The Sun News » Sports http://sunnewsonline.com/new - Voice of The Nation Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:49:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.8 OSIMHEN ‘LL STEP INTO YEKINI’S SHOES – KINGSLEY ONYE http://sunnewsonline.com/new/osimhen-ll-step-into-yekinis-shoes-kingsley-onye/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/osimhen-ll-step-into-yekinis-shoes-kingsley-onye/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 09:55:14 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144321 Kingsley Onye, you remember him? He was a former Super Eagles defender and also a member of the bronze winning Flying Eagles team at Soviet Union]]>

Kingsley Onye, you remember him? He was a former Super Eagles defender and also a member of the bronze winning Flying Eagles team at Soviet Union ’85 World Youth Championship.
Onye, speaking from London believed Golden Eaglets’ Victor Osimhen would step into the big shoes left by the goal father, Rashidi Yekini. Onye however cautioned the country’s football body that the young lad is guided to achieve his dreams in the game.
The football scout also implored President Mohammadu Buhari to include the USSR ’85 Flying Eagles squad in his reward list.

The interview…
Having played at the age grade competitions and also at the highest level of football, do you think world conquering Golden Eagles are the future of the game in this country?
First and foremost, kudos must go to the team’s handler, Emmanuel Amuneke for putting together a great side that made us proud. Amuneke proved all doubting Thomases wrong by winning the trophy in Chile. Because nobody including the Nigeria Football Federation that the team would go all the way to the final and win. So, we must salute the team’s resilient and doggedness at the global stage.

In your opinion, should Amuneke remain as the Golden Eaglets’ coach or be promoted?
You will agree with me that Amuneke deserves to along with the crop of boys to the Flying Eagles. He brought the boys together and understands the team’s chemistry.
Secondly, he could be retained as the Eaglets handler to discover more talents that would be transformed to the next stage of the game. There are lots of budding talents in the grassroots and we need somebody in the mode of Amuneke to provide them the opportunity to showcase their talents.

What is your take on Victor Osimhen and Chidiebere Nwakali who were outstanding at the tournament?
Yeah, those boys were wonderful in Chile and I have no doubt in mind that they would go places in the game. But they need to be guided in taking major decisions as regards club they want to play for and their life style.
Football has gone scientific and those boys should be exposed to it in order march up with their contemporaries in the game.
I watched both players in Chile and I saw Osimhen showing some traits of Rashidi Yekini but a bit more refined. He scored great goals and his positioning on the pitch is per excellent.
Some other members of the team like the goalkeeper Akpan Udoh, Chukwueze and Funsho Bamgboye also showed great qualities during the tournament.

But why is it that Nigeria has failed to transform these qualities at the senior level?
It is unfortunate that this has being the story with Nigerian football. I think we need to look inwards and ensure that we present the players with the right age at age grade competitions.
However, I believe that is in place now as we were able to parade relatively young players in Chile. With time we would start to benefit from being truthful with age of our players at competitions.

What sort of reward is appropriate for the Golden Eaglets?
That’s a good question. I believe we need to be dynamic in rewarding our athletes. We should ensure that their present life and future are secured. So I will advise that scholarship, housing and health insurance should be provided for them. We can do some cash but their future is of utmost importance to us.
In this regard, I will also implore President Mohammadu Buhari to also reward the bronze medal winning Flying Eagles team at Soviet Union ’85 FIFA World Cup, just as intents for the Golden Eaglets team that won the first edition of the U-17 World Cup in China.
Let me drag you to issues on the Super Eagles. What is your assessment of Sunday Oliseh he took charge as the team’s gaffer?
It could difficult to assess the technical crew led by Oliseh as they have told us that the team is still rebuilding. So they need more time to gel and assemble the right players that would regain the country’s lost glory in the football. Should they fail from this assignment, I would advise Nigeria to hire a foreign coach for the Eagles.

Which of the foreign coaches would you like to recommend?
Sam Alladyce is a good coach. I’ll suggest Nigeria should go for him. Ruud Gullit is another great tactician. There are many of them but for the African style of play and our football mentality, I believe strongly that any of those two will do well in the Nigerian national team. Nigeria needs a foreign coach if we want to win any major tournament and be reckoned with in World football. Keshi is not the answer now.

Does it mean that you don’t believe in Nigerian coaches?
For me Tunde Disu is the best player manager in Nigeria. His man-management skill is undoubtedly great. I think, he should be the coach of the Super Eagles. He is good enough for the job.

