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WAFCON Defeat: Morocco Won, Nigeria Stole Our Hearts -Football Fans

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Supporters across Africa have joined to praise Nigeria’s Super Falcons despite losing 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in regular and extra-time to hosts Morocco in the semi-finals of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations on Monday.
The Super Falcons’ journey was ended at the Complexe Sportif Prince Moulay-Abdellah in Rabat when striker Ifeoma Onumonu missed the decisive kick after the Atlas Lionesses goalkeeper Khadujah Er-Rmichi guessed right to save her effort.
This was after Nigeria had played the last 30 minutes of the thrilling game plus extra-time with nine players, after Halimatu Ayinde and Rasheedat Ajibade were red carded in the 48th and 70th minutes, respectively.
Fans have taken to social media to commend Nigeria’s gallant fight, insisting the Super Falcons were robbed by the match officials and deserved to reach the final.
“Morocco won but Nigeria won our heart,” said Evakeys Denis Yaah while reacting to a post on a Facebook page, while Ayomide Ojo wrote: “The girls gave their all,” adding: “If this Moroccan team were any good, they should have won playing against nine for 50 minutes.
“Final or no final, the Super Falcons are the best team in African women’s football.”
“It was an incredible run from the Super Falcons,” said Temi Dayo accompanying his comment with the fire emojis. “They are wonderful, they are massive, they are passionate, they are the best in Africa.”
Ayotollah Ruhullah Muhammad Ali said: “Nigeria tried, despite all odds and managed to reach that level. Moroccans were actually not bad players and they were lucky,” while T Daniel Flames opined: “Nigeria women holding on with two players down is something rare you will see… they deserve to win but penalties cannot be predicted.”
Akintade Ayobams praised the Super Falcons and compared them to their men’s counterpart, the Super Eagles: “We were down to nine women,” started Ayobams adding: “In fact these Nigerian girls should be called the Super Eagles while the boys should be called Falcons.”
He went further to explain his thinking behind the name change: “If the Super Eagles are down to 10 men, they start giving up.”
Meanwhile, another set of supporters blamed Nigeria’s defeat to poor officiating and bias from African body CAF towards the host nation.
“It explains why Africans hardly go far in world tournaments,” stated Catier Ishaya Paul, adding: “You always see some favours given to the host team for the huge amount they spend to host the competition but it’s a disgrace to see it become so obvious in the field of play… truthfully Nigeria was a better team tonight.”
Udeme Sato wrote: “For what just happened to the Nigeria team tonight [Monday], it’s obvious that Africa football will never get better till God comes.
“It is so shameful.”
“This is really painful… God punish Caf officials and that referee,” wrote Darius Dunamis, while Ejikeme Igwe opined: “Nigeria robbed! Zambia robbed! CAF is fixing her competitions.”
Augustine Kapembwa wrapped up the debate: “African football is a disgrace, it’s like these matches are decided by Caf and referees, from the inception they know whom they want to win the competition, poor officiating and that’s why these teams won’t perform well at World Cup because everything is compromised.”
Nigeria will face Zambia in the third place play-off while Morocco will take on South Africa in the final with both teams looking to clinch the title for the first time.
…Zambia call for replay of semi-final after VAR penalty (2)
Zambia’s football association (Faz) has requested a replay of its Women’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against South Africa, citing complaints about refereeing decisions.
The Copper Queens were beaten 1-0 on Monday after Linda Motlhalo converted a contentious 94th-minute penalty, which was awarded following a video assistant referee (VAR) check.
Ethiopian referee Lidya Tafesse consulted her pitchside monitor and decided that Martha Tembo had fouled Jermaine Seoposenwe.
Zambia coach Bruce Mwape queried the purpose of VAR after the match, while the country’s President Hakainde Hichilema said it was a questionable penalty.
Faz has lodged an official complaint with Wafcon organisers the Confederation of African Football, highlighting six key incidences as grounds for a replay.
“We wish to contest the decision of the referee to award such a penalty as we call for a serious review of the game,” Faz’s letter of appeal said.
“We call for the penalty to be cancelled, that a replay be ordered and that the referee be barred from handling any [further] games.”
Faz general secretary Adrian Kashala added that Zambia had also “noted with great concern the poor officiating that characterised the tournament”.
Mwape was very disappointed with the way the penalty was given and that the VAR decision was harsh on his frustrated players.
“In the future, people will start saying it will be pointless to have referees if the cameras can decide,” he told Tidesports source.
“They should just be firm, because it’s high time the referees improved in terms of officiating games.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was also critical of the officiating as the Super Falcons had two players sent off, both after the intervention of VAR in their last-four defeat on penalties by Morocco.
“The officiating was not really OK,” she said.
Nnadozie also claimed Moroccan fans did everything to distract her side, with Nigerian players targeted by laser pens during their shootout.
“Since I’ve been playing football, this is the worst match I’ve ever played in my life,” she added.
There were no South African appeals when Seoposenwe went over just inside the box in the 89th minute of their game in Casablanca.
Replays showed Tembo had blocked an attempted pass before the momentum of Banyana Banyana forward Seoposenwe took her into the Zambia defender.
Three minutes later, after studying replays, Tafesse deemed the challenge was worthy of a penalty and Motlhalo netted her second goal of the tournament to put Desiree Ellis’ side through.
Mwape admitted that Zambia wasted chances to put the game beyond South Africa, especially in the first half, but he was adamant his side were let down by the VAR controversy.
“Even the assistant also didn’t see anything, so making decisions by VAR sometimes doesn’t augur well,” he added.
“It can be like that [VAR to improve the game], but the rate at which we are going I don’t think it is improving the game.
“I can say this [semi-final] is not the first time we’ve had decisions go against us because even in the other games that we won, some decisions were not the way they were supposed to be.”
Zambia have qualified for the 2023 Women’s World Cup after reaching the semi-finals at Wafcon, and will now face Nigeria in the third-place play-off at Wafcon on Friday.

