There has been a massive reaction following the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF’s decision to list Nigerian Professional Football League club, Kwara United, as one of the country’s representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup .
The Confederation of Africa Football on Sunday confirmed Kwara United as Nigeria’s second representatives in the competition, ahead of the draw billed for yesterday in Egypt.
Remo Stars are the other team representing Nigeria in the Confederation Cup, while Rivers United and Plateau United file out in the CAF Champions League.
Kwara finished fourth in the NPFL last season, missing out on a chance to play on the continent. They also crashed out the in the round of 32 of the ongoing Aiteo Cup competition after losing 4-3 on penalties to Wikki Tourists, after a hard-fought 90 minutes ended 1-1.
Usually, the third-place NPFL side, as well as winners of the Aiteo Cup represented the country in the CAF Confederation Cup but Kwara announced on their Twitter handle Monday that the NFF had entered their name for the competition.
“Jubilation as Kwara United will play in the CAF Confederations Cup for finishing fourth in #NPFL22 Season. CAF released participating clubs on Sunday night. @thenff picked @KwaraUnited FC due to the CAF registration deadline as Aiteo Cup is still ongoing. The draw is on Tuesday in Egypt,” the Afonja Warriors tweeted.
However, the news caused uproar in the football sector, with fans taking to social media to question the NFF’s decision.
It was learnt that clubs competing in the Aiteo Cup, which is in its quarter-final stage may pull out of the competition.
The remaining clubs are Niger Tornadoes, Lobi Stars, Wikki Tourists, Nasarawa United, Heartland, Katsina United, Kogi United and Kano Pillars.
President of the NPFL Club Owners Association, Issac Danladi, said they had contacted the NFF following the shocking decision.
“We are expecting their response, otherwise the eight clubs in the quarter-finals will have no other option than to stop further participation and withdraw from the Aiteo Cup.
“In view of the circumstances, we urge clubs affected by this development to remain calm and await further necessary action as our decision is premised on the doctrines of justice, equity and fair play as injustice to one is an injustice to all.”
When our correspondent contacted the Federation’s General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, he declined to comment on the issue.
“I don’t know anything about that. I am not in the country,” Sanusi said.
Sambo: Nigeria Names Four-Man Team
The Sambo Association of Nigeria has named a four-man team for their debut at the 13th African Games in Ghana from March 8 to 23.
Sambo is an offshoot of judo, jujutsu, boxing, folk wrestling and is currently recognised by the International Olympic Committee although it is yet to be listed for demonstration at the Olympics.
The contingent is made up of two men and two women, namely Jonah Kajido (79kg), James Chegwam (58kg), Fatima Ogbonyomi (65kg) and Charity Jatau (59kg).
Ahead of what will be the first appearance of the event at the Games, Vice President of SAN, Sheriff Hammed, expressed excitement about the prospect of Nigeria participating in the event.
“We carefully selected these athletes to represent us at the African Games based on their knowledge of the sport and Sambo being one of the demonstration sports in Ghana, we want to ensure that we are well represented in the event.
“This is the first time that Sambo will be part of the African Games as the sport is gaining ground across the globe and Nigeria should not be an exception. For now, the athletes are camping in readiness for the games as we are not just going there to add to the number but to make our presence felt in the event,” he said on Tuesday.
Hammed, who is also the joint Secretary, International Association of Combative Sports (Africa), said participating in the Games would give more people the opportunity to appreciate the uniqueness of the sport, being one of the fast-growing sports in the world.
We are hoping that taking part in the Games would give us the chance to popularise the sport among Africans and Nigerians. More African countries are now embracing the sport and hopefully, it will be part of the Olympics sports very soon with the way it is growing across the globe,” he added.
Nwabali Receives Hero’s Welcome At Chippa United
Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, received a warm welcome back at South African club, Chippa United, on Tuesday, following his remarkable performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Upon arrival at Port Elizabeth Airport, the 27-year-old was greeted by hundreds of Chippa United fans.
In a video shared on Tuesday, he was seen engaging with supporters, taking selfies and participating in singing the club’s anthem.
Chippa United, via their social media handle, celebrated his return with the message, “He’s Back #NwabaliBobo.”
Nwabali’s standout performance during AFCON 2023 earned him cash gifts, a national honour, and a chieftaincy title in his hometown.
Due to his success, Nwabali has been linked with potential moves to other clubs like Kaizer Chiefs and Union St Gilloise.
Ayienugba Claims Women’s Tennis Gold Medal In Police Games
Winners have emerged in the tennis event at the ongoing 14th biennial Police Games tagged ‘Oluyole 2024’ at the Ibadan Recreation Club with Funke Ayienugba of Zone 2 claiming the women’s singles gold medal.
In a one-sided match, Ayienugba defeated Dike Osinachi of Zone 4 6-0, 6-0 to emerge champion, while in the men’s doubles final, twins Paul and Peter Alakwem of Force Headquarters defeated duo Idris and Aminci of Zone 2 6-1, 6-1 to win the gold medal.
Also, Agnes Ogar and Charity Philips of Zone 7 defeated Adedayo and Oyelowo 6-0,6-0 to emerge champions in the women’s doubles.
In karate individual kata (female category), Rita Edejoh emerged champion, while Zinab Absalam clinched the silver medal, with duo Hamzat Olayinka and Holiness Iyoba ending up in third and fourth positions respectively.
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