Defiant Super Eagles coach Shuaibu Amodu insists that ‘genuine fans’ will continue to support the team despite their present situation, and said that those who do not come out are not wanted anyway.
An immediate rash of venom-pouring expectedly followed last month’s 2-2 draw against Tunisia, which seriously compromised Nigeria’s chances of appearing at the 2010 World Cup.
Since then, however, apathy has crept in, with many fans expressing indifference at the team, and a large number prepared to stage a sit at home protest. Amodu says the reaction is no surprise, and hit back at the fair-weather fans.
“I expected that. A good number of Nigerians pretend to know the game and support the game, but they don’t know it,” he fired back. As it is, those who will come to the stadium that day will be our genuine supporters, those who know and love football, and those are the people we want.”
As he warmed to his theme, Amodu went even further, accusing the populace of taking out their frustrations in the country’s other failing sectors on the national football team.
“Nobody should extend the disappointment in the fortunes of this country on us in football. Our teams have been playing games all over the world. That football has been played here and there means that we have been the ones carrying the banner of Nigeria all over the world.
“We don’t want to face it, but I am saying it today. The only thing that is representing Nigeria all over the world is football. The only thing we are selling to the world right now is football. And anybody who does not care about the fact that we are doing our utmost best to represent this country does not appreciate it.
“They should ask questions of other organs of this country what they are doing. Why is it only football? Nobody should take the problems of Nigeria and put it on football. In football, like other sports, you cannot get all your results overnight. Along the line you will have disappointing results, and you will also have good ones.
“That is the nature of sports. You will win some, you will lose some and you will draw some.
“This attitude of win at all cost is what we have carried into our political life. That is why when a politician loses an election, he claims it was rigged, and goes to the tribunal. But if he wins, the election was good. Then we keep on fighting ourselves everyday rather than move a step forward.”
Amodu rounded off his fiery tirade with an unflustered look at his immediate future as Eagles boss.
“I have played uncountable matches in my life; I cannot come here and be worried about the consequences of any match. We can only do the best we can and leave the rest to God.
“It is a responsibility for us all, and we are playing our own part. We will leave and other people will come in and play their own part. I think we have done so far so good.”
Scholarships Up For Grabs For 10 Winners At MTN Champs
The grand finale of the MTN Champs will commence from today and end on Sunday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja where 10 winners will bag scholarship and financial benefits.
MTN CHAMPS is a program in Nigeria that aims to unearth and foster athletics talent across the country.
It is modeled after the Jamaican High school CHAMPS and is poised to become the primary platform for identifying and nurturing promising athletes who could go on to represent Nigeria in prestigious international competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships.
Before the finals in Abuja, the track and field event was held in three different regions namely: Uyo, Benin and Ibadan where over 7,000 athletes have competed and 42 finalists emerged.
Speaking at the MTN Champs Press Conference held on Wednesday in Abuja, the General Secretary of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Rita Mosindi appealed for the introduction of anti-doping lectures for the young athletes.
“ I want to appeal for the introduction of anti-doping lectures for the kids to educate them on the side effects of taking dope substances.
“These are raw talents that we can manage and nurture them to stardom.
“My advice is to do seminars concerning this just as we have started doing as a federation to reduce doping cases in Nigeria.”
Founder and CEO of Making of Champions (MoC), Bambo Akanni, who is the brain behind the MTN Champs revealed that 10 young athletes from the championship will get special scholarship in the USA and Jamaica.
“MTN Champs involving Secondary School Championship is to discover future Olympians for the country, building youth to excel in sports and academics. This is in line with MTN history of supporting local athletes for global aspirations.
NBPL Final Four: Winning Tournament Excites Rivers Hoopers Player
Rivers Hoopers of Port Harcourt player Effiong Abel has expressed joy for winning the just concluded Nigeria Basketball Premier (NBPL) League Final Four in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the game was not an easy one, adding that they were going through a hard training before the competition.
Effiong disclosed his excitement last Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports shortly after Rivers Hoopers defeated Nigeria Customs basketball team 77-57 in the final game of the four of the NBPL in Port Harcourt.
He stated that it was a team work that saw them through, adding that he was very happy winning the tournament in the front of his fans.
“ I feel very excited today for winning the Nigeria Basketball Premier League Final Four in Port Harcourt.
“ It was not an easy one because of the type of training we were undergoing to ensure we get victory in the tournament.
“I give kudos to my teammates and the coaching crew, they were awesome.
“ Also kudos to the fans, they came out in numbers to support us” Effiong said.
Effiong personally took charge at some point of the game delivering three pointers which eventually created a lee way for a sumptuous finale.
By: Kiadum Edookor
MOC Makes Appeal Over Age Cheats
Organisers of the ongoing school athletics competition, MTN Champs, Making of Champions (MoC), have appealed to all athletes who have participated in the three legs of the championship, as well as their schools, parents, coaches and everyone connected to them to support the body in its efforts to eradicate the systemic age cheating in Nigeria’s athletics by committing to use their real ages at the Abuja grand final and in future.
“MTN has provided a historic opportunity for Nigeria to finally tackle the pressures that our athletes have long faced to cut their ages,” MoC said in a statement made available to news men.
“Never in our nation’s history has there been a nationwide series of championships that has provided three age groups cutting across ages 11 to 19, to give everyone possible opportunity to compete fairly in their own age groups, and we have even relaxed the junior age group from U-20 to U-23.
The grand finale will hold in Abuja from December 1 to 3.
The MoC statement added: “Despite the fact that appropriate age groups have been provided for everyone, we have seen widespread age discrepancies across all three age categories – Cadet (U-14) and Youth (U-17) categories, which are strictly for secondary schools only and juniors (U-20), which is open to all other teenagers.
“For example, we have seen a systematic pattern of an unusually high number of SS2 and SS3 students claiming to be 13 and 14 years old respectively. We have seen athletes who were 14 in 2021 claiming to still be 14 now, 18-year-olds who have finished secondary school already claiming to be 13 so that they can run against the cadets, and we have seen many athletes competing for schools they are not part of and in the wrong age categories as well.
“One of such schools, which was biggest offender in this area, is currently in the process of being disqualified, which will be announced shortly.”
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