Nigeria has one of the best football scenes on the continent. Over the years, some of its clubs have managed to reach iconic status, not only across the country but in the entire world! While football continues to grow as a sport, attracting more and more viewers with each year, the industry standard is also changing.
While around 50 years ago soccer betting was not a huge part of the industry, nowadays you cannot really talk about any major sporting event without mentioning the betting aspect of it. In the long run, new betting sites that offer various sports bets and especially soccer betting has helped viewers and fans feel more connected to their favorite teams and clubs. Also it makes them engage more frequently with the sport in general.
Here are the top five football clubs to look out for!
The first football club we will be discussing is based in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria. The club was founded back in 1996, by the Military Administrator of the state, Joseph Adeusi. The team competes in the first division of the Nigerian Professional Football League. The Akwa United team has some of the most admired football players across Nigeria, including the notorious fan favorites. Their home stadium is still in Akwa-Ibom and according to various sources, it also has some of the highest-paid footballers in the country.
This team is based in Enugu, as the name suggests. They are commonly referred to as Enugu Rangers. They are historically one of the most successful Nigerian football teams, with seven appearances in the African Champions’ Cup. The club has also appeared in the CAF Champions League three times. Enugu Rangers have also been a part of the Premier League, though they have failed to get to the finals since 1984.
Enyimba International is the most successful Nigerian football club, founded almost 50 years ago. The team’s name itself translates into “People’s Elephant in Igbo”. Enyimba is definitely among the top or most supported football teams across the country. The team is the nation’s favorite because of its outstanding successes. Enyimba International has won two African Champions League titles, four Federation Cups and also several Nigerian championships. It is easy to understand why the team has become the pride of Nigerian football!
This particular club is among the newest or most recent ones on the Nigerian football scene. It was only founded in 1990. Having won titles in the Nigerian Premier League four times, the team has firmly managed to establish itself as one of the leaders. They also play in the highest division of the Nigerian Professional Football League. Having said that, Kano Pillars are yet to return to the place they were in 2014. This is when they won their last Premier League championship.
Lobi Star, previously known as BBLHawks adopted its current name in 1990. The team is based in Makurdi, Benu state, playing their games at the Aper Aku Stadium. The sports venue can accommodate up to 15,000 people. Yes, it has a large following, coming mostly from Makurdi. It has great potential, which is likely to grow in strength. The Lobi Star team has had a good run but only the future will tell what the team is really capable of!
Real Madrid Academy: Admission Process Will Be Fair, Transparent – SA
The Rivers State Government has assured that the ongoing admission processes into the state-owned Real Madrid Football Academy, Port Harcourt, will not only be fair to all applicants, no matter one’s status but very transparent. This was the declaration of the Special Adviser to Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike on Real Madrid Academy, Barr. Christopher Green, on Monday during the first part of screening exercise (aptitude test) on the candidates for admission at the Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta, Port Harcourt.
Green, while speaking with news men said that there would be a level playing ground for everybody as far as admission into the academy was concerned. According to him, “It’s going to be as transparent as can be, there’s no favouritism, it is neither for the high nor for the low, it is for everybody as long as you meet our criteria, as long as you do well in academics (Aptitude Test) as well as in the art of football (Practical)’
‘All will be screened under the same environment, atmosphere and it is open for people to come and see. In fact, the result of the screening exercise would be apparent even before official announcement as every parent would have the opportunity to watch his son or ward perform”
“The SA reiterated that Governor Wike had warned and directed that the ground must be level and the process fair to all. There is no partiality, no external influence.” The screening exercise witnessed a huge turn- out of prospective students for the academy, with over 1,200 children thronging the aptitude test venue with their parents. The SA described the turn-out as very impressive and an eloquent testimony that people have bought into what Governor Wike is doing to provide a platform for the development of future leaders and talents of the state and Nigeria.
“What is happening here is very impressive. The Real Madrid Academy is a deliberate plan by the Governor to provide for the youths of Rivers State and Nigeria in general. With this kind of project, he has secured the future of our youths, he is building human capacity, creating jobs and wealth for the empowerment of the young ones who would develop to become stars and leaders tomorrow. The academy is one project that can never go wrong in the sense that if you cannot make it via football, you make it through academics. Facilities at the academy are the best one can find anywhere in Africa and it presents a very big opportunity, perhaps, that’s why we are having this number coming from every state in the country”, he added.
Also speaking earlier, Commissioner for Education in the state, Kaniye Ebeku, whose ministry supervised the aptitude test, agreed that Governor Wike’s vision for the academy has been a huge success considering the extent parents across the country have embraced the opportunity. He described as wonderful the enthusiasm of parents and the sheer number of candidates on ground for the screening exercise.
By: Gabriel Nwanetanya
Eaglets Lose WAFU U-17 Cup To Ivory Coast
Defending champions Nigeria lost 3-2 against Ivory Coast in the final of the WAFU B U-17 tournament on Monday.
Two late goals from Ahmed Abdulahi were not enough to help the Golden Eagles lift the trophy after Sindou Kone, Abdrumane Konate and Seydou Traore’s strikes condemned Nigeria to their second defeat against the young Elephants in the tournament.
Fatai Amoo’s boys started the competition on a shaky note when they lost their opening Group B match to Ivory Coast.
Nigeria then secured a draw against Ghana in their second game in the competition and managed to reach the semi-finals of the tournament after results from other games favoured them.
The Golden Eaglets secured a 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in the semi-final to advance into the final and subsequently qualified for the 2021 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations which will take place in Morocco.
Nigeria, however, failed in the last hurdle after narrowly losing to the Young Elephants in the Wafu final at Stade de Kegue.
Sindou ignited the surge of goals with a fine strike when he beat goalkeeper Destiny Emuwahem to put Ivory Coast in front in the 15th minute.
Moments before the hour mark, Abdrumane Konate doubled the Young Elephants’ lead with a well-taken effort.
In an effort to try and avoid defeat in the encounter, coach Amoo made a number of substitutions, including introducing Abdulahi for Chijioke Vinci Osuji in the 65th minute.
Seydou Traore compounded the woes of the Golden Eaglets when he found the back of the net for Ivory Coast in the 84th minute to firmly put his side on the path to lifting the trophy.
Abdulahi then bagged two late goals, including a fine free-kick for Nigeria but the efforts were not enough to help Amoo’s Boys win the title for the second consecutive time.
Eguma Gives Reasons For Victory Over Heartland FC
The technical adviser of Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, Stanley Eguma, has said that their 3-1 victory over Heartland FC of Owerri, on Sunday, was not a fluke.
He stated that his team was well prepared against their visitors, knowing their capacity in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Eguma, said this, on Sunday, in a post match shortly after they defeated their opponents in match-day five of NPFL at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, in Port Harcourt.
“I thank my players, they actually put up a good effort today, knowing full well that Heartland FC is a strong team in the league, this win has boosted the morale of my players.
We knew today’s game was going to be tough, so, we prepared very well because it seems to be a local derby
By the grace of God, our efforts earned us the maximum three points at stake” Eguma said. .
The number one coach in the state further commend-ed the management of the team, saying that the victory has brought back confidence in the team.
“We worked-extra hard to get these three points because Heartland FC was fighting from every corners.
“The winning is very good for us especially now that we are going back to the continental game against South Africa,” he stated.
Also speaking the head coach of Heartland FC, Christian Obi, attributed the loss to lack of concentration by his boys (players).
According to him, every coach is always optimistic of victory in any game, adding, that, they did not bargain to lose but is part of the game.
He used the medium to urge Rivers United to put more effort in the matches, since, they are playing in the continental tournament.
By: Kiadum Edookor
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