Connect with us

Sports

Birmingham 2022: Challenge Ahead Of Nigeria’s Male Athletes

Published

on

In today’s sports, Nigeria’s male team seem to have taken the back seat, allowing the women to dominate the stage. From football to athletics, male competitors are no longer the force they used to be in major sporting events.
This year, Nigerian women have made major headlines by bringing more honours to the country than their male counterparts.
Before the just concluded Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championships, where Nigeria made history by picking her first ever gold medal, the ladies had been the ahead in sports, leaving the male as ‘mere spectators.’
The gap seems to be widening on daily basis.
• Sprint hurdler, Tobi Amusan, set World Record and won gold medal at Oregon 2022, the first Nigerian to do so.
• Ese Brume grabbed a silver medal at Oregon 2022 to set a record as the only Nigerian athlete (male or female) to win two medals at the World Championship.
• Nigerian women’s 4×100 relay team set an African record at Oregon 2022, after the men crashed out in the heat event.
• The Super Falcons qualified for 2023 World Cup, while the Super Eagles fumbled in the race to Qatar 2022.
• The Falconets (U20) qualified for the World Cup holding in Costa Rica.
• The Flamingoes (U17) qualified for the World Cup in India.
• Asisat Oshoala won African Best player award for the fifth time. No Nigerian male player among the top list at the CAF Award held in Morocco last week.
• Rasheedat Ajibade was named joint top scorer at WAFCON.
• Mimisen Iyorhe Onwuka officiated at the WAFCON final in Morocco.
• Mimisen Iyorhe Onwuka is the only Nigerian referee selected for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup.
• Ndidi Madu officiated at the WAFCON in Morocco, becoming the first Nigerian referee (male or female) to use the VAR.
In football, Nigeria’s senior men’s national now finds it difficult to beat some countries seen as minnows in the round leather game. Unlike in the past, when some countries developed cold feet at the mention of the Super Eagles, the situation has changed, no thanks to poor administration and ‘sit-tight’ attitude of top officials of the NFF.
Even at continental tournaments, Nigeria’s male clubs have become easy prey to their opponents from Sudan, Egypt, South Africa and Morocco.
How did Enyimba succeed in the CAF Champions League in the early 2000?
Till date, many athletics-loving Nigerians still remember the historic moment at Sydney 2000 Olympics, where Nigeria grabbed a silver medal in the 4×400 metres through the efforts of Clement Chukwu, Jude Monye, Sunday Bada and Enefiok Udo-Obong. The silver has since been upgraded to gold.
In Nigeria, the women are largely seen as the ‘weaker sex,’ but the situation seems to have changed as far as sporting events are concerned. Nigeria’s men are now the ones playing second fiddle to women athletes and players. Men hardly climb the podium at international events to receive medals.
But for Tobi Amusan’s record-breaking effort last Sunday at Oregon 2022, Nigeria’s national anthem would not have been heard in the history of the World Athletics Championship.
Perhaps, the best effort by Nigeria’s men in the championship was in Athens, Greece, in 1997, where the 4x100m team comprising Osmond Ezinwa, Davidson Ezinwa, Francis Obiekwelu and Olapade Adenikan ran 37.94m to win a medal (not gold) with an African record.
Two years later, the 37. 91seconds of Asonze Innocent, Francis Obikwelu, Davidson Ezinwa and Deji Aliu at Seville, Spain (1999) also gave Nigeria a podium mention (not gold).
Before then, Innocent Egbunike ran 31.97 seconds in 400m to retire his own African record in 1986 in London (not gold).
Before Sunday’s historic moment by Tobi Amusan, other Nigerian women had dominated the World Championships, though their efforts could not fetch Nigeria gold.
The feats of Mary Onyali in 100m and 200 metres, Falilat Ogukoya in 400m, Chioma Ajunwa, Olabisi Afolabi, Fatima Yusuf and Charity Opara, among others cannot be wished away.
Former Spokesman of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), Tony Nezianya, who is now the Managing Director/CEC, PhilTon Communications Ltd, said Nigerian women have always been great.
“They are regularly doing the country proud. Their efforts can never be in vain. I tuwale for our Women.” The Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Samuel Onikeku, in his response to a message from The Guardian said: “I am sure our men will take up the challenge very soon. We now have some young and talented athletes, who are capable of taking Nigerian athletics to its good old days. Watch out for them at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Sports

