Nigerian Clubs Excluded From Proposed African Super League
No Nigerian club will feature in the inaugural edition of the African Super League, which is expected to kick off in August. Enyimba of Aba was the only Nigerian side earlier listed to participate in the league, which was formerly meant to feature 24 teams. But the Peoples Elephant and some other big names in African football have been excluded from the competition, which will now feature only eight teams.
According to sources close to the planners of the league, the eight teams expected to feature in the inaugural edition are Al Ahly (Egypt), Petro de Luanda (Angola), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Horoya (Guinea), Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco), Simba SC (Tanzania), Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia) and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
Raja Athletic Club of Morocco, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa, Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia, ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire, and Zamalek of Egypt are some of the other big clubs excluded from the competition..
A source told The Guardian that the listed clubs have accepted the invitation to participate in the league. Selected FIFA and Super League delegates recently met with the clubs.
When the idea of the CAF Super League was first muted, it was proposed that 24 teams from 16 countries will participate in it, but the number was later reduced to eight ‘for better coordination.’
“CAF officials have visited the selected clubs to inspect the standard of their facilities and nail down the final details,” the source said.
When the idea of the Super League was proposed by CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, the total prize pool was $100 million for a 24-team tournament. The clubs were supposed to receive $1 million as participation grant. But, it is not yet clear if the conditions still subsist for the eight teams in the pilot edition.
CAF has also not specified if the winner will play in the expanded Club World Cup, which offers four places to Africa.
The African Super League, according to Motsepe, will breathe new life into African club competition Speaking while unveiling the competition last year, Motsepe said the competition would be launched during CAF’s 44th ordinary assembly in Tanzania on August 10.
“We have been inundated with investors and sponsors, who are anxious to partner with us on the CAF Super League. It has huge potential to significantly uplift African football and to make it even more powerful,” Motsepe said.
He added: “A significant amount of the money from the CAF Super League will be invested back into African football and part of the process involves giving $1 million every year to every one of CAF’s 54 member associations, as a contribution to football and youth development. We also want to look to increase the prize money for the men’s and women’s CAF Champions Leagues.”
‘Nigerian Football Suffering From Eight Years Of Neglect’
The President-General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo, has strongly lamented the low state of Nigeria football. The man who has led Nigerian football supporters to different countries in the last two decades says the drop in overall performance is a result of the ground the country lost in the last eight years.
Ladipo said, “We actually had eight underutilized years with the last administration. We achieved far less than we should have done because the man who was in charge focused more on himself and aesthetics than proper development of football in Nigeria. Rather than build up the system we focused too much on elections and people getting into international offices.”
Ladipo who lamented on the backdrop of the Flying Eagles performance in Egypt said the lack of growth pattern is now showing in our teams and clubs on the continent.
“Did you see how we lost to The Gambians? That is just a sign. Are we ever sure of the Super Falcons anymore? Did the Super Eagles qualify for the last World Cup? No is the answer.”
“I am not saying that a country like Gambia cannot beat Nigeria but it did not bring shock this time because the slide has been steady.
We have declined so much. How many games have the Falcons won of their last 10 matches? Did we qualify for CHAN? How many of our clubs can stand firm on the continent today like Enyimba used to do not too long ago? Now compare our performance in the last four years with countries like Senegal and Morocco. We are running in the opposite direction. We are dropping while they are going up. What did we get other than dividing the supporters club instead of facing football development?
Amusan Clinches Silverbird Sports Personality Award
World record holder and Adidas track athlete, Tobi Amusan has emerged the winner of the Silverbird TV 2022 Sports Personality of the Year.
The world champion clinched the award at the 2022 Silverbird Man of The Year which held at the Eko Hotel and suits, Lagos.
Lanre Vigo, the co-founder of Plug Sports, the sporting division of The Plug Entertainment, who received the award on her behalf, shared the news via his Instagram handle.
“Congratulations @ihurdle_33.0inches on being awarded as the @silverbirdtv sports personality of the year,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I’m honoured to receive this award on your behalf and to say a few words. Honestly @ihurdle_33.0inches I wish you were here to receive all these awards in person and feel the love Nigerians have for you,” he added.
Vigo, in his acceptance speech at the event noted that his key resolve was to encourage both the private sector and the government to invest more in athletes as there are many Tobi Amusan’s out there waiting to be discovered.
“There are a lot of talented sports people in Nigeria, and I feel like if the government and private sector invests more in these people, we will have more superstars in Nigeria.
“So I’m encouraging everyone to please support Tobi Amusan on this quest or possibly find the next Tobi Amusan,” Vigo said.
Amusan became Nigeria’s first World champion and World Record holder at the World Championships in Oregon, where she won the 100m Hurdles titles in WR times of 12.12s in the semifinals and a wind-assisted 12.06s in the final.
She also successfully defended her Commonwealth Games and Diamond League titles, clocking record-breaking times of 12.30s and 12.29s respectively.
Her 12.30s time was also a new record at the Games.
With this accomplishment, the 25 year-old Amusan is the first World Champion to win Gold in the event and the first Nigerian athlete to be crowned champion at all levels of athletics in the same year.
She beat Jamaican duo Danielle Williams, Megan Tapper, England’s Cindy Sembre, Michelle Jenneke of Australia, and Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas.
Betking Partner Ikorodu City Football
Betking has signed a partnership agreement with Ikorodu City Football Club (FC) as a way to encourage sports development at the grassroots level.
The leading sports betting and digital entertainment firm, which made the announcement at a media briefing in Lagos, said the partnership is an effort to reaffirm the brand’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of local sports in communities within Nigeria.
It said that the collaboration would support the club’s plans to become the leading team and compete with their peers nationally, added that it will also provide capacity building for the players and an opportunity for them to reach their full potential, thereby contributing to the advancement of grassroots sports in the country.
Commenting on the alliance, Managing Director, King Makers, Gossy Ukanwoke, said: “We are committed to sports development and driving the growth of grassroots football here in Nigeria. Our commitment is expressed in this partnership with Ikorodu City FC.
“We’re happy to be backing a team that wins, which is one of our ethos as a company, we are winners and kings and hope that Ikorodu City FC will also become kings. With this partnership, we will work closely together to build future stars and create opportunities to grow and make a difference.”
He added: “By extension, the company will continue to invest in local sports development, youth empowerment, health, education, and other initiatives that improve the socio-economic well-being of individuals and communities.”
Also speaking on the teamwork, Vice President, Ikorodu CityFC, Adeyemi Doherty, said, “I want to sincerely thank BetKing for partnering with us. What they have done is laudable, and we hope other organisations take a cue from them.
“This partnership will not only contribute to sports talent development, but open doors for national exposure. As you invest and build confidence in us, we will be as transparent and honest as possible. We are pleased with this partnership and look forward to its continuity.”
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