the FA Chairmen of Rivers (Christopher Green), Cross Rivers (Atuake Oswald), Bayelsa (Poubeni Ogun), Delta (Edema Fuludu) and Edo (Henry O. Asemota), the body faulted the setting up of the Normalisation Committee, which has created an artificial crisis where there was none.
“It has come to our attention that the President of the NFF Amaju Pinnick, the Chairman of Chairmen Ibrahim Gusau and the South South zonal Coordinator Emmanuel Ibah relying on Article 8 (2) of FIFA Statutes 2019 has set up a Normalisation Committee to manage the affairs of the Delta State Football Association.
“It is our firm view that in the absence of any crisis in Delta State Football Association prior to the constitution of this Normalisation Committee and in addition to the fact that the said Article 8 (2) has not been adopted by the Congress of the Nigeria Football Federation, their reliance on the said Article 8 (2) of the FIFA Statutes is misplaced.
The body added: “As far as we are concerned, what the aforesaid persons have done is create, an artificial crisis, which they then relied on to constitute the Normalisation Committee with the sole design of installing Tony Okowa the executive chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission as the chairman of the Delta State Football Association.”
They however, described the steps taken as a dangerous precedent that could lead to undermining the supremacy of Congress.
Arming themselves with the statutes of NFF, the body said: “Relying on article 13 (1) (f) of the statutes of the NFF, we request the NFF to immediately constitute an arbitration panel to resolve this dispute between the aforementioned persons and the Delta State Football Association.”
“Pending the resolution of this issue, we the undersigned Chairmen of the Football Associations in the South South Zone of Nigeria shall boycott all NFF events.
They expressed disappointment with the actions by the zonal coordinator Emmanuel Ibah in the handling of this matter, adding that he has abdicated his duties and responsibilities as the representative of the zone.
They therefore passed a vote of no confidence on Ibah. “Henceforth he (Ibah) ceases to represent the South South geopolitical zone in the NFF executive committee,” they said.

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Ikpeba Backs Nigeria For World Cup

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The 46-year-old believes the Super Eagles have all it takes to reach the final play-off round with ease following Tuesday’s draw
Victor Ikpeba has thrown his weight behind Nigeria to progress from their 2022 World Cup qualifying group effortlessly.
The three-time African champions have been drawn along with Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia in Group C, with the Super Eagles being the highest-ranked side.
Ikpeba, who featured for the West Africans at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, is confident Gernot Rohr’s men will have a good qualifying outing, although he warned Cape Verde may pose a big threat to their qualification target.
“Nigeria will win all their home matches, Cape Verde can cause some problems but they cannot stand on the way of the Super Eagles,” Tidesports source.
“CAR and Liberia are not a match but Super Eagles cannot afford to underrate them. The coach is very good and Nigeria has some of the best players in the world
“They can beat any team in the world and why not win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar?”
The winner of the group is guaranteed a place in the final play-off round, where the five teams to represent the African continent will be decided.
Meanwhile, former Nigeria international Yisa Sofoluwe has warned the Super Eagles to be wary of Cape Verde when hostilities begin in the second round phase of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Super Eagles were drawn in a seemingly easy second round Group C that houses Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia during the 2022 World Cup qualifying draw held in Cairo on Tuesday but Sofoluwe who earned 40 international caps during his heyday with the national team has called for caution.
He disclosed that there were no small teams again in football and that with only the group leaders making it to the final round of the qualifiers, Cape Verde who played at the quarter final stage in their debut appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in 2013 as well as President George Weah’s Liberia could pose great threats to the Super Eagles ambition of qualifying.
“We are in a group that we should easily qualify from but knowing the unpredictability of football, I want to appeal to the Super Eagles to take every game seriously,” said Sofoluwe who scored a goal in his impressive career with the Super Eagles.”
“We must prepare very well and respect our opponents if we are to qualify. Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia are not in Nigeria’s class but they can shock us if we underrate them.
“Cape Verde surprised many at the AFCON (South Africa 2013) where they got to the quarter final before get narrowly lost out (to Ghana). We cannot joke with a nation like that,” warned Sofoluwe who was nicknamed the ‘Dean of Defence’ during his days with the Super Eagles.
Sofoluwe, who appeared at two AFCON in 1984 and 1988 during his glittering football career but now a coach still tipped the Eagles to pick the ticket ahead of their Group C rivals but noted that Nigeria must do the right thing for that to be possible.

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Minister Begins Payment Of Athletes’ Allowances

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Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Dare Sunday , has fulfilled his promise to pay Nigeria’s youth and junior athletes to the CAA U-18/U-20 championships in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire last April allowances owed them by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
The athletes competed in the competition under the harshest of conditions, travelling by road for three days and were denied their allowances even after the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development released N13m for the competition.
The athletes, through their acting representative on the board of the AFN, Charles President of the Federation, Olamide George appealed to the Sports Minister to look into the athletes’ predicament.
The sports minister, who revealed at the start of the new year that athletes welfare will be one of his focus in his sports development policy made good his promise and ordered that the athletes should be paid part of their allowances.
“We are very grateful to the Honourable Minister for coming to the rescue of the athletes who were subjected to indecent treatments just because they wanted to represent their country, Nigeria,’ said the factional president who confirmed that the athletes started receiving bank alerts last weekend.
Meanwhile, Sports Philanthropist, Alhaji Ahmed Ahedjo Kaita has replaced Solomon Ogba on the board of the federation.

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