UNIPORT Coach Blames Weather For Exiting HIFL

Published

on

The Head coach of University of Port Harcourt football team ( Sharks of Uniport) Egwin Ifeanyi has blamed  bad weather for playing out a goalless draw against University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) at the ongoing Higher Institution Football League (HIFL) 2023 season.
He stated that the weather was not favourable to his players in the first half of the game, adding that in the second half when the rain subsided they played better.
Ifeanyi said this on Wednesday in his post match interview with Sports journalists shortly after they were knocked out of the HIFL in their second  match, after playing 0-0 at the Uniport Sports Complex.
UNN Lions will now progress to the quarter finals of the competition on aggregate, after winning the first leg 4-2 in Nsukka.
Coach Ifeanyi stated that they were playing under pressure because of the goals they conceded in Nsukka, adding that their intention was to win the game but it was a difficult game to see off, he added.
He Congratulated his players for doing their best but believed that the luck of the game was not on their side.
“ I will say kudos to the UNN team for their better performance today and their progress to next stage of the competition.
“I wish them all the best of luck in the competition” Ifeanyi said.
The reigning NUGA champions missed a plethora of chances especially in the second half, failing to break down a dogged away side, earning UNN Lion’s defender Ifeanyi Emeka  man of the match award in Port Harcourt.
Also speaking, Head coach of the UNN Lions, Ike Chijioke, said that his boys (players) played according to instructions.
UNN Lions may be back in Port Harcourt for the quarter finals to play Ignatius Ajuru University Minders, who advanced to the round of 16 after winning their second leg game against DELSU Titans to qualify on 3-2 aggregate score..

By: Kiadum Edookor

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Sports

CAF Launches $100m Super League

Published

on

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday launched a new lucrative $100 million Super League aimed at injecting financial muscle to the cash-strapped clubs on the continent.
Twenty-four clubs, yet to be decided, will take part in the first edition, which has the backing of world governing body FIFA and will be played between August 2023 and May 2024.
CAF president Patrice Motsepe, who announced the new competition, did not say if it would replace CAF’s existing Champions League and the second-tier Confederation Cup.
“The African Super League is a very important initiative. One of the major problems in Africa is finance,” said Motsepe at the launch held in the northern Tanzania town of Arusha.
“The Africa Super League is one of the most exciting developments in the history of African football and the objective in terms of what we are trying to achieve is very clear, to make sure African club football is world class and competes with the best in the world.
“Our intention is to use the $100 million as prize money and to do that every year in the African Super League, so that the club which wins gets $11.5 million,” he added.
The chairman of four-time Champions League winners Esperance Tunis, HamdiMeddeb, before the launch said that sides would be better not to play in the current top-tier competition due to costs.
Africa is a huge continent and sometimes we have to charter flights at a cost of more than $100,000 each,” Meddeb said.
“When we won the Champions League (in 2018 and 2019), more than half the prize money was spent on bonuses and allowances for the squad and the technical staff. Those are contractual obligations.”
Motsepe said CAF will use some of the 50 million dollars from the Super League to make football attractive and ensure the best players remain in Africa and improve the quality of the sport on the continent which has lagged behind other parts of the world.
“Each of the 24 clubs that will take part in the initial tournament will receive an annual contribution of three-and-half million dollars to buy players, pay for transport and player transfers,” Motsepe said.
Motsepe appealed to African governments to help with the construction of CAF-approved stadiums to ensure every club play their football in their own countries.
Not everyone is excited about the Super League with Cape Town City FC owner John Comitis calling it a “super silly idea.”
“The Super League will kill African club football,” he warned. “You can switch off the lights on the domestic leagues.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Sports

Obaseki Football Tourney To Drive Campaign Against Drug Abuse

Published

on

The second edition of the yearly Betsy Obaseki Football Tournament has been themed to drive the Edo State government’s campaign against drug abuse and illicit trafficking.
This much was said on Wednesday by the State’s Deputy Governor who doubles as the  Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament (BOWFT) while briefing journalists at the  Government House on the preparedness  for the second edition of the tournament.
He said the tournament which will commence next month , will have 12 teams participating, with 10 coming from the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), while the other best two Edo State women’s team  will join the competition, adding: “The opportunity given to the teams from the state is to expose our young girls and catch them young.”
“At the final of the competition on the 17th of September 2022, First Ladies from the 36 states of the federation will attend the game at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.”
He continued: “We don’t discriminate in Edo State as this is the only state where our female and male football teams earn the same salaries. We are building up the girl-child and giving them support to thrive in all they do. Look at the performance of our female team in the Commonwealth Games, winning 12 gold medals while the men won none. Females need to be encouraged to do better.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending