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Football Stakeholders Want More Nigerians In CAF

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Three football enthusiasts
have in Lagos called for more Nigerians in the running of the continental football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The enthusiasts, Adegboye Onigbinde, Rafiu Oladipo and Edwin Eze, told newsmen that more Nigerians were needed in CAF to help champion the country’s cause.
They said they were not satisfied with the outcome of the Glo-CAF awards held on January 8 in Lagos, where Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama could not stop Ivorian Yaya Toure.
The Super Eagles captain and first-choice goalkeeper could not stop the midfielder from winning the top award, his fourth so far.
Eze, the Co-ordinator of Enugu Pepsi Football Academy, said as a good football nation, it was expected that Nigeria should have a say in the apex body.
“The country’s influence is lacking in the body, and that is why our players were being schemed out in events such as the Glo-CAF awards,” he said.
Onigbinde, a former coach of the Nigeria senior national team, the Super Eagles, said playing football alone cannot earn the country the coveted African Footballer of the Year Award.
“We need to be in CAF boardroom meetings where decisions concerning us are made.
“Since, 1990 the award has eluded Nigerian, players no matter how hard they try,” he said.
Onigbinde, however, called on football technocrats in the country to follow the path of honour and get themselves into the running of the body instead of lamenting from the sidelines.
Oladipo, the President-General of Nigeria Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, said Nigerian players deserved more than what they got.
“Our goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, deserved the crown for his efforts in 2014, both in his club and in the national team,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, some female football stakeholders have commended the Super Falcons and striker Asisat Oshoala for clinching the Best Female Team and Best Female Footballer awards at the 2014 Glo-CAF awards.
In separate interviews conducted in Lagos, the stakeholders said female footballers deserved to be given recognition, and that female football should be given the needed support.
Gift Sowemimo-Okunwa, a former Super Falcons striker, said the senior female team should be commended, saying it has been flying the country’s flag high at continental and international competitions.
“I want to commend the Super Falcons team for their tremendous performance in all tournaments. They have been trying their best to see that the country is among the best.
“The calibre of players who dominate the teams from the under-20 to the senior is really good, and I commend them.
“I also want to commend Oshoala. I am so happy that she is doing what she knows best in the area of football and she has been making herself useful.
“I am so glad and happy for her because she is building her reputation,’’ she said.
Nnenna Etim, a former Super Falcons’ assistant coach, also said she was happy that the female teams have continued to prove their mettle.
She however urged more corporate bodies to help develop female football.
“These girls have always been doing this country proud. They need to be appreciated, and receiving the award is a sign that they have been putting in their best.
“I congratulate the team and especially Oshoala for the awards. It shows that if you are committed to a cause, you will reap it at the end of the day,’’ she said.
Etim also appealed that the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) should be better sponsored like its male version.
“I know that it is a gradual process, but the women league needs all the support it can get from private organisations. These girls have been doing the country proud,’’ she said.

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CAFCC: Rivers United Defeats Al Masry 2-1 In Aba

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Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, yesterday at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, saw off Al Masry of Egypt 2-1 in the first leg  of the CAF Confederation Cup, (CAFCC) The pride of Rivers got the early lead in the 24 minutes of the first half by Uche Onwuasonaya while the Egyptian, equalised  three minutes after .
In the 35th minutes, Ishaq Kayode restored United to the lead which was assisted by Malachi Ohawume.
Speaking with Tidesports shortly after the game, the Sole administrator of Rivers United FC, Barrister Christopher Green, described the result as not what they expected.
According to him, they expected the pride of Rivers to have scored more than the two goals but well, they still need to fight back in the second leg.
“ Not what we expected.Well it was a highling contested game.
But we need to fight back in the return leg,” Green said.
Green who is also the Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on Real Madrid Football Academy  further explained that, the pride of Rivers will have to fight back to get the ticket to qualify for the group stage of the tournament.