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SENEGAL 2015: Siasia’ll secure Rio 2016 ticket –Sanusi http://sunnewsonline.com/new/senegal-2015-siasiall-secure-rio-2016-ticket-sanusi/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/senegal-2015-siasiall-secure-rio-2016-ticket-sanusi/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:24:55 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144244 BY GEORGE ALUO THE nation’s soccer governing body, NFF, is sure Nigeria will be featur­ing in the soccer event of the Rio 2016 Olympics. The battle to decide the countries that would be flying Africa’s flag in Rio is being fought in Senegal in the African U-23 soccer championship beginning from this weekend, with Nigeria’s [...]]]>

BY GEORGE ALUO

THE nation’s soccer governing body, NFF, is sure Nigeria will be featur­ing in the soccer event of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The battle to decide the countries that would be flying Africa’s flag in Rio is being fought in Senegal in the African U-23 soccer championship beginning from this weekend, with Nigeria’s Dream Team VI being one of the gladiators.

NFF’s general secretary, Dr Sanusi Muhammed, while baring his mind on the Samson Siasia tutored side yester­day said there was nothing to worry about ahead of the Senegal show, in­sisting that Sia One and his lads will get the job done and secure one of the Rio 2016 Olympic tickets.

A place in the final or a third place finish is what the eight countries in Senegal would need to land in Rio.

Sanusi told Goal.com yesterday that the Dream Team is ready and in good spirit for the task ahead, even as he commended Siasia for not allowing his travails back home, with the kid­nap of his mother to distract him.

His words: “The team is very ready for the task ahead and in good spirit. I can confidently tell you that they will

by the grace of God do Nigeria proud and we will qualify for next year’s Olympics. We have players that have the skills, abilities and everything. We equally have in Siasia, a coach who is really a man. He (Siasia) in spite of the kidnap of his mother has made it clear that nothing will distract him from the task of doing well in Senegal.”

Samson Siasia’s men are zoned in Group B and would play their opening game on Sunday against Mali before facing Egypt and Algeria.

It is recalled that Nigeria did not qualify for the soccer event of the last Olympic games, London 2012, where the country also failed to win a medal.

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NFF congressmen for leadership training in UK http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nff-congressmen-for-leadership-training-in-uk/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nff-congressmen-for-leadership-training-in-uk/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:23:54 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144240 THE Nigeria Football Federation has finalized arrangements to take mem­bers of its Congress on a 4-day lead­ership training program in the United Kingdom. Already, the persons in the first batch of the program, which runs be­tween 4th and 7th December in Lon­don, have secured entry visas into the United Kingdom for a training which quality [...]]]>

THE Nigeria Football Federation has finalized arrangements to take mem­bers of its Congress on a 4-day lead­ership training program in the United Kingdom.

Already, the persons in the first batch of the program, which runs be­tween 4th and 7th December in Lon­don, have secured entry visas into the United Kingdom for a training which quality is underscored by the capacity of the resource persons and the keen interest of the private sector.

Thenff.com learnt on Tuesday that leading airline, ARIK, top bank ZE­NITH BANK PLC and the FROT GROUP are the sponsors of the elite program. There are 20 persons in the first batch, made up principally of Chairmen of State Football Associa­tions, and including the General Secre­tary of Nigeria Football Federation, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.

Among the resource persons for the 4-day program are Mr. Greg Dyke, Chairman of The Football Associa­tion; Mr. Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of The Premier League; Sir Dave Richards, former Chairman of The Premier League and; Mr. David Dein, former Vice Chairman of Arse­nal Football Club.

“The present NFF administration is committed to building/enhancing the capacity of all workers in the game of football. Over the course of the past year, we have organized capacity – building programs for referees and coaches in the United Kingdom and Nigeria. This is an on –going exercise.

“I want to say that other sectors of the sport will also benefit, as we look to improve the capacity of everyone involved in the beautiful game,” stated NFF boss, Pinnick.

The Managing Director of FROT GROUP, Mr. Frank Momoh, and the Managing Director of ZENITH BANK in London will also be at the program.

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Federation Cup honor excites Mba http://sunnewsonline.com/new/federation-cup-honor-excites-mba/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/federation-cup-honor-excites-mba/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:23:45 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144237 “ POSTHUMOUS honours were given out last Sunday, yet I found my­self rewarded while still alive, that is why I give God Almighty all the glory for considering me worthy of being re­membered while still alive” says Linus Okechukwu Mba, one of the twelve persons honoured last Sunday for their contribution to the success of [...]]]>

“ POSTHUMOUS honours were given out last Sunday, yet I found my­self rewarded while still alive, that is why I give God Almighty all the glory for considering me worthy of being re­membered while still alive” says Linus Okechukwu Mba, one of the twelve persons honoured last Sunday for their contribution to the success of the Fed­eration Cup, over time.

Linus Mba, FIFA Referees Advisor was to say further that when he was con­tacted and told that he was to be among the “Year 2015 Legends of the Chal­lenge Cup” he was delighted and gave thanks to God that this could happen in his life time.

“ I am also aware that God used men to bestow this honour on me, that is why I quickly got in touch with the President of the NFF, Pinnick Amaju, his first Vice Barrister Akinwunmi, my NFF Ref­ereees Committee boss Yusuf Ahmed Fresh ,Referees President Abdulazeez Tade…..to express my gratitude.

