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‘S’Eagles Can’t Afford To Lose Against Liberia’

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Nigeria captain Ahmed Musa has talked up the importance of winning their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying match against Liberia tomorrow.
The three-time African champions need to avoid defeat in Morocco as they aim for a place in the final play-off round that would see 10 group leaders face-off for the five tickets allotted to Africa.
The Super Eagles currently lead Group C with nine points after four matches while Cape Verde trail in second spot with seven points.
The last time Nigeria faced Liberia in Lagos on September 3, the encounter ended in a 2-0 victory for Gernot Rohr’s men with Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho grabbing a brace.
Musa, who became the country’s most-capped player with 101 games in October, disclosed the team’s mission at the Stade Ibn Batouta before they host Cape Verde for their final group fixture on Tuesday.
“As you can see everyone is happy and we are ready for the game. We have 22 players here. Tomorrow (yesterday) we are expecting the goalkeeper (John Noble) and Odion Ighalo,” Musa told Tidesports source.
“We know the importance of the game, we can’t afford to lose. We have to go for the three points. At the end of the game on Saturday, we hope to celebrate another important win.”
The Fatih Karagumruk forward also compared the weather in Tangier to be similar to their European base.
“I think the weather is very good, it’s just like Europe and I think most of us love the weather. I hope the weather will give us what we want,” he said.
Meanwhile, Liberia Football Association communication manager Gologo Ben Garkpah has said that the Lone Stars want to silence Nigeria to make things edgy in Group C.
A 1-0 defeat to Cape Verde meant that the aspirations of Peter Butler’s men to qualify for a maiden World Cup faded into thin air, leaving the Super Eagles and the Blue Sharks in the race for a third-round ticket.
Ahead of tomorrow’s fixture, the LFA official claims his compatriots will be all out to maintain their impressive home record against the three-time African champions as well as play the role of spoilers.
“When the Lone Star reflects on the defeat in Nigeria in which I don’t think we were particularly bad, we want to win,” Garkpah told news men.
“We have not lost a competitive home game against Nigeria over a long period. We are motivated to win and make things nervous for any of the two contenders on the last day.
“I think we can upset the three-time African champions. With all respect to them, the Super Eagles are not infallible. They can be beaten.
“They’ve lost a World Cup qualifier to us before, and we can replicate that.”
Coach Butler made eight changes to the squad that lost 2-0 in Lagos, and for Garkpah, that is an indication that Liberia is in Morocco for serious business.
“The complexion of the squad I think is a little stronger than the one on matchday one,” he continued.
“We’ve brought in new and energetic lads with greater experience and ambition. I think this group will spring a surprise.
“Central African Republic showed that Nigeria can be beaten. We need to take our chances which has really been a difference between us and the Super Eagles.
“We’ve scored only twice and that shows we require improvement up front, and the coach has been working on that.
“Our backline has leaked five goals which aren’t too bad but on paper, those five goals conceded seem to be the difference between us and the rest of the other teams because we aren’t scoring much.
“With the inclusions of Mark Pabai and Jamal Arago, I’m sure we’ll be solid at the back.”

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NNL Confirms Relegation Of 12 Clubs  To NLO

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Ahead of the 2024/2025 season, the board of the Nigeria National League (NNL) has confirmed the relegation of 12 clubs  across  the four groups that played in last season’s league to the third tier National League One (NLO).
Similarly, the promotion of four clubs from the NNL  to  the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) was also  confirmed.
The  NNL had recently concluded the season with its super eight championship at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in Enugu, where the quartet of  Nasarawa United, El-Kanemi Warriors, Beyond Limits and Ikorodu City FC gained promotion to the elite league.
The NNL in a letter dated July 13, 2024 to the NFF, confirmed the relegation of Stormers FC, Abeokuta, Ekiti United FC of Ado Ekiti and 1472 FC of Lagos from conference A. Also confirmed  were FC One Rocket of Uyo, Giant Brillars FC of Enugu and Trade Safe FC of Lagos from conference B  while NAF FC of Abuja, ABS FC of Ilorin and EFCC FC of Abuja dropped to the NLO from conference C.
Similarly, Mailantarki Care FC of Abuja, Jigawa Golden Stars of Dutse and City FC of Abuja completed the dropped clubs from Conference D.
Confirming the promotion and relegation of the clubs, chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, said the board has formally notified the NFF ,its parent body  about the final outcome of the 2023/2024 season.
The veteran journalist added that the board is currently preparing for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), where it will formally receive all the clubs that would participate in the new season.
“To the glory of God,  the 2023/2024 NNL season ended with giant strides recorded by the board. We have formally notified the NFF of the promotion and relegation of the various clubs that gallantly participated in the league last season,” Aluo said. “Our next program is the Annual General Meeting of the board and clubs, where we will receive the four clubs that dropped from the NPFL and the eight that got promotion from the NLO.”
He added: “We are set and have promised Nigerians that we will improve on our last season’s performance. We have raised the standards at NNL and the new season will no doubt be competitive as our performance has propelled many of the clubs that participated in last season to become giant killers in Nigerian football,” Aluo stated.

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Super Falcons To Land In Bordeaux

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2004 quarter-finalists Nigeria were scheduled to arrive in the French city of Bordeaux yesterday night as the countdown begins for their first outing at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 16 years.
The nine-time African champions, who must negotiate an interesting group that also includes Brazil, Spain and Japan, will depart Spain aboard an Air France flight and arrive in Bordeaux minutes before 11pm.
The delegation of 18 players, four alternate players and officials is scheduled to arrive at the team’s Hotel Mercure abode minutes before midnight.
Quarter-finalists at the Athens 2004 Olympics, the Super Falcons last featured at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in China in 2008, when they lost 0-1 to Korea Democratic People’s Republic, 0-1 to Germany and 1-3 to eventual silver medallists Brazil.
Women’s football began as a demonstration sport at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. The Super Falcons made their entry in 2000 in Australia, where they lost 1-3 each to China, eventual winners Norway and eventual silver medallists USA.

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Nwokolo Donates Kits To Lagos Community

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Nigeria-born boxer, Emeka Nwokolo, has expressed his desire to fight in Nigeria in 2025 while donating boxing kits to young pugilists in Lagos during a press briefing at the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control office in the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos State.
The United States-based fighter, who recently won his fourth and fifth professional titles in June, is on a visit to his homeland where he was born before migrating with his father, legendary boxer Charles Nwokolo.
“I think by next year, by the grace of God, I’ll have a fight coming up in Nigeria. I am going to fight in Lagos or in my hometown, where my dad comes from, in Anambra,” Nwokolo said.
The 31-year-old, who currently holds the WBA North American Boxing Association super welterweight and Universal Boxing Organisation world super welterweight belts, donated gloves and other boxing equipment to aspiring boxers in Lagos.
Secretary General of the NBBofC, Remi Aboderin, praised Nwokolo’s gesture, stating, “This guy is an inspiration to other young ones in Nigeria. More Nigerian boxers are looking up to him to be like him and even maybe want to surpass him.
“He has come in and given back to the society, he came with gloves and other kits and he has shared them among the young ones. On behalf of the NBBofC, we want to thank the Nwokolos for their impact in Nigerian boxing.”

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