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ONELGA Rolls Out Red Carpet For S’Eagles Keeper

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Sunday, February 18, 2024 is a day that will remain indelible in the hearts of many sons and daughters of the Egbema Kingdom in Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State as the locals trooped out in their thousands to welcome their national hero, the nascent Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper, Stanley Bobo Nwabali to his hometown where his journey began.
Just one week earlier, Nwabali successfully cemented his place in the annals of Nigerian football history as his invaluable contributions helped the senior national team to a previously unimagined second place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament held in Côte d’Ivoire.
A number of Nwabali’s Super Eagles teammates were celebrated by their “own people” too in the wake of the AFCON final but none can stand nor trump the elaborate reception held for this former Go Round FC of Omoku goalkeeper and rightly so. The 27-year old put Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA and the Egbema name on the global map through his heroic displays at the tournament during which he became the first Nigerian goalkeeper to win a Man of the Match award at the AFCON in 18 years.
The day’s activities began in the early afternoon with Nwabali’s arrival at the palatial mansion of the Leader of ONELGA, the Mbanabaragu 1 of Orashi Kingdom, Bro Felix Obuah who would later lead him to the ONELGA Council Headquarters where a few hundreds were also waiting to receive the man that has made them proud.
At the Council, Nwabali was received by the Chairman of ONELGA Sir Vincent Job, DSSRS, his deputy Hon. Dr Stella Agada and other members of Council in a short plenary session with Nwabali and his wife. There, he was awarded a sum of N5m as declared by Job who also stated that a street will be named after him in the Local Government.
The reception train then proceeded from the ONELGA Council to the Nzeobi’s Palace in Aggah-Egbema where His Royal Majesty Eze Everestus Amuda conferred the chieftaincy title ‘Ugo Egbema 1 of Egbema Land’ which means the Pride of Egbema on the Chippa United goalkeeper.
Eze Amuda eulogised Nwabali for his performance especially his penalty saving heroics which he noted engraved him in the hearts of many Nigerians both home and abroad thereby making him a Pride for his people back home.
A grand reception was thereafter held in Nwabali’s honour at the Community Primary School, Okwuzi in which thousands of people were in attendance. The ceremony which lasted for about an hour had in attendance, top dignitaries especially those indigenous to ONELGA including Members of Rivers State House of Assembly and Members of the ONELGA Council and other traditional rulers.
There were speeches by the ONELGA Chairman Job, Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Member Representing ONELGA Constituency I, Hon Franklin Nwabochi as well as Member representing ONELGA Constituency II, Hon Dcns Nkemjika Ezekwe while it was rounded off by Bro Obuah.
There was plenty to eat and drink for guests and locals at the reception while there were heartfelt prayers said for the career and continued progress of Stanley Bobo Nwabali, the Pride of Egbema Land who had earlier in the week been honoured by Rivers State Governor Sir Sim Fubara who conferred on him the state’s highest honour DSSRS.
An emotional Nwabali spoke to newsmen after the reception:
“To be honest, I really don’t know how to appreciate these people,” began an emotional Nwabali who actually started his football career as a centre forward.
“The love they showed me today is unbelievable. I thought I’d seen it all at the AFCON but I saw a lot today. I was emotional seeing this kind of crowd coming out to give their support and respect to me. I appreciate everyone in ONELGA and those coming from different states to appreciate me,” he added.
In his own remark at the end of the epoch making event, Proprietor of Nwabali’s first club in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Go Round FC, Bro Felix Obuah says it is a dream come true for him as a Father.
“This is the dream of every father, that his son or daughter makes it to the top. When we started, I had the dream that one day if they put in their best, they will reach the zenith of their careers.
“Today, I am happy that one among lots that I invested on has been able to make it up to the Number 1 goalkeeper of the Super Eagles. I am very proud of him and I am happy that a part and parcel of us has made Nigeria proud,” added Obuah.
Nwabali who has now been linked to several top clubs in Europe and South Africa is scheduled to resume at his club Chippa United this week.

