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Osimhen Pleads To Drop Out Of AFCON

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Super Eagles interim coach Austin Eguavoen claims Watford threatened Dennis to boycott tournament
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen pleaded with the technical crew of the Super Eagles to be excluded from the forthcoming African Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon, Saturday.
Osimhen who canceled a planned trip to Italy to assess his cheekbone injury after contracting coronavirus for a second time on Thursday will have to undergo a fresh test on his face on January 4 our correspondent learnt.
Tidesports source reports that the 23-year-old has been replaced by Olympiakos striker Henry Onyekuru.
Speaking through the Nigerian Football Federation media channel on Friday, interim coach Austin Eguavoen said the Napoli striker revealed he was not fully fit to feature at the tournament which kicks off from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon.
“We had two training sessions with six players in camp and they responded well. We are still expecting re to come in later on Saturday,” Eguavoen said after Friday’s training in Abuja.
“Osimhen, it’s a pity that he will not be at the AFCON. He told me practically and pleaded with me and I saw reasons. I tried for hours to convince him but his health comes first which is my concern.
“When he spoke with me he was disappointed and he told me he was not OK. And did not want to go to the AFCON not fully 100 per cent fit.
“I gave him a few hours and called him back to see whether he will change his mind and he told me he will be going for evaluation on his face on January 4 and 5 before doctors can make a final decision.
With that injury, you have to consider his health. It’s a tough one.”
Eguavoen was also forced to replace Shehu Abdullahi, Leon Balogun and Emmanuel Dennis in his squad for the tournament.

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Rivers FA Cup: 15 Clubs To Battle For Glory

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A total of 15 clubs  are participating in this year’s Aiteo Cup Competition in Rivers State, despite the fact that two clubs are to represent the state at the national level, as Rivers Angels do not have an opponent in the female category.
This year the number of registered clubs was far below the previous year’s, where the number of registered Clubs got up to 30 or more. This may not be unconnected with the short time given for registration by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Earlier, the Acting Chairman of Rivers State Football Association (RSFA), Ibigoni Benjamin Akobo, has called for  the readjustment of the time table.
According to him, the deadlines given to State FAs to register clubs, preparation of licences,  commencement of the  competition and conclusion were really short and tasking.
“ For them to have waited from January, for only last week to make a statement and send timetable for the competition was a near failure.
We are not expected to commence registration without given a go ahead” Akubo said.
He equally said that this was exactly what happened last year and finally came up to say that states should submit one team each.
“ Last year too, they came up with this delay manner and ended up saying that states should produce one team each” he stated.

By: Tonye Orabere

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Edo Set To Host NWFL Super Six

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All  is now set for Edo State to host the best of the Nigeria’s Women Football League, the Super Six Tournament, billed for Monday, May 16 to Sunday, May 22,  2022.
Six giants in the fast developing women league will battle for the sole ticket to represent Nigeria at the regional second edition of the CAF Women Champions League .
The six participating  teams  are host state team, Edo Queens , defending champion, Rivers Angels, Bayelsa Queens, new comers, Naija Ratels, Nasarawa Amazons and runners up in the first edition,  Delta Queens .
The teams qualified from two groups, based on their placement in each group in the regular season.
While Nasarawa Amazons, Edo Queens and Naija Ratels emerged the three best teams from their group, Bayelsa Queens, Rivers Angels and Delta Queens, outwitted other teams to pick the three available tickets from their group .
Edo Queens, who narrowly lost the top spot by a point to Nasarawa Amazons at the conclusion of the 2021/2022 regular season is poised to clinch the top prize going by  preparations , motivation by the state government and support by the home fans in Benin.
The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium and the University of Benin Sports Complex are the two venues with three matches  scheduled daily .
Two games will be played simultaneously  by 10am and 4pm respectively.
The hosting of the Nigeria Women Football League  Super 6 is a pointer to the fact that Edo State is a sports hub and preferred destination for stakeholders as well as investors in the sports industry, with state of the art facilities .
No wonder , the state successively hosted   the Aiteo Cup for male and female categories, the Betsy Obaseki pre-season women football  tournament , the 20th National Sports Festival and now set to host the 2nd edition of the Super 6.

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Eguma Blames Players Over 2-0 Loss Against Heartland

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The Technical Manager of Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, Stanley Eguma has blamed his players for the defeat of the team by Heartland Football Club of Enugu. Heartland had defeated Rivers United 2-0 at the weekend, in match day 28 of the ongoing Nigeria Football Professional League (NFPL).
“We would have gotten two goals before the end of  first half but my players could not convert their chances,  but  Heartland made use of theirs,” Eguma said.
He further attributed the loss to the poor state of the pitch, saying that his players could not pass the ball effectively due to the poor nature of the pitch.
Eguma said this in a post match interview with sports writers. However, he stressed that the technical crew will go back and work on the grey areas.
“ I commend Heartland, they won two zero, that is football, you don’t take chances,” he stated.
In his response, the chief coach of Heartland, Erasmus Onuh said the team will continue to improve in every match.
“ As I came, one of things I requested was to relocate the team from Orlu and the result has started coming.
I  am under pressure but later I will explain that,” Onuh said.

By: Tonye Orabere

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