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AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: S’ Eagles To Know Opponents, Tuesday

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Three-time champions and four-time runners-up Nigeria will know their group opponents when the draw for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification series is staged at the SuperSport Studio in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday evening.
The event will commence at 6.30 pm Nigeria time (which is 7.30 pm in South Africa time.
Tidesports source reports that a total of 48 teams will be divided into 12 groups of four teams each, with only the winner of each group guaranteed a slot at the 34th Africa Cup of Nations that Cote d’Ivoire will stage next year summer. Hosts Cote d’Ivoire are guaranteed a place, alongside the best three second-placed teams in all the 12 groups.
Nigeria, who finished in third place at the 2019 finals in Egypt and reached the Round of 16 at this year’s championship in Cameroon, is among the 12 teams in Pot 1 – the teams that will head the 12 qualification groups. Others in Pot 1 are reigning champions Senegal, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cote d’Ivoire. Cote d’Ivoire’s participation will be only for formality sake.
Being in the same pot guarantees that none of these teams can be in the same group during the qualification campaign that will last between June 2022 and March 2023. The first two matchdays are in June, with two other matchdays in September and the final two matchdays to take place in March 2023.
In Pot 2 are South Africa, Cape Verde, Guinea, Gabon, Benin Republic, Uganda, Zambia, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Kenya, and Sierra Leone.
Pot 3 comprises Namibia, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Niger Republic, Libya, Mozambique, Malawi, Togo, Zimbabwe, The Gambia, Angola, and Comoros.
Tanzania, Central African Republic, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Liberia, South Sudan, and Sao Tome & Principe make up Pot 4.

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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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