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AFCON 2021: Tunisia Stops Nigeria

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Nigeria’s Super Eagles have crashed out of the ongoing 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon after coming unstuck against a tactical and resolute Tunisian side in the round of 16 in Garuoa, last night.
In the battle of the Eagles, the Tunisians, courtesy of an early second half goal, a long range by Youssef Mskani shot that keeper Mmaduka Okoye failed to deal with, consigned the Nigerian team to also ran as far as the championship is concerned. They will now go ahead to meet Burkina Faso in the quarter final stage, while the Super Eagles would fly back home.
Indeed, it was an anticlimax for Nigerians after the Eagles promised so much with their group stage performances. The Austin Eguavoen tutored team was expected to have subdued the Tunisians owing to their labored route to qualification, not a few Nigerians and Super Eagles fans tipped the Nigerian team for a place in the next round, even all the way to the championship game.
But a tactical master class by the Tunisians, especially on Nigeria’s two wingers, Moses Simon and Samuel Chukwueze not only blunted the Eagles attacking weapons, they restricted their goal attempts to few half chances.
Nigeria’s case was also not helped by a harsh red card to Alex Iweobi that reduced them to 10 men and few decisions that would have changed the course of the game had they gone Nigeria’s way. Despite the handicaps, the Super Eagles toiled hard but were unlucky not to have reaped any reward, especially, substitute Umaru Sadiq, who was a couple of inches away from an equalizer at the death.
Overall, coach Eguavoen’s inability to react early and counter the Tunisians’ tactics played into the hands of the Carthage Eagles
In the end, the Super Eagles only flattered to deceive in the Championship as far as raised expectations are concerned.
Burkina Faso beat 10-man Gabon on penalties to reach the quarter-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon following a 1-1 draw.
Ismahila Ouedraogo netted to give the Stallions a 7-6 win in the shoot-out.
Gabon had Sidney Obissa sent off midway through the second half but grabbed an injury-time equaliser when Bruno Ecuele Manga’s header went in off Adama Guira.
Burkina Faso captain Bertrand Traore had missed a penalty before slotting in the opener in the 28th minute.
A mammoth shoot-out had seen Herve Koffi save from Gabon midfielder Guelor Kanga and Saidou Simpore immediately send his effort over the bar in the fourth round of penalties.
Abdoul Tapsoba had the chance to win it for Burkina Faso in sudden death after Yannis N’Gakoutou had blazed over, but Jean-Noel Amonome denied him.
However, substitute Ouedraogo kept his nerve after Gabon right-back Lloyd Palun rattled the crossbar to send the Burkinabe through.
It was at times a scrappy encounter in Limbe, marked by several bookings, but also a game which provided moments of quality and drama.
Burkina Faso had spurned several chances to make it 2-0 before the 90 minutes were up in Limbe, but Amonome saved well from Traore, Blati Toure and Guira.
And the Stallions ultimately paid in the 91st minute when Ecuele Manga’s header from Denis Bouanga’s cross deflected in for a dramatic equaliser.
Tapsoba had an extra-time goal ruled out for offside against Zakaria Sanogo, and Gabon keeper Amonome denied Tapsoba and Ouedraogo in the second added period to send the game to penalties.

By: Gabriel Nwanetanya

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RSFCA Holds Coaching Clinic In PH, Today

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The Rivers State Football Coaches Association (RSFCA) has concluded arrangements to organise a coaching clinic tagged: “Continuous Professional Development Coaching (CPD),” aimed at developing football coaches in the state.
Chairman of the local organising committee (LOC),  Coach Raphael Akunna revealed that the coaching clinic is being organised in conjunction with Bright Stars Sports Agency United Kingdom which will hold at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium starting from tomorrow, and last for two days.
Wuga Birabe, Co/Director MW Sporting World Limited London, England, United Kingdom and other invited instructors are expected to deliver key note lectures.
Dignitaries expected at the opening ceremony today include Sir Honour Sirawoo (Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Sports and President of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria), Barr Chris Green (Special Adviser to Rivers State Governor on Real Madrid), Mr Benjamin Akubor (RSFA), Sarah Davids (Chairman Sports Writers Association of Nigeria Rivers State), Chairman Nigeria Referee Council Rivers State) and other invited guest.
It would be recalled that the Rivers State Football Coaches Association (RSFCA) has conducted a number of coaching courses over the past three years.
The latest was the NFF/NLO/Berackiah Football Grassroots Coaching Clinic course that took place March 7 – 11, 2022 and attracted about 40 participants

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Super Six: Why Nasarawa Walked Over Ratels – Chairperson

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Chairperson, Nigeria Women’s Football League, Aisha Falode, says Naija Ratels were walked over at the ongoing NWFL Super Six tourney in Benin City, the Edo State capital, after they failed to respect the sponsorship deal for the event.
New girls Ratels were scheduled to clash against former champions Nasarawa Amazons at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium on Monday before they were walked over.
The NWFL had sealed a N16m sponsorship deal for the championship, with all six teams to wear shirts branded by the sponsors.
But Naija Ratels reportedly flouted the rule book, preferring to wear their own jersey branded by another sponsor.
“We walked them over for flaunting the rule of being the club that has not worn the official jersey. We will work on the fixtures and move on, this is what the rule is all about,” Falode said.
“We told them (clubs) each team would get N1m each, while there would be N5m for the winners, N3m for the runners-up and N2m for the second runners-up, meaning N16m was going back to the league.
“This man (Ratels owner), who just qualified for the league for the first time, who is playing in the Super Six for the first time, has come to disorganise what we have done. We have a responsibility; we have a duty to the organisation and those who appointed us to manage this league.”
Falode added, “If you have a shirt sponsorship, you are supposed to write to the league board and as a matter of fact, a percentage of the sponsorship is supposed to come to us but we are not aware they have any sponsorship deal.
When asked if there would be stiffer punishment aside the walkover, the ace sports journalist added, “one step at a time.”
Also, the NWFL Chief Operating Officer, Modupe Shabi, noted that Paul Edeh, Ratels proprietor, contravened the NWFL Statutes on sponsorship.
“Article 7.8 states that all rights contracts to be entered into by any club shall first is subject to the writing and approval of NWFL, before execution,” she said.

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Ban On Basketball Bad For Nigeria – Chairman

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The Chairman of Retired Basketball Players in Port Harcourt, Fubara Fibika has said that the ban of basketball in Nigeria from international competition by the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, would cripple the game at the grassroots.
According to him, the best thing to do was to formulate a programme on how to develop the game instead of the ban.
Fibika said this on Monday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt, saying that basketball is one of the fastest developing games in the country.
The veteran explained that he has respect for the Sports Minister for his initiative on sports development, but his recent action is not fair at all.
“Bringing politics in Sports will cripple the industry.
What we should think of now is how to promote and develop the game in our locality” Fibika said.
He advised the Sports Minister to rescind his decision, narrating that the ban is not good for the game.

By: Kiadum Edookor

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