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Nigeria U16 To Battle Belgium, Others In UEFA Tourney

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Nigeria U16 national team, nicknamed Future Eagles will trade tackles with Belgium, Italy and England in UEFA U16 Development Tournament.
All games are to be played at the Pinatar Arena Football Center in San Pedro del Pinatar.
The Future Eagles are presently at Remo Stars Stadium Ikenne preparing for an U16 tournament before they leave for Spain today.
Meanwhile, the Future Eagles continued their preparations for their tournament in Spain with a 2-0 win over Beyond Limits’ U-15 side in Ikenne.

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Tennis: 72 Players To Feature In TPPA UTR Tourney

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Seventy-two Nigerian youth tennis players will feature at the maiden edition of the Tennis Players’ Parents Association UTR Nationals.
The TPPA UTR Nationals are the culmination of the regional events held across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The tournament takes place from April 8–13 at the tennis section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja.
The five-day event will have over 72 players from across the country in the boys and girls categories for the U-12, U-14, and U-16, respectively.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the Tennis Players Association President, Segun Aluko, said winners of this year’s edition will receive educational support and equipment.
He also stated that the tournament aims to groom and nurture young tennis players in the country to stardom and help them bridge the gap between tennis at the youth and senior levels.
“As you all know, we have been doing great at the junior levels, but we need to ensure we groom more players who will also move up to the senior level and dominate the world scene, just like Novak Djokovic.
“TPPA UTR Nationals is a tournament organised to give opportunities to young tennis players to realise their dreams.
Meanwhile, our correspondent learned that the reigning champion of the J30 Abuja ITF World Junior Tour, Khadijat Mohammed, tops the list of players who got a wild card to play at the tournament.
In the boys U-12, Ahenjir Tertema, Mohammed Okandeji, Samuel Adegbite, and Korede Ogunkolade were listed, while Success Godwin, Barakat Ganiyu, and Grace Oritingbeni made the cut in the girls category.
In the boys’ U-14, Folaranmi Fafowora, Nathaniel Aluko, and Gabriel Igbinovia will battle for honours just as Bisola Ogunkolade and Lorelay Holzendorff will in the girls’ U-14.
For the U-16 girls, Jasmine Osho, Ndidi Osaji, and Adesewa Olaniyan received wild cards just as Kushimo Quzeem and Precious Aliya did for the U-16 boys.

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AAG:Nigeria Boxing Coach Decries Non-Payment Of Allowances

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Team Nigeria boxing head coach, Tony Konyegwachie, has expressed his displeasure over non-payment of allowances to some of the boxers who won laurels for the country at the 13th African Games in Ghana, Tidesports source reports.
Team Nigeria topped the boxing medals table at the Games with eight gold and two silver medals , but they have yet to be paid almost two weeks after the Games ended in Ghana, with three gold medallists Adam Olaore, Patricia Mbata and Cynthia Ogunsemilore, as well as Konyegwachie featuring prominently on the list despite promises made by the Sports Minister, John Enoh that athletes will not encounter any delay in getting their allowances.
A day before the end of the Games, the Ministry of Sports Development stated that it had begun payments of athletes and officials’ camp allowances and bonuses for winning medals.
“Today the 22nd of March, the athletes started receiving their camp allowances,” sports minister’s aide Diana-Mary Nsan said in the statement.
“A lot of athletes had doubts and fears but the trust and confidence has been restored. Athletes who won medals will also get their bonuses.”
“It’s unfortunate that some of our colleagues have been paid while we’re yet to receive any alert. We’re appealing to the Honourable Minister to wade into the matter and make sure we’re paid because our families are hungry and we need the money to settle some debts,” coach Konyegwachie said.
“I am very angry and it is making me bitter. I want it to be investigated as I feel some boxers are being robbed, three of my boxers and I have not been paid bonuses for the African Games while others have gotten theirs.”
Aside from the allowances, payments promised gold medallists are also being withheld. One of the boxer, Omole Dolapo, who has received his allowance told our correspondent that he was yet to get his bonus for his gold medals.
“I have gotten the allowance, but I know some of my colleagues are yet to get theirs. For the medal bonus, I have not received that, and we are still waiting for the payment,” he said.

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