Rivers State governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has called for mass support and prayers from all Nigerians for the Super Eagles in their bid to qualify for FIFA World Cup taking place in South Africa next year.
Also, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital has been selected to host the 2010 Nigerian Football Awards organised by the African Independent Television (AIT) and sponsored by Telecommunication giant, MTN.
Governor Amaechi who made the call recently in Abuja at the 2009 MTN-AIT Football Awards also prayed for the National Team’s qualification, with the guests at the epoch-making events saying “Amen.”
His words: Now we’re struggling to qualify. We no longer depend on our legs to qualify for the world cup, but on prayers. I pray that Eagles will qualify. Cheer Eagles when we play in Nairobi, Kenya. I am an Arsenal supporter for life, even if they’re losing. Please let Nigerians support Super Eagles for life. Currently, Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is doing well to ensure they qualify.
Rt. Hon. Amaechi who was accompanied by his wife, Judith at the epoch-making occasion evoked emotion when he requested the audience to observe a minute silence in honour of the late DAAR Communication Group Manager, Director, Alhaji Ladi Lawal who was said to have contributed meaningfully to the concept of the Awards before his death.
“Shall we stand up and observe a minute’s silence in honour of Alhaji Ladi Lawal, he requested, and the guests obliged him, after which he prayed for the repose of his soul thus, “May his gentle soul rest in peace” and all said ‘Amen’.
Governor Amaechi thanked AIT and MTN for what he termed a good move and urged them not to relent in their efforts at taking awards to the heights.
Confirming the hosting rights of the 2010 Awards on Port Harcourt at the end of the 2009 events, the Awards Panel, led by its chairman veteran sports journalist, Paul Bassey presented Governor Amaechi with an insignia (flag).
In accepting to host the event next year, governor Amaechi recalled that some companies pulled out of the Niger Delta region in the past, even where their presence and services were required by the region. He said, MTN-the sponsor of the award had to abandon the sponsorship of polo tournament in Port Harcourt for the state government which took over, adding, “On behalf of the Niger Delta, I welcome all those who abandoned us back (to the region)” and assured of a hitch-free event.
Nigeria, Zambia Join WAFCON Train
Nine-time Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winners, Nigeria became the final side to book their place at the 2024 tournament as qualifiers culminated this week.
The Super Falcons came from behind to beat Cape Verde 2-1 away from home, with Rasheedat Ajibade’s injury-time winner clinching a 7-1 aggregate victory on Tuesday.
Barbra Banda was among Zambia’s scorers as the Copper Queens, who finished third at last year’s Nations Cup, thrashed Angola 6-0 at home to complete a 12-0 aggregate win.
However, two-time champions Equatorial Guinea will miss out on the 12-team finals following a 2-1 defeat away against DR Congo which saw the hosts progress 3-2 overall.
Botswana beat Kenya 1-0 to secure qualification for their second consecutive finals. while Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia all sealed their places in Morocco, who will host for the second time in a row.
The dates for the tournament, scheduled for next year, are yet to be announced.
Holders South Africa and Algeria secured their spots on Monday, with Banyana Banyana beating Burkina Faso 3-1 on aggregate and the North Africans sealing a 1-0 win in Burundi to progress 6-1 over the two legs.
Ghana will return to the finals for the first time since 2018 despite losing 1-0 away against Namibia, with the Black Queens going through 3-2 on aggregate.
Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia also failed to win their away ties, but progressed against Egypt, Togo and Congo respectively.
Mali won 3-0 away against Guinea to round off a 10-2 victory overall.
Olowu Targets WABU Crown At GOtv Boxing Night 30
Super welterweight boxer, Taiwo ‘Gentle Boy’ Olowu, on Wednesday , said his target is to claim the West African Boxing Union (WABU) super welterweight title at GOtv Boxing Night 30 on December 26.
The enterprising boxer, who is the national welterweight title holder, will square up to top Ghanaian boxer, Michael Ansah, at the event slated for the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Speaking ahead of the fight, ‘Gentle Boy’ boasted that he would ensure the Ghanaian returned to his country empty-handed.
“I aim to add this West African Boxing Union title to my national title. As a national champion, I cannot allow a foreigner to come and take this belt away in front of my fans. This is a big opportunity for me to be a WABU champion. Ansah will leave Nigeria empty-handed,” he said.
The more experienced Ghanaian boxer has a record of 23 wins, 12 defeats, and three draws from 38 professional fights, while ‘Gentle Boy’ boasts 15 wins and one defeat from his 16 professional fights.
In another title fight, Sifon ‘Best’ Iwatt will battle Saheed Azeez for the national super flyweight title.
Also on the card for the night are five other national fights, including a female national cruiserweight challenge fight between national champion, Bolatito ‘Black Tito’ Oluwole and Blessing Abisoye.
Arabambi Ojo and Ibrahim ‘Golden Boy’ Opeyemi will slug it out in a national bantamweight challenge bout; Abdulafeez ‘Big Name’ Osoba will face Christopher Ucheji in a national super welterweight challenge fight, while Ayanfe Adeoye and Ahmed Ganiyu will duel in a national light welterweight category.
Nigeria Makes Final Team Of The Year Award
Nigeria made the final three shortlists for the 2023 Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Women’s National Team of the Year award.
CAF announced the final three shortlist on their X handle yesterday.
The other two countries are reigning Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions South Africa and Morocco.
Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa featured at this year’s FIFA women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The trio all reached the round of 16 at the tournament, which was won by Spain.
The winner will be announced on Monday, December 11, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Falcons recently qualified for the 2024 WAFCON, hosted by Morocco.
A 7-1 aggregate win against Cape Verde ensured the Falcons will be making their 13th appearance at the tournament, which began in 1998 in Nigeria.
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