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Eaglet’s Age Scandal; Adokiye Sticks To Gun

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As dust is yet to settle over the age scandal rocking the Golden Eaglets, the man at the centre of the revelation, Adokiye Amiesimaka says he has his facts intact, insisting that Skipper Fortune Chukwudi is not eligible to play in the U-17 World Cup.

Adokiye, in his response to the widespread criticism that greeted his revelation, said the current article that is generating ripples is only one in a long list he has been writing, calling for sanity in the country’s age-grade competitions.”

I have written over 200 articles and even this one is part of a series that I started a few weeks ago, so how can anyone say I have not been speaking out?

“I recall clearly that during my time in Sharks, we played a friendly match against the Flying Eagles, who were camping in Port Harcourt in preparation for a qualifier, and Fortune Chukwudi was one of my prominent defenders then.

“In fairness to him, he looks as young now as he did then,” Adokiye said.

Adokiye went on to accuse the football leadership of failing in their responsibilities to clean up age cheats from the football system.

“We should actually ask those in the leadership of sports why they have done nothing against this age-cheating thing,” he said in kickoff.com.”

They have consistently failed in their responsibility to ensure that we comply with the eligibility rules. Real U-17s should be in secondary school or just passing out, and not men who have been playing in the League for years.”

Why can’t they organise competitions to get these talented players to represent the country?” the former Green Eagles player queried.

However, in a face saving response to Adokiye’s allegation, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF yesterday expressed utter shock at the comments made by the former player about the Nigeria U-17 team.

The Acting General Secretary of NFF, Barrister Musa Amadu said:

“We are not claiming to be perfect, as that is a virtue that belongs to only the Almighty God. But Nigerians are aware of the efforts we made to ensure that we put forward a genuine team.”The team underwent MRI scans at the National Hospital in Abuja and at the world famous Aspire Academy in Qatar, and is still being subjected to scans at the ongoing competition. But simply because he wants to destroy, Amiesimaka has gone out to ‘invent’.”We are not bothered. It is left for Nigerians to judge the kind of statements coming in the middle of a World Cup. We are only stunned that there are Nigerians who so passionately hate their own country, simply because they are not at the helm,” said Barrister Amadu.

Amadu concluded: “We should learn to celebrate excellence some of the time, not trying to bring down other people all the time. Has Amiesimaka been obsessed with so much hatred for our successful players because he never played in the World Cup? It is possible.”

It is a shame that people can take personal hatred and vendetta to the level that Amiesimaka has taken his own. We are shocked by his statements, particularly coming from a former international player, but we remain resolute and committed to lifting the image of Nigeria through football and refuse to be ruffled by such unpatriotic and silly comments.”

“At a time that all Nigerians are happy with the team that we have put forward despite the odds, and the team’s performance is making many people to talk about the strength and savvy of Nigerian football once again, the ‘destroy-them- by-all-means’ attitude of the likes of Amiesimaka is very strange.”

Also, NFF Executive committee member, Taiwo Ogunjobi accused Adokiye of ‘having an agenda’ after the former Green Eagles winger claimed in his weekly column that Nigeria’s Under-17 captain, Fortune Chukwudi is overage.”

He is just looking for a way to discredit Nigerian football,” Ogunjobi said. People like him, we know their plans. They are not after the interest of the country. They just want to discredit those who are there now so they can come in and take over.”

Addressing the key question of Chukwudi’s age, Ogunjobi reiterated that the player passed the MRI test, and not just once.”

Regarding this set of players, we have the confidence that none of them is over aged,” he said.

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Qatar 2022: Stakeholders, Fans Tip African Teams For Glory 

