The Coordinator of Coal City Football League, Emeka Okparaji, says 15 teams will be featuring in the 2021 edition of the league when it begins on Sunday in Enugu.
Okparaji, who said this at the pre-tournament media briefing in Enugu on Wednesday, disclosed that 15 teams from different parts of Enugu state were ready for the league.
The league is being organised by GOFEC Movies Industry Limited.
This is in conjunction with Zenith Bank of Nigeria, Enugu State Football Association (ESFA) and the state Ministry of Youths and Sports.
“It is a neighbourhood tournament whose first edition was held in 2020, with Emene United winning,” Okparaji said.
He disclosed that Coal Camp Team and Obiagu Team would play in the first match of the 2021 league on Sunday.
Speaking also at the media briefing, the Chief Executive Officer of GOFEC Movies, Donben Chisom, commended the teams which have registered for the league.
He also lauded the league’s coordinator for the success of the first edition in 2020 and called for better outing and organisation in the 2021 league.
Coach of Emene United, Tim Okoro, on his part said his team were ready for the second edition of the league.
“We won the first edition in 2020 because the Emene axis of the state is like a poultry farm for young players.
“This year, we will do all in our power to retain the trophy, because we are still hungry for more success in the league,” he said.
Callistus Ibe, the Agani Road Team’s coach, however disagreed with Okoro saying that a lot had changed since after the first edition.
He identified the Coal Camp Team rather as the “stumbling block” the Agani Road Team would need to “roll away” to become the new champions.
The 2021 league will begin on Sunday and is expected to end on December 19.
The Rangers International FC training pitch and UNEC field will serve as venues for matches in the competition’s group stage, quarter-finals and semi-finals.
Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu will host the competition’s opening ceremony, as well as the final match and closing ceremony.
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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