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Owolabi Wants Home-Based Players In S’Eagles Team

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Former International, Felix Owolabi, has expressed shock that Nigerians were expecting players who hardly trained together to produce good result in Friday’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group A qualifiers between Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau.
The encounter, a match day three of the AFCON’s qualifying series, saw the Super Eagles lose 0-1 to the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau in the match played at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
Speaking to Tidesports source on Saturday Owolabi stated that some of the reasons like bad pitch, players’ attitude and the coach’s incompetence were mere excuses, adding that failure to listen to past voice of wisdom on the way forward for the country’s football cost Nigeria the match.
“What many people have failed to realise is believing that a set of invited players from Europe would come together and train for three to four days as a team. This definitely cannot and will not work until the administrators listen to past views given on the way forward for our football.
“I heard many complained that the Eagles defeat was caused by the pitch. Some said the players were not committed, while others said it was the fault of the coach not naming the right players in the first 11. But I will say it goes beyond that, we need to start doing the right thing, the right way.
“If we attributed our failure to beat Guinea-Bissau to the pitch, then you have to ask yourself if they played on a different pitch. This reason doesn’t make sense at all because I didn’t hear anywhere the players complained about the pitch. The truth is that the players never had enough time to train together,” he said.
The former Eagles’ winger, who lamented the numbers of foreign-based players in the team, said the Super Eagles should have been built around the home-based players.
“Some of us have always advocated for the fusion of both the home and foreign based players into the national team for better team work. I do not think we need the numbers of players we invite from Europe for a match like this. Foreign players that we need are the key ones that will strengthen some departments in the team.

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NNL Confirms Relegation Of 12 Clubs  To NLO

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Ahead of the 2024/2025 season, the board of the Nigeria National League (NNL) has confirmed the relegation of 12 clubs  across  the four groups that played in last season’s league to the third tier National League One (NLO).
Similarly, the promotion of four clubs from the NNL  to  the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) was also  confirmed.
The  NNL had recently concluded the season with its super eight championship at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in Enugu, where the quartet of  Nasarawa United, El-Kanemi Warriors, Beyond Limits and Ikorodu City FC gained promotion to the elite league.
The NNL in a letter dated July 13, 2024 to the NFF, confirmed the relegation of Stormers FC, Abeokuta, Ekiti United FC of Ado Ekiti and 1472 FC of Lagos from conference A. Also confirmed  were FC One Rocket of Uyo, Giant Brillars FC of Enugu and Trade Safe FC of Lagos from conference B  while NAF FC of Abuja, ABS FC of Ilorin and EFCC FC of Abuja dropped to the NLO from conference C.
Similarly, Mailantarki Care FC of Abuja, Jigawa Golden Stars of Dutse and City FC of Abuja completed the dropped clubs from Conference D.
Confirming the promotion and relegation of the clubs, chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, said the board has formally notified the NFF ,its parent body  about the final outcome of the 2023/2024 season.
The veteran journalist added that the board is currently preparing for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), where it will formally receive all the clubs that would participate in the new season.
“To the glory of God,  the 2023/2024 NNL season ended with giant strides recorded by the board. We have formally notified the NFF of the promotion and relegation of the various clubs that gallantly participated in the league last season,” Aluo said. “Our next program is the Annual General Meeting of the board and clubs, where we will receive the four clubs that dropped from the NPFL and the eight that got promotion from the NLO.”
He added: “We are set and have promised Nigerians that we will improve on our last season’s performance. We have raised the standards at NNL and the new season will no doubt be competitive as our performance has propelled many of the clubs that participated in last season to become giant killers in Nigerian football,” Aluo stated.

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Super Falcons To Land In Bordeaux

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2004 quarter-finalists Nigeria were scheduled to arrive in the French city of Bordeaux yesterday night as the countdown begins for their first outing at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 16 years.
The nine-time African champions, who must negotiate an interesting group that also includes Brazil, Spain and Japan, will depart Spain aboard an Air France flight and arrive in Bordeaux minutes before 11pm.
The delegation of 18 players, four alternate players and officials is scheduled to arrive at the team’s Hotel Mercure abode minutes before midnight.
Quarter-finalists at the Athens 2004 Olympics, the Super Falcons last featured at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in China in 2008, when they lost 0-1 to Korea Democratic People’s Republic, 0-1 to Germany and 1-3 to eventual silver medallists Brazil.
Women’s football began as a demonstration sport at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996. The Super Falcons made their entry in 2000 in Australia, where they lost 1-3 each to China, eventual winners Norway and eventual silver medallists USA.

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Nwokolo Donates Kits To Lagos Community

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Nigeria-born boxer, Emeka Nwokolo, has expressed his desire to fight in Nigeria in 2025 while donating boxing kits to young pugilists in Lagos during a press briefing at the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control office in the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos State.
The United States-based fighter, who recently won his fourth and fifth professional titles in June, is on a visit to his homeland where he was born before migrating with his father, legendary boxer Charles Nwokolo.
“I think by next year, by the grace of God, I’ll have a fight coming up in Nigeria. I am going to fight in Lagos or in my hometown, where my dad comes from, in Anambra,” Nwokolo said.
The 31-year-old, who currently holds the WBA North American Boxing Association super welterweight and Universal Boxing Organisation world super welterweight belts, donated gloves and other boxing equipment to aspiring boxers in Lagos.
Secretary General of the NBBofC, Remi Aboderin, praised Nwokolo’s gesture, stating, “This guy is an inspiration to other young ones in Nigeria. More Nigerian boxers are looking up to him to be like him and even maybe want to surpass him.
“He has come in and given back to the society, he came with gloves and other kits and he has shared them among the young ones. On behalf of the NBBofC, we want to thank the Nwokolos for their impact in Nigerian boxing.”

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