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Pinnick Woos FIFA For Tenure Elongation

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The drama, intrigues as well as clandestine moves that have characterised the September 2022 planned Nigeria Football Federation, NFF election took a new twist recently as incumbent president of the federation, Amaju Pinnick has written to FIFA seeking for tenure extension by shifting the election to 2023
According to Tidesports sources, in a letter sent to the world body last week  and signed by General Secretary, Muhhamed Sanusi, the outgoing board led by Amaju Pinnick appealed to the world body to allow it to hold the forthcoming election next year’s January instead September.
Amaju Pinnick and his board were reelected for a second term in office on September 20, 2018 in Katsina and his tenure is meant to elapse next month.
However, sources revealed that the letter was already sent to FIFA before the NFF topshots informed the board members in an online platform of the federation.
The plan is to read the FIFA response at the AGA expected to take place this week in Bayelsa State.
The source added that the members were irked that a few people on the board took such a decision without informing others from the beginning and they are hoping to use the response to extend their tenure at the Annual General Assembly scheduled for Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“It is indeed a taboo. Rather than get the consent of the board members and the Congress before sending the letter to FIFA, the letter was sent.
“There is no doubt, a few people at the top echelon of the current board want to remain in office beyond the September date,” our source revealed.
“There is a tentative date of August 16 for the AGA in Bayelsa and another date of September 21 for the elective Congress in a yet to be decided venue but it is clear the current board is reluctant to leave office.
“The majority of the board members are resolute to take out this current leadership for so many reasons especially because many of them were never informed about crucial decisive issues in the administration of the game,” a source told Tidesports source
Although Amaju Pinnick had stated time without number that he would not seek a new term in office, the former Delta State FA Chairman recently said that “influential people” are pushing him to contest for a 3rd term.

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Nigeria U-21 Volleyball Team Departs For Tunisia

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As the team departed for Tunisia at the weekend for the African U-21 Volleyball Championship Nations Cup, President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), Engineer Musa Nimrod, has said that the country is all out to gain from the outing to qualify for the World Championship.
He stated this while biding the team farewell at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Friday, adding that the target for the participation of Nigeria is to qualify for the world championship, stressing that, “We are also building them up for the All African Games next year and the next Olympics,” he said.
Also Speaking with Sports Writers, Coach Sani Mohammed Musa of the male U-21 men, said that the team are African champions and have featured in World Championship twice.
He said that bearing in mind that the North Africans would be battle ready for Nigeria, they will leave no stone unturned to ensuring they achieved their objectives.

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Female Footballers, Officials Abducted In Edo

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Six people, which include players and officials of a grassroots female team, have been reportedly kidnapped by gunmen in Uronigbe, a border community between Edo and Delta states in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State.
Tidesports learnt that the six victims were kidnapped around 6pm on Friday, while returning from a game at Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area of Delta State.
A source in the community said the kidnappers had contacted some families demanding a ransom of N5million each for the victims.
He said, “They (footballers) went to Owa-Alero to play a football match, but on their way back, they were kidnapped at Uronigbe area, the boundary between Delta and Edo States.
“The victims include Mrs Precious Agbajor, one Abraham, Nancy, Beatrice, the driver and one other person. They are six in number that are in the kidnapper’s den.
Tidesports learned that the matter has been reported at the Uronigbe police station.
“The kidnappers have contacted the family of Agbajor and asked them to pay N5million for his wife.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in Delta State, DSP Bright Edafe, confirmed the kidnap, adding that the incident happened in Edo State.
His Edo State counterpart, Chidi Nwabuzor, said from the records available at the State Command, there was no information on the incident.
“You know we transmit our records to Force Headquarters everyday. There is no such record before us. From the Command’s record, no such incident happened on Friday, so the police will not give account of anything unreported.
“It is only when an incident is reported that the police can act on it. In most cases, citizens are not aware of the powers to report incidents. So the record I have from the Command is that no such incident happened  on Friday, Saturday and even on Thursday.”

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