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Don Makes Case For Indigeneous Coach

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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.

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FG’s Basketball Ban Primitive, Shameful – Kienka

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The Director, International Tennis Academy and author of the recently published book, ‘Sports in Nigeria – Going Round In Circles,’ Godwin Kienka, has described Nigeria’s withdrawal from international basketball activities for two years as “very primitive and shameful sports politics.”
Last Thursday, Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), gave the approval following the crisis that rocked the factionalised Nigeria Basketball Federation in over a decade.
Kienka, in a statement said, “The Ministry of Sports hiding behind the Presidency to make that decision makes it even more odious. It just confirms what we have exposed in the book that most of those who run sports in this country do not care about the athletes, the coaches and the promotion and development of sports in the country.
“At a time when the national women’s basketball team qualified for the world championships and the men are on the way to making it a double, how does their participation or non-participation impede a grassroots or local league programme in Nigeria?”
He added, “If the decision was from the Presidency, why did the statement not come from the Presidency?”
Kienka lamented the decision, saying it denied the home-based players, who would have been a part of the two teams, the opportunity of being scouted by agents from across the world.
“We had the same mix-up and confusion in the Athletics Federation of Nigeria before the last Olympics, leading to the ban of several athletes essentially because of utter negligence of drug procedures by the ministry and the federation. It is said that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”

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CAFCC Final : Okpara, Ndah Storm Uyo With Pirates

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Ahead of tomorrow’s final of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup 2021/2022, former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Willy Okpara and defender, Olisa Ndah  arrived late last night with their South African team Orlando Pirates to Nigeria.
The Soweto-based side who  will face  Morocco’s RS Berkane at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo for Africa’s second club football prize, touched down in Port Harcourt about 11:45pm last night before arriving  Uyo.
In their third appearance in the Confederation Cup, Pirates are playing the final for the second time, and first since 2015 when they lost 2-1 on aggregate to Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia.
Okpara made his debut for the Nigeria national team in 1996 and was selected for the 1998 FIFA World Cup squad. He was capped five times and after he retired, became a goalkeeping coach for Orlando Pirates.
Meanwhile, RS Berkane  breezed into Uyo earlier yesterday aboard a chartered  Air Maroc flight.
Our correspondent gathered  from aviation sources  yesterday  that on board  the Moroccan national carrier were six crew members along  with   96 strong RS Berkane ‘s contingent including players, officials  and  fans  ahead of tomorrow’s final.
The flight that departed  the Oujda Angads Airport in the Oriental region in Morocco  landed in the Akwa Ibom State capital by 3:55 pm Nigerian time for their decisive tie against  Orlando Pirates..
The Orange Boys as the Moroccan side are called, were Confederation  Cup   runners-up (to Zamalek of Egypt) in 2019   and emerged winners in 2020 after beating Egyptian side, Pyramids Egypt  courtesy of a  solitary goal by  Burkinabe  defender ,  Issoufou Dayo at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
In a related development,   Umbro, the CAF technical sponsors, yesterday revealed the official match ball , FIFA Quality Pro, for the eagerly awaited  fixture .
Based on Umbro’s renowned Neo Pro ball model, the official match ball is “FIFA Quality Pro” certified for use at the highest levels of the professional game and utilises the latest in structural and fabrication technology with a unique graphic that draws on the structural elements of the tournament’s trophy.

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F’Eagles Qualify For 2023 Africa U-20 Cup Of Nations

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Nigeria’s national under-20 male football team, on Tuesday overpowered Cote d’Ivoire in the first semi-final match to reach the final of the ongoing WAFU B Under-20 Championship in Niamey.
The 2-1 victory not only gave them a ticket to Saturday’s final match but also came a ticket to next year’s Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations scheduled for Egypt.
Midfielder Daniel Daga put Nigeria in front after only five minutes, when he cleverly escaped the attention of the Ivorian defenders to nod in from a well-weighted pullout.
The seven-time African champions then launched onslaughts after onslaughts on the Ivorian goal but failed to add to the tally.
It was rather the Ivorians who equalised just before half-time from an intelligently-taken free-kick at the edge of Nigeria’s penalty box.
Neither team could find another goal to gain upper hand before the end of regulation time inside the Stade General Seyni Kountché in Niamey, and the game went into extra time.
Forward Ibrahim Yahaya got the winner for Nigeria in the 111th minute of play when he tucked in from the penalty kick spot to make it 2-1.
The Tidessports source reports that Nigeria will now square up against neighbours, Benin Republic in Saturday’s final match.

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