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Why Budweiser Brought Terry, Carlos To Nigeria – Adedeji

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Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc., Tolulope Adedeji, in this interview with newsmen talks about Nigerians’ passion for football and the global impacts of Budweiser Game of Kings, among other sundry issues
Budweiser, the official beer sponsor of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, understands the love for football by all Nigerians. Football is one of Nigerian’s strongest passions. The love for football goes beyond watching matches to the banter that connects consumers online and offline.
According to Adedeji, every fan believes they know what’s best for their team and always have something to say about managers and coaches’ decisions. The Budweiser Game of Kings aimed to create a unique experience for consumers.
She noted that consumers get to have a say on what happens on the pitch by being the team managers of Kings FC captained by John Terry and Kings FC, captained by Roberto Carlos. And for the first time, both international players played alongside Nigerian Professional Football League players.
As the official beer of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, the aim was to bring two international football greats from the Premier League and La Liga. And after months of research among football fans in Nigeria, we identified John Terry and Roberto Carlos as two international players who have impacted the Nigerian players and fans over the years and they both formed the perfect duo for the campaign.
She explained that the idea by Budweiser was to use the opportunity to put the Nigerian professional league under the spotlight. We decided to partner with the Nigerian Professional League. Allow our very own professional league players to play alongside the international legends on the same pitch.
She said that the campaign was successful beyond our expectations. Budweiser gained massive media attention and every football lover was excited to be a part of the campaign. Several fans were at the stadium and millions watched the match from their homes on television. The match was broadcast across NTA Network, STV Network and SuperSport Channels on GoTV and DStv. Others also watched online on YouTube and other Budweiser social media platforms.
Budweiser created a first of its kind experience for the Nigerian professional league players and fans with a series of events that they will live to remember for a long time.
“As the official beer of the FIFA World Cup, Premier League and Spanish La Liga, Budweiser’s commitment to creating unique football experiences in Nigeria remains intact and, we are planning something even bigger for the World Cup year in 2022.
“Consumers interested in becoming managers were required to look under the crown cork of Budweiser for the unique code that gives them a chance to participate in the draw to become managers. Successful consumers selected from the draws received invites to audition for the manager position,” she said.
”The audition panel consisted of officials from the National Professional League organising committee. The audition panel, therefore, conducted the interviews to determine the managers.
“Budweiser is committed to consistently bringing consumers new and exciting experiences. To stay in touch, I will suggest you follow our social media pages @BudweiserNigeria.
“Football is one of the platforms that unite the world, and it is a strong passion point of Nigerian consumers. Budweiser is therefore committed to bringing consumers elevated experiences and joy.” She concluded.

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Firm Honours Jonathan With Wrestling Competition, Other Sports

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Renew Empire Group of Companies based in  Republic of Turkey and Bayelsa State, in Nigeria, says it would commemorate former President Goodluck Jonathan’s birthday with a wrestling competition, other sports and cultural displays annually.
Speaking with newsmen in Otuoke, home town of the former president, at the weekend, Managing Director/CEO of the company, Engineer Gospel Obolo identified sports as having the capacity to reduce crime and criminality in the society.
According to him, wrestling is the number one sports in Ijaw-land, adding that no meaningfully engaged youth would take to crime.
“We’ve been planning this event for almost a year now. We decided to take a date which would coincide with the celebration of our icon, former president’s  birthday so as to use these wrestling and the other sporting and cultural activities to commemorate his birthday by drawing the attention of the world.
This is the maiden edition,but we intent to carry out this programme annually.With sports,we can create jobs for our teeming youth and other unemployed citizens of this country,” Engr. Obolo said.
The Tidesports reports that the maiden edition of the event which was tagged, ‘Ibe Onin’ is expected to last for 17 days and has since begun with musical performance by notable artists and mock traditional wrestling trials.
In the same vein,the Paramount ruler of Otuoke, His Royal Highness, Ariwareni Paul(Oke xi) has also described the idea behind the event as unique.
The monarch who spoke through the second deputy paramount ruler of the community, HRH Mirobebh Dogood Akpufu decried the spate of youth restiveness in the area, saying that  an event of this magnitude would not only curb youth restiveness, but can also create jobs for youths.
He commended the organisers for the feat, just as he noted that Bayelsa was blessed with abundant talents and tourism potentials waiting to be harnessed for the economic advantage.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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