This season has been particularly challenging and rewarding for me as Consultant to NFF on refereeing espe­cially with the revolution that was in­spired by the NFF Leadership and the new LMC executive led by its chairman Shehu Dikko.

Together with my colleagues in the Referees Committee we took the chal­lenge head on and we delight in the rec­ognition that the standard of refereeing this season has been exemplary.”

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Naval Officers wives trash ratings wives 2-0 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/naval-officers-wives-trash-ratings-wives-2-0/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/naval-officers-wives-trash-ratings-wives-2-0/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:22:45 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144235 BY PHILIP NWOSU NAVAL Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA) yester­day trashed the Nigerian Navy Rating Wives Associa­tion (NARAWA) 2-0 in a novelty football match to mark the 50th anniversary of the organization. The Naval Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA) came into being on November 30, 1965 under the leadership of Mrs Anne Wey, wife of the first [...]]]>

BY PHILIP NWOSU

NAVAL Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA) yester­day trashed the Nigerian Navy Rating Wives Associa­tion (NARAWA) 2-0 in a novelty football match to mark the 50th anniversary of the organization.

The Naval Officers’ Wives Association (NOWA) came into being on November 30, 1965 under the leadership of Mrs Anne Wey, wife of the first indig­enous Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Joseph Edet Akinwale Wey of blessed memory.

Speaking at the ceremony, wife of the Chief of Naval Staff, Mrs. Theresa Ibas said the essence of the novelty match was to enable the women relax after weeks of tasking activities.

The officers wives had during the week engaged in a seminar on the need for Nigerians, particularly naval personnel and their family members to stay away from hard drugs.

The organization also had interaction with widows within the force where items necessary for their sur­vival were presented to them.

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Dream Team hits Senegal today http://sunnewsonline.com/new/dream-team-hits-senegal-today/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/dream-team-hits-senegal-today/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:47:09 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144185 NIGERIA’S Dream Team VI tutored by Coach Samson Siasia is expected to storm Senegal today ahead of Rio 2016 Olympic Games football event qualifiers which begin on Saturday.]]>

• As Osihmen replaces Success

BY JOE APU

NIGERIA’S Dream Team VI tutored by Coach Samson Siasia is expected to storm Senegal today ahead of Rio 2016 Olympic Games football event qualifiers which begin on Saturday.

According to thenff.com, the U-23 National team departed Banjul early today where it has been camping for the past ten days.

It was gathered that the delegation made up of 23 players and 10 accompanying officials flew to Dakar from Banjul aboard Arik Air.

The team on arrival in Dakar, proceeded to Mbour, venue of its first two group B games.

The Dream Team VI will begin their quest to qualify for the Rio Olympics when they take on West African rivals Mali on Sunday 29th November at the Caroline Faye Stadium, in Mbour. The Nigerian side is grouped alongside Egypt and Algeria.

Meanwhile, FIFA 2015 Under-17 World Cup highest goalscorer Victor Osimhen has been included in the squad that also features three foreign-based players – Okechukwu Azubuike, Taiwo Awoniyi and Junior Ajayi. He replaces injured Isaac Success. Osimhen sensationally netted 10 goals at the recently- ended Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

While announcing the squad, Siasia said he is sad he had to drop some players as only 21 players can make the squad for the tournament which will be used to get Africa’s representatives for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“I feel sad telling you guys to go, but the truth is that only 21 players will have to make the trip to Senegal, and these selected ones are those the technical crew have seen to be able to give us an Olympic ticket in Senegal, don’t feel discouraged, go back to your clubs and keep on working on your game, you will have your chance to be part of the team,” he said.

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Abuja prepares to host 2015 GLO-CAF Awards http://sunnewsonline.com/new/abuja-prepares-to-host-2015-glo-caf-awards/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/abuja-prepares-to-host-2015-glo-caf-awards/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:42:20 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144182 EXCITEMENT is gradually building up in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, as it prepares to host the 2015 Glo-CAF Awards on 7th January, 2016.]]>

EXCITEMENT is gradually building up in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, as it prepares to host the 2015 Glo-CAF Awards on 7th January, 2016.

Since the Confederation of African Football announced in October this year that Abuja, Nigeria, will host the prestigious Gala nite of the 2015 Glo-Caf Awards, sponsors of the event, Globacom said that plans are afoot to stage a memorable Glo-Caf Awards for the second time in Nigeria’s federal capital.

Abuja hosted the inaugural edition of Glo-CAF Awards in 2005.

Globacom, in a press statement released on Tuesday in Lagos, said that “the Glo-CAF Awards 2015 will parade the greatest African football legends, including the new African Footballer of the Year and winners in 12 other categories.” The categories include African Player of The Year (Based in Africa), National Team of The Year, Club of The Year, and Coach of The Year.

Other categories are Women’s National Team of The Year, Women’s Footballer of The Year, Most Promising Talent, Referee of The Year, Legend of The year, Fair Play Award, Platinum Award, which has only one nominee, and Africa Finest XI. Abuja, Nigeria was announced as the host of 2015 Glo-CAF Awards by the Confederation of African Football in October this year and sponsors and organizers of the event, Globacom said that plans are afoot to stage a memo- rable Awards gala for the second time in Nigeria’s federal capital.
The event is expected to congregate top football celebrities across Africa, as well as top government officials from Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of Af- rica, the statement said. Expectedly, the Awards and possible winners have been the subject of dis- cussions in the media and among foot- ball fans and youths across Africa.

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Djokovic: I didn’t expect this great season! http://sunnewsonline.com/new/djokovic-i-didnt-expect-this-great-season/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/djokovic-i-didnt-expect-this-great-season/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:39:05 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144179 NOVAK Djokovic wrapped up his best season, and one of the best seasons ever, beating Roger Federer to win his 5th ATP World Tour Finals and fourth straight.]]>

NOVAK Djokovic wrapped up his best season, and one of the best seasons ever, beating Roger Federer to win his 5th ATP World Tour Finals and fourth straight.

“This season definitely stands out,” Djokovic said. “I can’t say I expected it, not at all. But I always gave my best, and I’m always asking from myself the most. I was always hoping that I can play this well throughout the entire season. Managing to reach this kind of season and achievement this year obviously gives me a lot of confidence for anything that is coming in the future.”

Novak ends with a career-best 11 titles, three Grand Slams and a record 31 wins over Top 10 players.

“Again, I’ve played maybe the best tennis of the season in China,” Djokovic added. “I played great on clay, as well. Overall it’s been as close to perfection as it can get, the season. Just blessed and overwhelmed with the emotion and the thrill to be achieving such a great season. It inspires me even more to keep on going and hopefully playing on this level in the future.”

Next season, Djokovic said he’s focused on the French Open and the Olympics, two events still missing from his trophy cabinet.

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FIFA seeks life ban for suspended Platini http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fifa-seeks-life-ban-for-suspended-platini/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fifa-seeks-life-ban-for-suspended-platini/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:36:29 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144177 FIFA vice-president Michel Platini could be facing a life ban from football, according to his lawyer.]]>

FIFA vice-president Michel Platini could be facing a life ban from football, according to his lawyer.

The suspended Uefa chief is serving a 90-day suspension on corruption charges alongside outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter, while Fifa’s adjudicatory committee considers its verdict.

Platini’s lawyer Thibaud d’Ales said the ethics investigators’ “excessive” recommendations are a “scandal”.

The adjudicatory committee intends to announce its verdict next month.

The Frenchman is facing sanctions over a “disloyal payment” that saw Platini, 60, receive £1.35m from Blatter, 79, in 2011 for consultation work done nine years earlier.

The pair, who are serving 90-day provisional bans, have denied any wrongdoing, but admitted there was no written contract.

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Michel Platini: Fifa seeking life ban for suspended vice-president http://sunnewsonline.com/new/michel-platini-fifa-seeking-life-ban-for-suspended-vice-president/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/michel-platini-fifa-seeking-life-ban-for-suspended-vice-president/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 15:59:24 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144100 Fifa vice-president Michel Platini could be facing a life ban from football, according to his lawyer. The suspended Uefa chief is serving a 90-day suspension on corruption charges alongside outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter, while Fifa’s adjudicatory committee considers its verdict. Platini’s lawyer Thibaud d’Ales said the ethics investigators’ “excessive” recommendations are a “scandal”. The [...]]]>

Fifa vice-president Michel Platini could be facing a life ban from football, according to his lawyer.

The suspended Uefa chief is serving a 90-day suspension on corruption charges alongside outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter, while Fifa’s adjudicatory committee considers its verdict.

Platini’s lawyer Thibaud d’Ales said the ethics investigators’ “excessive” recommendations are a “scandal”.

The adjudicatory committee intends to announce its verdict next month.

The Frenchman is facing sanctions over a “disloyal payment” that saw Platini, 60, receive £1.35m from Blatter, 79, in 2011 for consultation work done nine years earlier.

The pair, who are serving 90-day provisional bans, have denied any wrongdoing, but admitted there was no written contract.

The adjudicatory committee, led by German judge Hans Joachim Eckert, opened proceedings on Monday, after receiving the ethics committee’s recommendations.

Platini is currently barred from taking part in the campaign to replace Blatter as Fifa president in February, but is taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Swiss Blatter, who has had recent heath problems and claimed on Monday that he had been “close to dying”, is also likely to appeal to Cas.

(Source: BBC)

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Senegal 2015: Siasia names killer squad for Rio 2016 ticket http://sunnewsonline.com/new/senegal-2015-siasia-names-killer-squad-for-rio-2016-ticket/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/senegal-2015-siasia-names-killer-squad-for-rio-2016-ticket/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:27:36 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144045 AHEAD of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games football event, head coach of the Dream Team VI, Samson Siasia on Monday named a final 21-man squad for the 2015 U-23 Champion- ship commencing Saturday in Dakar, Senegal.]]>

By JOE APU

AHEAD of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games football event, head coach of the Dream Team VI, Samson Siasia on Monday named a final 21-man squad for the 2015 U-23 Champion- ship commencing Saturday in Dakar, Senegal.

