The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has called for partnership with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), in its plans to set up two football academies in the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC Managing Director, Nsima Ekere, made the proposal when the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, led a delegation of the federation to pay him a courtesy visit at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
“I want to invite the NFF to collaborate with the NDDC to support the game of football in the Niger Delta. We are in the process of setting up football academies in the Niger Delta region. The NDDC Board has already approved it and we want to start with two football academies.
We believe that it is one of the ways of taking our youths off militancy and getting them meaningfully engaged. We hope to give them the opportunity to develop their talents and empower them because football is now big business and a good source of employment”, Ekere said.
A statement by NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Ibitoye Abosede, and made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, quoted Ekere as saying that the NDDC would encourage Niger Delta youth to take to football as a profession and that was the essence of setting up the football academies.
According to him, “that is why we need the technical support of the NFF so that the venture will become a success. There will also be need to link up the beneficiaries of the academies to international opportunities.”
The NDDC boss said that there was every reason for Nigerians to celebrate the current NFF leadership under Amaju Pinnick, noting that there was a time when Nigerian football made everyone happy and proud.
Unfortunately, he said, a few years ago, we nose-dived and nobody was hearing about Nigeria again in the international scene.
“This was until God blessed our football administration with Amaju Pinnick, a proud son of the Niger Delta,” Ekere said.
He said further: “I want to congratulate you and members of your team for what you have done for Nigerian football. You have brought back our lost glory. You also brought back the pride of Nigerian football. You have given us reason to be proud again as Nigerians. You have elevated Nigeria to a position where the entire world will pay attention when Nigeria is mentioned in football.”to produce productive youth in the oil-rich region”, Pinnick said.
In his own remarks, the NDDC Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mene Dereck, advised the NFF to imbue the spirit of love among the Super Eagles players to ensure that they carried out their assignment with team spirit.
He advised the leadership of the NFF to close ranks and work in unity for the development of football in the country.
Nigeria, Zambia Join WAFCON Train
Nine-time Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winners, Nigeria became the final side to book their place at the 2024 tournament as qualifiers culminated this week.
The Super Falcons came from behind to beat Cape Verde 2-1 away from home, with Rasheedat Ajibade’s injury-time winner clinching a 7-1 aggregate victory on Tuesday.
Barbra Banda was among Zambia’s scorers as the Copper Queens, who finished third at last year’s Nations Cup, thrashed Angola 6-0 at home to complete a 12-0 aggregate win.
However, two-time champions Equatorial Guinea will miss out on the 12-team finals following a 2-1 defeat away against DR Congo which saw the hosts progress 3-2 overall.
Botswana beat Kenya 1-0 to secure qualification for their second consecutive finals. while Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia all sealed their places in Morocco, who will host for the second time in a row.
The dates for the tournament, scheduled for next year, are yet to be announced.
Holders South Africa and Algeria secured their spots on Monday, with Banyana Banyana beating Burkina Faso 3-1 on aggregate and the North Africans sealing a 1-0 win in Burundi to progress 6-1 over the two legs.
Ghana will return to the finals for the first time since 2018 despite losing 1-0 away against Namibia, with the Black Queens going through 3-2 on aggregate.
Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia also failed to win their away ties, but progressed against Egypt, Togo and Congo respectively.
Mali won 3-0 away against Guinea to round off a 10-2 victory overall.
Olowu Targets WABU Crown At GOtv Boxing Night 30
Super welterweight boxer, Taiwo ‘Gentle Boy’ Olowu, on Wednesday , said his target is to claim the West African Boxing Union (WABU) super welterweight title at GOtv Boxing Night 30 on December 26.
The enterprising boxer, who is the national welterweight title holder, will square up to top Ghanaian boxer, Michael Ansah, at the event slated for the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Speaking ahead of the fight, ‘Gentle Boy’ boasted that he would ensure the Ghanaian returned to his country empty-handed.
“I aim to add this West African Boxing Union title to my national title. As a national champion, I cannot allow a foreigner to come and take this belt away in front of my fans. This is a big opportunity for me to be a WABU champion. Ansah will leave Nigeria empty-handed,” he said.
The more experienced Ghanaian boxer has a record of 23 wins, 12 defeats, and three draws from 38 professional fights, while ‘Gentle Boy’ boasts 15 wins and one defeat from his 16 professional fights.
In another title fight, Sifon ‘Best’ Iwatt will battle Saheed Azeez for the national super flyweight title.
Also on the card for the night are five other national fights, including a female national cruiserweight challenge fight between national champion, Bolatito ‘Black Tito’ Oluwole and Blessing Abisoye.
Arabambi Ojo and Ibrahim ‘Golden Boy’ Opeyemi will slug it out in a national bantamweight challenge bout; Abdulafeez ‘Big Name’ Osoba will face Christopher Ucheji in a national super welterweight challenge fight, while Ayanfe Adeoye and Ahmed Ganiyu will duel in a national light welterweight category.
Nigeria Makes Final Team Of The Year Award
Nigeria made the final three shortlists for the 2023 Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Women’s National Team of the Year award.
CAF announced the final three shortlist on their X handle yesterday.
The other two countries are reigning Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions South Africa and Morocco.
Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa featured at this year’s FIFA women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The trio all reached the round of 16 at the tournament, which was won by Spain.
The winner will be announced on Monday, December 11, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Falcons recently qualified for the 2024 WAFCON, hosted by Morocco.
A 7-1 aggregate win against Cape Verde ensured the Falcons will be making their 13th appearance at the tournament, which began in 1998 in Nigeria.
Politics1 day ago
Rivers PDP Chair Renews Call For Peace, Warns Against Divisive Tendencies
News1 day ago
Ogoni Group Mulls Recall Of Lawmakers Over Foiled Fubara’s Impeachment
Business2 days ago
FG Earmarks N100bn For Auto-Gas, CNG Buses, EVs
Rivers1 day ago
‘Leadership, Beyond Accolades, Awards’ …As 17 Bag Leadership Awards
Sports1 day ago
Peseiro Optimistic To Win 2024 AFCON
Nation2 days ago
NPA Clears Air On $852.93m , N1.8bn Audit Query
News1 day ago
Tinubu Appoints New Governing Board, Mgt Team For NCDMB
Politics1 day ago
NYCN Chieftain Harps On Fubara’s Governance Credentials