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Bonus Row, Unrest Unsettle Super Eagles

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A cricketer battling for honour at Indomie Secondary School Championship in Port Harcourt,  Rivers State recently

A cricketer battling for honour at Indomie Secondary School Championship in Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently

It has emerged that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and members of the Super Eagles squd, are yet to reach an agreement on the bonuses the players will be paid at the 2014 World Cup.
According to sources close to the team, “From conversations and exclusive with Joseph Yobo, Eagles are unified as team boards plane to Brazil with bonus issue (hopefully) settled”.
Although the federal government has approved a $12.2m budget for the tournament, the Federation’s officials could not conclude a deal with the Brazil-bound players.
Other African countries seem to have sorted out allowances with their players. The Indomitable lions of Cameroon will get $104,000 each, while the Black Stars of Ghana will receive $75,000 each.
Meanwhile, Stephen Keshi had to come in to settle a feud between the Super Eagles duo of John Mikel Obi and Emmanuel Emenike.
According to reports, the two senior players have been at loggerheards since the goalless draw against Greece last week, but after keshi’s intervention, they both hugged and shook hands.
“Keshi had a family chat with the boys yesterday and in the meeting he made it known to Mikel and Emenike that their rift is unsettling the team”, a source said.
“Äfter a heated exchange both players poured out their minds after which Keshi settled them but not without getting involved in a shouting game with one of them”.
At the end both players shook hands, hugged and even ended up in each other’s room chatting before going to bed, it’s over thanks to Keshi spotting it early”.
It is also understood that other squad players were given the chance to pour out their minds, so that every dispute could be settled ahead of Nigeria’s participation at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Eagles face Iran in their opening Group F match on Monday.
However, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Aminu Magari, is confident the Super Eagles will impress at the World Cup despite their recent struggles in friendly games.
Maigari  arrived on Monday  in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the 64th Fifa Congress billed for yesterday  and today. The Congress precedes the 20th Fifa World Cup finals, which kicks-off in the same city tomorrow, with host Brazil clashing with Croatia.
Maigari, who was with the Super Eagles at their final training camp in the United States before flying to Brazil for the important gathering of the world’s football administrators, said in Sao Paulo on arrival that he was satisfied with the Super Eagles’ build-up to the tournament and is confident the African champions will impress at the finals.
“I want to assure Nigerians at home and in the diaspora that the Super Eagles will not disappoint in Brazil,” Maigari said.
“For sure, our people would have wanted the team to win the matches against Italy, Mexico, Scotland, Greece and USA. But we drew the first four and lost the last one.
“I have spoken with the head coach and he is optimistic that his boys will be ready for the finals. The earlier draws, and the loss to Team USA have afforded our boys a lot of lessons, which will be useful against Iran in the first match and subsequently,” he added.

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Nigeria U16 To Battle Belgium, Others In UEFA Tourney

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Nigeria U16 national team, nicknamed Future Eagles will trade tackles with Belgium, Italy and England in UEFA U16 Development Tournament.
All games are to be played at the Pinatar Arena Football Center in San Pedro del Pinatar.
The Future Eagles are presently at Remo Stars Stadium Ikenne preparing for an U16 tournament before they leave for Spain today.
Meanwhile, the Future Eagles continued their preparations for their tournament in Spain with a 2-0 win over Beyond Limits’ U-15 side in Ikenne.

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Tennis: 72 Players To Feature In TPPA UTR Tourney

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Seventy-two Nigerian youth tennis players will feature at the maiden edition of the Tennis Players’ Parents Association UTR Nationals.
The TPPA UTR Nationals are the culmination of the regional events held across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The tournament takes place from April 8–13 at the tennis section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja.
The five-day event will have over 72 players from across the country in the boys and girls categories for the U-12, U-14, and U-16, respectively.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the Tennis Players Association President, Segun Aluko, said winners of this year’s edition will receive educational support and equipment.
He also stated that the tournament aims to groom and nurture young tennis players in the country to stardom and help them bridge the gap between tennis at the youth and senior levels.
“As you all know, we have been doing great at the junior levels, but we need to ensure we groom more players who will also move up to the senior level and dominate the world scene, just like Novak Djokovic.
“TPPA UTR Nationals is a tournament organised to give opportunities to young tennis players to realise their dreams.
Meanwhile, our correspondent learned that the reigning champion of the J30 Abuja ITF World Junior Tour, Khadijat Mohammed, tops the list of players who got a wild card to play at the tournament.
In the boys U-12, Ahenjir Tertema, Mohammed Okandeji, Samuel Adegbite, and Korede Ogunkolade were listed, while Success Godwin, Barakat Ganiyu, and Grace Oritingbeni made the cut in the girls category.
In the boys’ U-14, Folaranmi Fafowora, Nathaniel Aluko, and Gabriel Igbinovia will battle for honours just as Bisola Ogunkolade and Lorelay Holzendorff will in the girls’ U-14.
For the U-16 girls, Jasmine Osho, Ndidi Osaji, and Adesewa Olaniyan received wild cards just as Kushimo Quzeem and Precious Aliya did for the U-16 boys.

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AAG:Nigeria Boxing Coach Decries Non-Payment Of Allowances

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Team Nigeria boxing head coach, Tony Konyegwachie, has expressed his displeasure over non-payment of allowances to some of the boxers who won laurels for the country at the 13th African Games in Ghana, Tidesports source reports.
Team Nigeria topped the boxing medals table at the Games with eight gold and two silver medals , but they have yet to be paid almost two weeks after the Games ended in Ghana, with three gold medallists Adam Olaore, Patricia Mbata and Cynthia Ogunsemilore, as well as Konyegwachie featuring prominently on the list despite promises made by the Sports Minister, John Enoh that athletes will not encounter any delay in getting their allowances.
A day before the end of the Games, the Ministry of Sports Development stated that it had begun payments of athletes and officials’ camp allowances and bonuses for winning medals.
“Today the 22nd of March, the athletes started receiving their camp allowances,” sports minister’s aide Diana-Mary Nsan said in the statement.
“A lot of athletes had doubts and fears but the trust and confidence has been restored. Athletes who won medals will also get their bonuses.”
“It’s unfortunate that some of our colleagues have been paid while we’re yet to receive any alert. We’re appealing to the Honourable Minister to wade into the matter and make sure we’re paid because our families are hungry and we need the money to settle some debts,” coach Konyegwachie said.
“I am very angry and it is making me bitter. I want it to be investigated as I feel some boxers are being robbed, three of my boxers and I have not been paid bonuses for the African Games while others have gotten theirs.”
Aside from the allowances, payments promised gold medallists are also being withheld. One of the boxer, Omole Dolapo, who has received his allowance told our correspondent that he was yet to get his bonus for his gold medals.
“I have gotten the allowance, but I know some of my colleagues are yet to get theirs. For the medal bonus, I have not received that, and we are still waiting for the payment,” he said.

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