According to sources close to the camp, Coach Siasia listed four overseas-based professionals with the rest of the squad drawn from the Nigeria league.

The pros are strikers Taiwo Awoniyi from German second division side FSV Frankfurt, Junior Ajayi of Tunisian club CS Sfaxien, Isaac success from La Liga side Granada as well as midfielder Azubuike Oke- chukwu, who is based in Turkey.

There are no players from seven- time champions Enyimba after the coach dropped Kingsley Sokari and Etor Daniel for insisting on leaving training camp to play a final league game with their club in Lagos.

There is also no room for any member of the victorious Golden Eaglets from the U17 FIFA World Cup in Chile as the duo of Victor Osimhen and Kelechi Nwakali did not make the cut.

As many as 12 players on the list were not at the recent All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville, where Nigeria’s Dream Team VI placed third.

Nigeria will begin their campaign on Sunday against Mali in Mbour. They will also battle Egypt on December 2 in Mbour and three days later play their final group B match against Algeria in Dakar.

The top three teams will qualify automatically for next year’s Olym- pics in Rio.

The full squad:

Goalkeepers: Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers), Yusuf Mohammed (Kano Pillars), Emmanuel Iwu (Heartland)

Defenders: Sincere Seth (Su- preme Court FC), Seun Odudu- wa (Nath Boys), Zaharadeen Bello (Kano Pillars), Seun Ol- ubayo (Sunshine Stars), Chizoba Amaefule(Dolphins), Ebuka Iroha (Diamond Football Academy)

Midfielders: Ndifreke Effiong (Abia Warriors), Usman Moham- med (FC Taraba),Tiongoli Tobara (Bayelsa United), Bature Yaro (Na- sarawa United), Oghenekaro Etebo (Warri Wolves), Azubuike Oke- chukwu (Yeni Matalatyaspor/Tur- key), Godspower Aniefiok (Kano Pillars), Stanley Dimgba (Warri Wolves)

Forward: Kufre Ebong (Warri Wolves),Junior Ajayi (CS Sfax- ien/Tunisia), Taiwo Awoniyi (FSV Frankfurt/Germany),Isaac Success (Granada CF/Spain).

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Federation Cup: Emmanuel’s motivation gave it to Akwa –Bassey http://sunnewsonline.com/new/federation-cup-emmanuels-motivation-gave-it-to-akwa-bassey/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/federation-cup-emmanuels-motivation-gave-it-to-akwa-bassey/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:22:32 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144042 VETERAN sports journalist and CAF match instruc- tor, Paul Bassey, has given a pat on the back to Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel, who he noted was the architect of Akwa United’s Federation Cup victory on Sunday.]]>

BY GEORGE ALUO

VETERAN sports journalist and CAF match instruc- tor, Paul Bassey, has given a pat on the back to Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel, who he noted was the architect of Akwa United’s Federation Cup victory on Sunday.

Bassey noted that Akwa players were propelled to play the match of their lives after the governor’s pep talk before the team left Uyo for Lagos for the final game against Lobi.

He was quick to add that he sees the team doing well in the continent next term. Akwa will next season be flying Nigeria’s flag in the CAF Confederation Cup.

“What we have seen here today (Sunday) is what motivation can do in football. The governor came out to back the team before the final. He had a one on one with the players before they left Uyo and coming in person to cheer them and promising them one million for every goal was a big motivation. His predecessor Godswill Ak- pabio did the same and this clearly showed in the way the boys came out fighting. I m happy Akwa Ibom has won its first major trophy in football,” Bassey said.

He stated that Akwa’s qualification to play in the continent would be a good advertisement for Nigerian football, given the fact that the team would be playing at the magnificent Nest of Champions arena built by Godswill Akpabio.

“It is good that the arena will be hosting international matches next term. The challenge will now be to ensure that Akwa does not stroll in and out of the continent. As I said, with proper planning the team will do well.”

Akwa on Sunday defeated Lobi by 2-1at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos to lift the Federation Cup. The club had only last week escaped relegation by the whiskers in the Glo Premier league after beating the same Lobi by a lone goal.

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UCL: In-form Barcelona set for Roma http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ucl-in-form-barcelona-set-for-roma/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ucl-in-form-barcelona-set-for-roma/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:20:39 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144039 BARCELONA Coach, Luis Enrique, says that he is sure his in-form side will not take their feet off the throttle as they face Italian side Roma.]]>

BARCELONA Coach, Luis Enrique, says that he is sure his in-form side will not take their feet off the throttle as they face Italian side Roma.

