With the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) crown apparently going to the wire, Lagos-based MFM FC have promised to fight on till the last whistle of the league game.
Tidesports source gathered that the recent slump by the league table toppers Plateau United necessitated the delay in crowning the 2016/2017 NPFL champions. Only a point separates the two leading teams on the league table, with Plateau having 63 points and MFM 62.
The Peace Boys from Jos should have wrapped up their league victory but they suffered a shocking home draw on Match Day 36 and an away defeat on Day 37.
The Kennedy Boboye-tutored side of recent had failed to sustain the tempo which saw them on the summit of the table as they could only manage a 1-1 draw against a spirited Rivers United.
The team also failed to win their last match as they also slumped to yet another 0-1 defeat in the hands of Wikki Tourists of Bauchi.
With the slump experienced by Plateau United, second placed team, MFM who have been on their trail are now confident of springing a last minute surprise to snatch the crown.
The high-flying MFM on their part was able to put sword in the heart of their opponents Nasarawa United at their Soccer Temple Agege Township Stadium , winning 2-0 on Matchday 37, despite losing Matchday 36, away to Abia Warriors.
A stunning free kick from defender Stanley Okorom in the 13th minute and an assist for Tchato Giscard who scored a blazing header in the 46th minute gave the Olukoya Boys the comfortable win on 31 August.
Commenting on the possibility of catching up with Plateau United, MFM image maker, Olawale Quadri, said: “It is not over until it is over” in their pursuit of the 2016/2017 league shield.
“We need to put this straight. We are still very much in contention for the league crown. The winner has not emerged yet, so we are fighting on.
“The league still has a match to be played and we will do our best not to disappoint our fans. We made a promise to win the league and we are still on course.
“No one expects the league leaders to slump like that, since they are now vulnerable to defeat. Owing to the pressure on them, we will not leave it without a fight.
“MFM are known for their fighting spirit and we are ready to sustain that. We won’t let go, No retreat no surrender,” he said.
Quadri said that aiming for the league crown was not yet a “Dead duck” but that the club was motivated with the difficult match, against in-form Rangers International, ahead of their rival Plateau United.
“We can catch up because Plateau United should now be under pressure and their last match against the incumbent champions Rangers International of Enugu may not be a ride in the park.
“Rangers are now in a precarious situation and they must not lose their last game for the fear of relegation. They will want to fight.
“Our own game which is away will also be tough but nothing is impossible. We are not yet fulfilled. Our target is the league crown which is not far away.
“We want to put smiles on the faces of the Lagos supporters who have been the motivation behind the team since we started the campaign in the NPFL,” he said.
MFM will be travelling to Maiduguri to meet El-Kanemi Warriors on 9 September.
Tidesports source gathered reports that only a point separates the two contenders for the 2016/2017 league crown. The league leaders, Plateau United, are on 63 points, while MFM second are on 62 points.
A win for both clubs will crown Plateau United, while a draw or defeat for them will see MFM a surprise winner of the coveted season shield, if they beat El-Kanemi.
Napoli To Offer Osimhen €7m Yearly Contract
Napoli is prepared to break their wage structure to keep Victor Osimhen at the club and offer him a much bigger salary than he earns now, Tidesports source reports.
The Nigerian striker is having a great season at Napoli and has scored 14 times in 19 appearances in all competitions in the ongoing campaign.
He has been heavily linked with a move away from the Serie A giants next season, with multiple clubs across Europe believed to be interested in him.
According to reports in Italy, as reported by AreaNapoli, it has been claimed that Napoli are ready to break their wage structure to keep the striker beyond next summer.
They have a maximum salary limit of €3.5m per year for any player, but Napoli are prepared to make an exception for Osimhen.
The club are set to meet the forward’s representatives and offer him a contract worth up to €7m per season and Napoli believe it could help them convince Osimhen to stay on for at least one more season.
Although it is a huge contract offer by Serie A standards, Manchester United, who are keen to sign the Nigeria international, are in a position to offer him a lot more than that and Osimhen will surely want to test himself in the Premier League.
However, if he wants to leave, Napoli are likely to accept offers in the region of €120m for him next summer and with the remarkable form he is showing this season, there will be no shortage of suitors once the transfer window opens.
It is no surprise that the biggest clubs in Europe are eyeing the striker, as he is powerful, has pace and is a superb finisher with a career record of 80 goals in 171 outings, which is only expected to keep rising as he is still only 24.
Delta 2022: Bayelsa Offers Automatic Employment To Medallists
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has announced a reward package for athletes that represented the state at the 2022 National Sports Festival held at Asaba, Delta State.
Bayelsa placed a historic second behind Delta, surpassing its earlier best position of third recorded at the 2020 festival hosted by Edo State in 2022.
Governor Diri, who received the state’s contingent on Wednesday inside the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House, Yenagoa, recalled that Bayelsa won 109 gold, 104 silver and 87 bronze medals.
This was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, and made available to Tidesports source , the governor announced N1 million each to individual gold medallists and N750, 000 each for team gold.
He also rewarded individual silver medallists with N500, 000 and N300, 000 went to team silver medallists, while individual bronze medallists got N300, 000 and N150, 000 for each team bronze medallist.
Coaches and secretaries of gold medal teams got N500, 000 each, while their assistants got N300, 000 each. Those in silver category got N300, 000 each and their assistants N200, 000.
The governor also rewarded non-medallists with N50, 000 each.
He also announced automatic employment for those yet to be employed in the state sports council and directed the Ministry of Youth and Sports to work out the modalities.
We’ll Turn The Table Around In Subsequent Games – Nasarawa Coach
Nasarawa United Chief Coach, Abubakar Arikya, has assured fans and people of the State that they will turn the table round in their subsequent games in spite of their unimpressive performances in recent times.
The Solid Miners, as they are fondly called, lost 3-0 to visiting Akwa United on Sunday at the ongoing abridged 2022/2023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Week three game, at Jos International Stadium, Plateau State.
Coach Arikya said this in his post match interview with sports journalists and made available to Tidesports through the club’s Media Officer, Eche Amos, shortly after his side lost to Akwa United.
According to him, he accepted the outcome of the game in good faith and hoped to turn around the situation for better in subsequent matches.
“It’s never our making to lose any game, however, we accept the outcome in good faith with the hope of turning around the situation for better in subsequent games.
“The boys (players) played very well in the first-half and we had a lot of chances but could not convert them.
“But the game changed towards the closing stage of the first half and the second half wasn’t good for us.
“In all, it’s a day we have to forget in a hurry and move on,” Coach Arikya said.
As it is, Nasarawa United has suffered three straight loss in NPFL, as they lost to Enyimba, Abia Warriors and Akwa United but the technical crew still believed that they will record winnings in future.
Nasarawa United will Saturday pay visit to Gombe United to play one of the week four games in NPFL scheduled to hold at different match venues in the country.
By: Tonye Orabere
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