A former football star in Rivers State in the early 80’s, who is currently lecturing at Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumini, Prof. Kingsley Bekee, has strongly joined the fray in supporting the call for indigenous football coach to tinker the Super Eagles team rather than shopping for a new foreign technical adviser.
Bekee in a no holds barred interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt recently said that he was yet to be convinced that foreign coaches are better off, in terms of producing good result than indigenous coaches.
“Honestly, Nigeria has good and qualified coaches who are capable to hold their own and lead the Super Eagles team to greater heights if provided with enough sporting facilities, better incentives and above all, given a free hand to select the best players of their choice capable to deliver.”
“Regrettably, our indigenous coaches are passing through a lot of big challenges and their hands tied, following the existing style of quota system in selection of players for the Super Eagles team. “And l can assure you that this idea of ensuring that all ethnic tribes are incorporated had been identified as one of the major causes of super Eagles team’s poor result in several outings.
“However, l stand to be corrected that until this act of proximity and quota system syndrome in our selection of players to the national team is completely nipped in the bud, Nigerian team’s will continue to be wobbling in her competitive outings.”
The one time captain of Asaba technical college soccer team further held the view that it is high time Nigerian football coaches should focus more attention to school football academicals, having recalled that it was the bedrock through which great number of talented young players were discovered in the past to represent their local Government Areas, States, before they finally graduate to play in the national soccer team.
“Though, l’ m not against the invitation of foreign based players into the national team but my arguments still remain that the authorities concerned should do well to revive the school football academicals with a view to discovering budding talents that need exposure before they would be called to camp to team up with some few foreign based players to form a formidable good team.
The ebullient soft spoken Bekee who was a delight to watch during his hey days in NNPC soccer team and defunct Eagle Cement FC in 1986 maintained that the inability of Super Eagles to qualify for the world cup to be hosted by Qatar later in the year should not be seen as the end of life but a bitter lesson that will help Nigeria to correct her lapses, prepare better and stronger for another major soccer championship.
Scholarships Up For Grabs For 10 Winners At MTN Champs
The grand finale of the MTN Champs will commence from today and end on Sunday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja where 10 winners will bag scholarship and financial benefits.
MTN CHAMPS is a program in Nigeria that aims to unearth and foster athletics talent across the country.
It is modeled after the Jamaican High school CHAMPS and is poised to become the primary platform for identifying and nurturing promising athletes who could go on to represent Nigeria in prestigious international competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships.
Before the finals in Abuja, the track and field event was held in three different regions namely: Uyo, Benin and Ibadan where over 7,000 athletes have competed and 42 finalists emerged.
Speaking at the MTN Champs Press Conference held on Wednesday in Abuja, the General Secretary of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Rita Mosindi appealed for the introduction of anti-doping lectures for the young athletes.
“ I want to appeal for the introduction of anti-doping lectures for the kids to educate them on the side effects of taking dope substances.
“These are raw talents that we can manage and nurture them to stardom.
“My advice is to do seminars concerning this just as we have started doing as a federation to reduce doping cases in Nigeria.”
Founder and CEO of Making of Champions (MoC), Bambo Akanni, who is the brain behind the MTN Champs revealed that 10 young athletes from the championship will get special scholarship in the USA and Jamaica.
“MTN Champs involving Secondary School Championship is to discover future Olympians for the country, building youth to excel in sports and academics. This is in line with MTN history of supporting local athletes for global aspirations.
NBPL Final Four: Winning Tournament Excites Rivers Hoopers Player
Rivers Hoopers of Port Harcourt player Effiong Abel has expressed joy for winning the just concluded Nigeria Basketball Premier (NBPL) League Final Four in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the game was not an easy one, adding that they were going through a hard training before the competition.
Effiong disclosed his excitement last Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports shortly after Rivers Hoopers defeated Nigeria Customs basketball team 77-57 in the final game of the four of the NBPL in Port Harcourt.
He stated that it was a team work that saw them through, adding that he was very happy winning the tournament in the front of his fans.
“ I feel very excited today for winning the Nigeria Basketball Premier League Final Four in Port Harcourt.
“ It was not an easy one because of the type of training we were undergoing to ensure we get victory in the tournament.
“I give kudos to my teammates and the coaching crew, they were awesome.
“ Also kudos to the fans, they came out in numbers to support us” Effiong said.
Effiong personally took charge at some point of the game delivering three pointers which eventually created a lee way for a sumptuous finale.
By: Kiadum Edookor
MOC Makes Appeal Over Age Cheats
Organisers of the ongoing school athletics competition, MTN Champs, Making of Champions (MoC), have appealed to all athletes who have participated in the three legs of the championship, as well as their schools, parents, coaches and everyone connected to them to support the body in its efforts to eradicate the systemic age cheating in Nigeria’s athletics by committing to use their real ages at the Abuja grand final and in future.
“MTN has provided a historic opportunity for Nigeria to finally tackle the pressures that our athletes have long faced to cut their ages,” MoC said in a statement made available to news men.
“Never in our nation’s history has there been a nationwide series of championships that has provided three age groups cutting across ages 11 to 19, to give everyone possible opportunity to compete fairly in their own age groups, and we have even relaxed the junior age group from U-20 to U-23.
The grand finale will hold in Abuja from December 1 to 3.
The MoC statement added: “Despite the fact that appropriate age groups have been provided for everyone, we have seen widespread age discrepancies across all three age categories – Cadet (U-14) and Youth (U-17) categories, which are strictly for secondary schools only and juniors (U-20), which is open to all other teenagers.
“For example, we have seen a systematic pattern of an unusually high number of SS2 and SS3 students claiming to be 13 and 14 years old respectively. We have seen athletes who were 14 in 2021 claiming to still be 14 now, 18-year-olds who have finished secondary school already claiming to be 13 so that they can run against the cadets, and we have seen many athletes competing for schools they are not part of and in the wrong age categories as well.
“One of such schools, which was biggest offender in this area, is currently in the process of being disqualified, which will be announced shortly.”
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