“We see this match as an opportunity to finish first in the group. I believe we have played better [than on Saturday]although 4-0 against Real Madrid attracts more at- tention. I can’t compare it to the 6-2 victory [at the Santiago Bernabéu in May 2009]. I expect a dif- ficult match, because they need to get a result, so the game will be very open. It is good to see Messi back on the pitch – we all enjoy watching him train and play.”

Luis Suárez and Neymar continued their prolific form – they have scored 20 of Barcelona’s last 21 Liga goals. The icing on the cake for the Blaugrana was the return from injury of Messi, who came off the bench before the hour for his first appearance in two months.

Former Roma striker Matteo Destro’s late penalty, the third spot kick of the match, prevented the Giallorossi going top of Serie A on Saturday. Garcia’s side have kept one clean sheet in their last 14 games.

It’s arguable that Barcelona have not played as well as they did against Real Madrid at the week- end since either last June’s UEFA Champions League final or perhaps the first leg of the semi- final against Bayern München. A little ominous for Roma.
Luis Enrique won’t hold any sentiment for his ex-club, as much as he en- joyed his time in charge there, and has hinted that Leo Messi will start be- cause all he needs now ‘are match minutes’. Win- ning the match, and the group, will be the hold- ers’ minimum target. Roma are seeking a first UEFA Champions League away victory since edging Basel 3-2 in November 2010.

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Blatter, Platini could get seven-year bans http://sunnewsonline.com/new/blatter-platini-could-get-seven-year-bans/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/blatter-platini-could-get-seven-year-bans/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:16:14 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144036 WORLD soccer ruling body, FIFA may finally nail the cofin on suspended President Sepp Blatter and his vice-president Michel Platini if the seven-year bans rumoured to have been recommended by the ethics committee is anything to go]]>

WORLD soccer ruling body, FIFA may finally nail the cofin on suspended President Sepp Blatter and his vice-president Michel Platini if the seven-year bans rumoured to have been recommended by the ethics committee is anything to go

byB. oth men according if found guilty of corruption claims may be banned from football.

According to BBC report, FIFA ethics investigators are likely to have recommended the sanctions over a “disloyal payment” that saw Platini, 60, receive £1.35m from Blatter, 79.

There was no written contract for the consultation-work payment, which Platini received nine years later.

The adjudicatory committee intends to announce its verdict by Christmas.

Both Blatter and Platini, who is also the president of European football’s governing body Uefa, are currently serving 90-day provisional bans. The pair have denied any wrongdoing, stating they had a “oral contract” for the work.

However, they are thought to be facing additional charges including mismanagement, false accounting and failure to co-operate with the ethics committee.

The adjudicatory committee, led by German judge Hans Joachim Eckert, opened proceedings on Monday, although a verdict will not be announced until next month at the earliest.

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Federation Cup Akwa United breaks 56-year old jinx http://sunnewsonline.com/new/federation-cup-akwa-united-breaks-56-year-old-jinx/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/federation-cup-akwa-united-breaks-56-year-old-jinx/#comments Mon, 23 Nov 2015 01:49:48 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=143946 Baraje gives conditions to remain with team BY JOE APU AKWA United on Sunday made good their promise to shock Lobi Stars of Makurdi from winning this year’s Fed­eration Cup in their first final winning 2-1 to break a 56-year jinx in their chase for the trophy as Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. Akwa [...]]]>
  • Baraje gives conditions to remain with team

BY JOE APU

AKWA United on Sunday made good their promise to shock Lobi Stars of Makurdi from winning this year’s Fed­eration Cup in their first final winning 2-1 to break a 56-year jinx in their chase for the trophy as Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.

Akwa United, who appeared in their first-ever cup final, will represent Ni­geria in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup on account of this historic Cup tri­umph.

The opening goal of the game came courtesy of Nomso Edo who put Akwa United ahead with a well-taken free kick after 36 minutes following an infringe­ment on Friday Ubong who was brought down on top of the Lobi box.

Lobi, Cup winners in 2003, chased the game after the interval, but it was Ab­dulafeez Awakan who doubled Akwa‘s lead in the 70th minute when he pow­ered home a shot beyond the goalkeeper from outside the 18-yard box.

Substitute Barnabas Imengar Junior pulled a goal back for Lobi in stoppage time from a brilliantly struck free kick.

Incidentally, both teams clashed on the final day of the Nigeria league sea­son a week ago with Akwa also winning 1-0 to stay up in the Nigeria premier league.

An elated Akwa United Coach, Za­kary Baraje told Supersport after the game that he was indeed very happy to have been part of history. “I am very happy winning the Federation Cup for the first time. In Fact, for the past 56 years of Cross River and Akwa Ibom, they have not broken this jinx until today. The governor ensured that he paid all outstanding debts before this match against Lobi and I think it re­ally motivated the players. That’s not all, even the former governor also gave the players money before the fi­nal and promised to do more for the team. We’re glad we won.”

On his future with the team, Ba­raje said Akwa United will have to fortify the team if it needs to make an impact in the CAF Confedera­tion Cup next year. “We managed our way through this season and are glad we also beat Lobi in our last game of the season 1-0 to survive the drop but going forward, Akwa United will need to go on a recruit­ment drive of quality players for next season. That’s the only reason I will stay on for the Confederation Cup,” he stated.

On his part, Lobi Stars Techni­cal adviser, Justin Tenger who until last season coached Akwa United, said his team lost the midfield and that counted against him. “We lost the midfield early to Akwa United and the players never recovered thus making it difficult to reorganise themselves. That put the defence un­der pressure but what I will advice is for Lobi to start looking for quality players for next season if they want results.”

Akwa United midfielder, Abdu­lafeez Awakan, was voted the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 Federa­tion Cup while his teammate, Friday Ubong, also picked the top scorer’s award. The forward scored six goals in the competition.

In the women’s Federation Cup final, Sunshine Queens of Akure de­feated Bayelsa Queens 3-1 on penal­ties after full time scores stood at 1-1.

Last year, Sunshine Queens lost to Rivers Angels in the Cup final.

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… Players get N4m cash for win http://sunnewsonline.com/new/players-get-n4m-cash-for-win/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/players-get-n4m-cash-for-win/#comments Mon, 23 Nov 2015 01:31:12 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=143940 PLAYERS and officials of Akwa United smiled back to their hotel last night with a handsome cash of N4m for their 2-1 victory over Lobi Stars of Makurdi in the final of the Federation Cup played in Lagos. A breakdown of the amount shows that the players earned N2m from the State governor, Emmanuel Udom [...]]]>

PLAYERS and officials of Akwa United smiled back to their hotel last night with a handsome cash of N4m for their 2-1 victory over Lobi Stars of Makurdi in the final of the Federation Cup played in Lagos.

A breakdown of the amount shows that the players earned N2m from the State governor, Emmanuel Udom who prom­ised the players a N1m for every goal and $10, 000 cash given the players at half time by Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of the state.

According to the coach of the team, Zakary Baraje, the prom­ise indeed spurred the players to go all out and make history in the Cup final.

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Enyimba pocket N30m cash prize http://sunnewsonline.com/new/enyimba-pocket-n30m-cash-prize/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/enyimba-pocket-n30m-cash-prize/#comments Mon, 23 Nov 2015 01:29:53 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=143941 ENYIMBA have pock­eted the sum of 30 million Naira (about $150,000) for win­ning this year’s Nigeria league. Skipper Chinedu Udo­ji was at the Teslim Ba­logun Stadium in Lagos on Sunday to receive a dummy cheque of the prize money from Ni­geria league boss Shehu Dikko.It is the highest amount ever paid a Ni­geria league champion. [...]]]>

ENYIMBA have pock­eted the sum of 30 million Naira (about $150,000) for win­ning this year’s Nigeria league.

Skipper Chinedu Udo­ji was at the Teslim Ba­logun Stadium in Lagos on Sunday to receive a dummy cheque of the prize money from Ni­geria league boss Shehu Dikko.It is the highest amount ever paid a Ni­geria league champion.

Enyimba topped the 20-team championship after they recorded 70 points from 38 matches.

They will represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF Champions League alongside runners-up Warri Wolves, who fin­ished their campaign four points behind Eny­imba.

 

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EL-CLASICO: Barca for real! http://sunnewsonline.com/new/el-clasico-barca-for-real/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/el-clasico-barca-for-real/#comments Sat, 21 Nov 2015 23:42:15 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=143817 Goes goalwire at Bernabeu Liverpool shocks Man City at Etihad BY GEORGE ALUO Emphatic victory! That was what Barcelona recorded last night at the Bernabeu as it beat Real Ma­drid 4-0 in a match in which her talisman, Lionel Messi made a return after a long injury induced lay off. While Barca was busy deal­ing [...]]]>
  • Goes goalwire at Bernabeu
  • Liverpool shocks Man City at Etihad

BY GEORGE ALUO

Emphatic victory! That was what Barcelona recorded last night at the Bernabeu as it beat Real Ma­drid 4-0 in a match in which her talisman, Lionel Messi made a return after a long injury induced lay off.

While Barca was busy deal­ing with Ronaldo’s Real at the Bernabeu, Liverpool humiliat­ed Manchester City in the EPL winning 4-1 at Etihad stadium.

With yesterday’s win, Barce­lona moved six points clear at the top of the La Liga log.

Luis Suarez opened the scor­ing with a beautifully taken finish after good work by Sergi Roberto, who started the game ahead of the returning Lionel Messi.

Neymar added a second goal before half-time, with captain Andres Iniesta adding the third in the second half.

Luis Enrique then brought Messi on off the bench, but it was Suarez who completed the rout with his second of the match.

At Etihad, Liverpool turned in a stunning first-half per­formance racing into a 3-0 lead that simply put the game beyond the reach of Man City.

