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.
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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