Connect with us

Sports

Angola 2010: LOC, Mali Trade Words Over Training Shambles

Published

on

Africa Cup of Nations organisers have blamed the Algeria team for farcical scenes at a training ground in Luanda on Friday when competition rivals Mali were refused access to training facilities.

Algeria turned up at the Escoqueirus Stadium in Luanda and gained immediate entry on Friday afternoon, but waiting reporters were astonished when, a quarter of an hour later, the Mali team bus rounded a corner and parked outside the stadium.

Mali players, including Real Madrid midfielder and national team captain Mahamadou Diarra and 2007 African Footballer of the Year Frederic Kanoute, were made to wait in the coach for over half an hour, before being told they could enter the ground.

But the situation took a bizarre turn when the stadium’s security officers refused to let them in as Algeria continued preparing for their final first-round match against Angola on Monday in blissful ignorance inside.

Utter confusion then reigned, as Diarra and some of his fellow team-mates attempted to gain access by clambering through an open window.

Over by the securely locked main gate Kanoute and Mali’s Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi attempted to talk their way in, but to no avail.

After over an hour, and as dusk fell, a furious Keshi led his charges back to the team bus to return to their hotel having missed a vital chance to prepare for their last group match against Malawi in Cabinda on Monday.

Keshi, who won the Africa Cup of Nations as a player in the 1990s, told Tidesports source. “I’m fed up. How could this happen, to get the boys in a bus and travel to a ground and be told you can’t train? I don’t know whose fault it is…”

Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita was also furious at the shambles, saying defiantly: “They can do what they like, but we’re still going to qualify (for the quarter-finals).”

Diarra was so annoyed he refused to make any comment as he joined his team-mates for the hour-long journey back to the hotel to get ready for the flight to Cabinda yesterday.

Later, the local Africa Cup of Nations organising committee (LOC) said that Algeria had been at fault, and not them.

LOC media officer Virgilio Santos explained: “This mix-up had nothing to do with us. What happened was this: Mali were supposed to travel to Cabinda Friday but delayed their trip until yesterday.

“Algeria were supposed to train at the stadium until 1700, but when they saw the Mali team turn up they decided to make life difficult for Mali and they didn’t leave the pitch until 1815, which made Mali angry.”

Mali, on one point in Group A after a draw with the hosts and a 1-0 loss to Algeria, face a game against Malawi that they must win if they are to have any hope of making it into the last eight.

They are making their sixth appearance in the competition, with their highest placing coming in 1972 when they finished runners-up.

This is not the first time a competing team at the 2010 Nations Cup has fallen foul of a training ground blunder.

Malawi coach Kinnah Phiri was left fuming when his side were unable to train for two days before Thursday’s game against hosts Angola, which they lost 2-0.

“Three times we went onto a pitch but we found that there were others there,” he said. “They were asked to leave but they refused. We have not trained for two days.”

He said he had written a letter of protest to the competition’s organisers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Sports

2021/2022 NPFL Season  Starts, Dec 17

Published

on

The 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season  is expected to  kick off on December 17th across 10 centres.
Defending champions, Akwa United, will start their title defence  at home in a Match Day 1 fixture against Kano Pillar at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo
Elsewhere,  Gombe United hosts Shooting Stars Sports Club to the Pantami stadium in Gombe in both teams’ first game of their returned season to the top flight.
The Pride of Benue, Lobi Stars, will host Rivers United at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi with the club’s Manager, Eddy Dombraye, leading his side against his state for the first time in many years.
The first oriental derby match of the new season is among the opening fixtures with Enyimba FC playing host to their arch-rivals Abia Warriors in Aba, while Enugu Rangers travel to Katsina to face the Changi boys, Katsina United.
Niger Tornadoes will welcome Plateau United at their temporary home ground in Kaduna while there will be a reunion, sort of in Akure when Sunshine Stars face their former manager, Kabiru Dogo and Fuad Ekelojuoti who are now with Wikki Tourists at the Ondo Sports Complex, Akure.
Another matchday one fixture will see Kwara United host Dakkada in Ilorin. Kwara United almost won the league title last season, before Akwa United secured the title with seven points gap, while the Olukoya boys, MFM FC, will host regional rivals, Remo Stars, at the Agege Stadium.
The Solid Miners, Nasarawa United will travel to Owerri to face Heartland in another opening day tie.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Sports

Delta Principals Cup: Sponsor Splashes Goodies On Finalists

Published

on

The sponsor of the on-going Delta State Principals’ Cup football competition, Zenith Bank, has promised that loads of goodies will be given to the finalists of the annual event.
The competition,  now in its 5th edition, is a developmental football competition organised for all secondary schools in the state.
Zenith Bank’s Group Managing Director, Ebenezer Onyeagwu,  said that the last four teams will be rewarded with various ranges of gift items as part of the final day activities.
“We are very committed to developmental pro-grammes in various ways. For sports, we believe in our catch them young initiatives, of which the Delta Principals’ Cup is one of them.
“I congratulate all the finalists for the 2021 event and wish to show that they are all winners, all of them will go home with attractive gift items on final day next week,” Onyeagwu said.
Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, will host the final match between Osadenis Mixed Secondary School and  School of Com-merce  on November 30.
Alaka Grammar School, Ozoro and Ovwor Mixed Secondary School will clash in the Third Place match billed to be the curtain raiser before the final match involving the defending champions, School of Commerce and Osadenis Mixed School.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Sports

US-Based Okorie Plans Maiden South-East Sports Festival

Published

on

United States-based Nigerian former athlete, Victor Okorie, is planning to stage a maiden Southeast Sports Festival in 2022 to prepare athletes in the region for the national sports festival billed to hold in Asaba, Delta State.
Okorie, who is the Performance Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), said he would meet with governors and some stakeholders in the region soon, as part of his arrangements for the event.
Before his emergence as the Southeast zonal representative on the AFN board during the elective congress held in Abuja on June 14, Okorie had sponsored a competition for track and field athletes through his pet project, the South East Sports Foundation.
The competition, which held in Enugu, saw athletes from Abia, Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi compete for prizes in sprint events, throw and jump.
The foundation also plans to organise competitions for the physically challenged athletes in the zone in line with Okorie’s view of taking physically challenged athletes in Southeast away from the streets, as well as integrate athletes in volleyball, handball, wrestling, and other sports on the same level with their foreign-based counterparts.
Speaking with newsmen, from his base in Tennessee, USA, Wednesday, Okorie, who won a silver medal for Nigeria at COJA 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja, said that the maiden Southeast Sports Festival would give the states chance to raise formidable squad for Asaba 2022.
“Sports are one major avenue governors in the southeast states can use to empower youths in the region,” Okorie said.
“I will meet with them and other stakeholders soon, on how we will stage a successful Southeast Sports Festival, which will serve as selection ground ahead of Asaba 2022 National Sports Festival. There is the need to re-awake sports campaign in the Southeast zone. Maybe, the next host of the national sSports festival will come from the Southeast after Asaba 2022,” he added.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending