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Eagles’ First Choice Hotel Not Good Enough – Lulu 2010 W/Cup

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Nigeria’s first choice hotel as team base in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup was not up to standard, Sani Lulu, the Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF) President admitted in Lagos early in the week.

Lulu made the admission at a seminar for the World Cup-bound Nigerian journalists held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

The first choice hotel of the Eagles, Hampshire Hotel, was dumped late last week after it failed to meet the April 28 deadline for completion of all specified requirements.

A high-powered Nigerian delegation led by sports minister, Ibrahim Bio, went to South Africa for a final inspection and dropped the Hampshire Hotel in Balito, opting for the Protea Waterfront Hotel in Richards Bay.

Lulu, who expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for coming to the aid of the federation in changing the hotel, said the government felt the country needed the best.

He said the government’s endorsement of the new hotel showed that it was prepared to provide added comfort and extra security for the Nigerian team while in South Africa.

“The government wanted better option than Hampshire Hotel. We insisted on better environment,’’ he added.

He said the choice of team hotels was usually the prerogative of team coaches, adding that Hampshire Hotel was chosen after Nigeria’s qualification for 2010 on Novermber 14  2009 and the draws for the championship that followed in Decemebr.

He said erstwhile coach of the Eagles, Shaibu Amodu and South Africa-based former Nigerian goalkeeper, Peterside Idah, chose the Hampshire Hotel.

Amodu’s successor, Lars Lagerback was not satisfied with the hotel’s standard during an inspection in March.

He explained that the federation’s problems with accommodation followed FIFA’s  decision to provide money to national federations in lieu of hotels as was

practised in the past.

He said the NFF had complained that the 400 dollars daily for each official delegation member provided by the world football body was not enough.

Nigeria will pay a fine of 125,000 dollars for the accommodation

cancellation, a decision the sports minister said was a compromise for the 250,000 dollars, which Hampshire had insisted.

Bio had said the Hampshire owners failed to carry out their side of the deal as they failed to complete the work on schedule.

Media reports in February that the Hampshire Hotel was substandard, led to the series of inspections and last week’s cancellation by sports minister Bio.

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NDDC U-17 Peace Cup To Resume In Uyo

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The long awaited finale of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) U-17 Peace Cup would expectedly resume next week as two qualified teams from the nine states converge in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.
Technical Director of the tournament  Etim Esin in a statement on behalf  of the Local Organising Committee Chairman John Ekpeyong and Secretary Ada Gwegwe yesterday said the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, will declare the tournament open.
It added that the Special Assistant to the President Muhammad Buhari, on Sports Development, Coach Daniel Amokachi, NFF Technical Director Coach Augustine Eguavoen along with football legend Taribo West and other notable Niger Delta-based and foreign scouts will be on ground.
The LOC appreciated the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, for his support towards the conclusion of the tournament, adding that it is better late than never, as the competition will still be among his numerous legacies.
According to the statement, the arrival date for participating teams is 11th of December, while screening of teams and official kick off, will take place the following day.
The statement further called on the Coordinators of the states not to forget the rules of engagement, especially on the age bracket of the players, as the screening will be strict, for the aim of the competition to be achieved.

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FIBA World Cup: Kida Lauds D’Tigers’ Strong Qualifiers Start

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Top basketball administrator and immediate past Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) president, Engr Musa Kida, has congratulated the D’Tigers for starting their 2022 FIBA World Cup on a strong note after picking two victories in three matches.
With five points from a possible six and a superior point difference, the team sits comfortably atop group A ahead of the next round of games coming up by the 27th of June, 2022.
Kida described the team’s performance as inspiring despite peculiar circumstances surrounding the federation’s election as well as FIBA’s stance over Nigeria’s participation at the qualifiers.
“It is really nice to start such important qualifiers on a winning note which is very good for our chances of qualifying for the World Cup. We had to put our administrative differences aside for the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
“We feel elated and justified that our decision to give FIBA the go ahead to register the team which enabled them participate paid off in the long run as we join hands with all stakeholders to continue growing the game in Nigeria”.
16 teams are vying for the available five spots at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup with Nigeria grouped alongside Mali, Cape Verde and Uganda.
“The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round of the African Qualifiers and will join three other teams to create two six-team groups with results from the preliminary rounds carried over,” Musa added.

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AWCON Qualifiers: Ebi Targets Revenge Against Ivory Coast

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Super Falcons defender, Onome Ebi, says the team will go all out for revenge when they clash against Ivory Coast in their final 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers next year.
The qualifying game which will be played on a home and away basis is scheduled for February 13 and 17 with the winners qualifying for the AWCON in Morocco.
The Falcons who will be hoping to defend the title they won at the 2018 in Ghana are eyeing their 10th trophy Morocco but to qualify for the event, they’ll have to go past the Ivorians who knocked them out of contention for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Ebi, who is Nigeria’s current longest-serving player says her aim is to avenge the loss that saw them miss out on the 2020 Olympics at the hands of the Ivorians.
“I can tell you that we still nurse the pain of missing out of the Tokyo Olympics as a result of the loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the qualifying series,” Ebi said.
“This time, we will repay them in their own coins. Personally, I want to play in the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup, and I know it is the same for my teammates.”
The Falcons are the most successful African women’s team in the world and have won the AWCON a record nine times and will be hoping to get their 10th next year after the 2020 edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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