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Reactions have started to trail the performances of African teams at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar, which started on Sunday.
The african continent has five representatives in the World biggest Football tournament, with the African Champions being Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and Cameroon.
So far, no African country has gone beyond the quarter final stage in the tournament but only Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana had secured the quarter final ticket but crashed out at that stage.
In recent times, many countries have improved in football as no country can be described as total underdogs.
Consequently, some upsets have already been recorded at the ongoing World Cup, where you see Saudi Arabia beat number one Football nation Argentina, while Japan beat another Football giants Germany.
In the continent, football enthusiasts have tipped any of the African teams to go beyond quarter finals and probably win the World Cup.
Former Super Eagles Captain, Sunday Oliseh, has earlier expressed confidence in Senegal and Ghana, saying that they will make Africa proud in the tournament.
According to him, their commitment, pattern of play and the quality of players have convinced him that they will go far.
“ I have confidence in Senegal and Ghana, they are committed and play good football, so I tip them to go beyond quarter finals and perhaps win the trophy,” Oliseh said.
Former African Footballer of the Year, Samuel E’to, has also said that his country Cameroon, will lift the World Cup.
According to him, his country has the potentials to win the tournament following the quality of players in their team.
“ We are going to this World Cup with the intention to win the trophy, because we have good players and determined to win all our games”, E’to said.
Former defunct Sharks FC player,  Ibe Orlu, said despite the fact Senegal lost 2-0 in their opening game against Netherlands he is still optimistic that they will surprise the World.
“I believe that African teams at the ongoing World cup will perform better than they did in the previous editions. For me, Senegal and Morocco will be exceptional in their second games,” he said.
In his reaction, Manager of a popular viewing Centre, at Hospital Road, Old Port Harcourt township,  Ibiba Harry, said looking at North African teams’ performance  in Qatar 2022, he believed that they will give good account of themselves in the competition.
“ The North African teams  will surprise people in this World cup.
“I watched Senegal and Morocco teams and saw them going beyond  quater finals of the competition,” Harry said.
A strong football fanatic, Prince Emmanuel, also said that African teams will dominate as the tournament progresses.
He said in spite of the fact that the Super Eagles did not qualify for the World Cup, he has so much confidence in the five countries that are representing the continent.
“Even though my country (Nigeria) did not qualify for the competition, I will support the other Africa teams in the tournament,” Emmanuel said.
Head coach Shining Stars Football Club in Oyigbo Local Government Area, Rivers State, Gift John, said he did not  expect any good performance from the african teams.
“I do not really see any African team putting up an impressive performance at the World Cup.
“We can see that most African players are representing various countries in Europe instead of  their countries in Africa, take the likes of Bakayoko Saka, Tammy Abraham and many others. These players are expected to make impact in their countries, so I do not really see any African team going beyond the knock out stage “, John  said.
A sports enthusiast, Ekene Nwachukwu, disagreed with Gift John. He said,  African teams will do well in the 2022 edition of  World Cup, holding in Qatar.
He noted that from the recent friendly  matches played between African teams and European teams, it is apparent that they will perform impressively in the tournament.
“I believe that the African teams will  reach the finals or even become the World Champions, because they have quality players that will win the world Cup,”Nwachukwu said.

By: Tonye Orabere with reports from Kiadum Edooko & Ogolo Alali

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Kanu, Amokachi Preach Grassroots Sports Dev 

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Refrigeration and Air-condition Dealers Association (RADA), at the weekend, defeated Adams International Market 6-5 on penalty shoot out to win the maiden Ndigboamaka All Markets Football Championship held at the Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Lagos.
The championship, which was organised to unify traders in Lagos State and also unearth talents from the grassroots, ended 1-1 in regular time and had to be settled via a penalty shoot.
Speaking at the end of the final game, grand patron and sponsor of the championship, Obiora Okonkwo, commended the players and coaches for making the event a success.
Okonkwo said that the now yearly Igboamaka Championship will, from 2023, be organised as a football league to lift its standard.
“The 2022 Igboamaka Championship was successful and we give thanks to God for a successful tourney.
“In the game of football, everybody is a winner. The final of the championship was so competitive that the ex Super Eagles stars, who graced the occasion, Kanu Nwankwo and Daniel Amokachi have discovered talents that they would help to expose their skills in their football career. “
“We thank the Lagos State government for their support and assure that the Igboamaka Football Championship will continue to progress. More teams will participate in the championship next year,” he said.

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UNICEF Advocates Sport Opportunities  For Kids  

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Nigeria, at the weekend, joined the rest of the world to celebrate Children’s Day with the United Nation’s International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), urging governments, at all levels, and parents to create an enabling environment for children to participate in sports and other activities.
Speaking after a five-a-side football championship held at AstroTurf 2000, Ikoyi, Lagos, to mark the day, Nigeria’s UNICEF representative, Christian Monduate, said the theme of this year’s World Children’s Day, which is inclusiveness of children in every activity, was projected to enlighten people that the country’s children should be given equal opportunities with their counterparts round the world to aspire for quality education and engage in sports to become better citizens in the future.
“UNICEF is celebrating World Children’s Day with the vision of giving hope to every Nigerian child.
“Our goal is to ensure every child is given equal opportunity to get to any level they can attain. Making children express themselves by taking part in this football activity is another platform to educate government at all levels and parents to allow children play and hone their skills.

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