Things started going bad early in the day for City when Eliaquin Mangala scored an own goal in the 7th minute. Philippe Coutinho and Ro­berto Firmino were on target in the 23rd and 32nd minutes. Sergio Aguero managed to pull one back for City in the 44th minute, only for Martin Skrtel to make the game safe for the Reds with only nine minutes left of play.

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Federation Cup: Emmanuel lifts Akwa with N100m ahead final http://sunnewsonline.com/new/federation-cup-emmanuel-lifts-akwa-with-n100m-ahead-final/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/federation-cup-emmanuel-lifts-akwa-with-n100m-ahead-final/#comments Sat, 21 Nov 2015 23:41:23 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=143813 BY GEORGE ALUO As Ortom donates two new buses to Lobi Akwa Ibom state gover­nor, Udom Emmanuel has moved to fire up the players of Akwa United ahead of today’s Federation Cup final against Lobi Stars at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos. Emmanuel while charging the players to do the state proud in an interactive [...]]]>

BY GEORGE ALUO

  • As Ortom donates two new buses to Lobi

Akwa Ibom state gover­nor, Udom Emmanuel has moved to fire up the players of Akwa United ahead of today’s Federation Cup final against Lobi Stars at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Emmanuel while charging the players to do the state proud in an interactive session held in Uyo disclosed that he has released N100m to the team to enable it settle all outstanding financial commitments.

The governor said he looks forward to the magnificent, Uyo Nest of Champions, hosting continental football next season. He pointed out that the state will be a good advertisement for the country when it comes to African football as it boasts the best arena in Nigeria today.

Emmanuel who promised to be in Lagos to cheer the team and God willing kiss the nation’s most glamorous soccer diadem stated:”I m sure the cup is coming to Akwa Ibom for the very first time. We are going to make history on Sunday.”

The state sports commissioner, Monday Uko while thanking the governor for his support said the team is in high spirit and would carry the form that saw them beat the same Lobi last weekend in Uyo in the Glo premier League into today’s final.

Captain of the side, Ottobong Effiong, assured fans of the club that the trophy is landing in Uyo for the very first time.

Meanwhile, a statement from Lobi Stars disclosed that Benue State governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, will lead a high powered delegation from the state to cheer Lobi Stars.

The governor, who had earlier cleared the players’ salaries and bonuses, donated two new buses to the team to boost the morale of the boys ahead of the final showdown.

The governor also urged the people of the state to support the team with their prayers while those within and around Lagos should troop to the stadium in large num­bers to cheer the team to victory.

In the women’s final, Sunshine Queens and Bayelsa Queens will slug it out in a game that is billed to kick off by 1pm.

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 I am committed to eradicating drug use in athletics –Ajunwa http://sunnewsonline.com/new/i-am-committed-to-eradicating-drug-use-in-athletics-ajunwa/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/i-am-committed-to-eradicating-drug-use-in-athletics-ajunwa/#comments Sat, 21 Nov 2015 23:40:29 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=143811 BY MONICA IHEAKAM The spate of drug bans which has seen Russia out of the the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and lately Bulgarian weightlifters is cer­tainly an issue for concern in the world of sports. In Nigeria, Olympian, Chief Chioma Ajunwa-Oparah (MON), a victim of drug ban is taking preventive steps to stall the trend [...]]]>

BY MONICA IHEAKAM

The spate of drug bans which has seen Russia out of the the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and lately Bulgarian weightlifters is cer­tainly an issue for concern in the world of sports.

In Nigeria, Olympian, Chief Chioma Ajunwa-Oparah (MON), a victim of drug ban is taking preventive steps to stall the trend in Nigerian athletics.

Through her pet project THE CHIOMA AJUNWA FOUNDATION, she has designed programmes and projects to create awareness as a way of giving back to society and educate athletes on the dangers of drug use.

Ajunwa, it would be recalled performed notably as a track and field athlete at the African Games and African Championships between 1989 and 1991, before being banned from the sport for four years after failing a drug test in 1992.

Following the completion of her drug-related ban from competition, Ajunwa went on to become the first African woman, as well as the first Nigerian, to win an individual Olympic gold medal in a track and field event. She emerged victorious in the women’s long jump event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, with a leap of 7.12m (in her first attempt) during the final.

Recently, the foundation in conjunction with the Lagos State Sports Commission, organized a competition for over 2, 000 athletes from 50 schools in Lagos and the serving officer with the Nigeria Police Force speaks on what she intends to achieve with the Foundation and bares her mind on Nigeria’s dependance on just a few athletes to win medals for Nigeria in international meets. Excerpts

What gave birth to the Chioma Ajunwa Foundation?

The Chioma Ajunwa Foundation is all about giving back to the country that made me. I started this journey four years ago, going to competition venues and schools, trying to let the children know that it is wrong for them to use drugs and banned substances.

Since I came back from the Atlanta 1996 Olympics, It has been a burning desire in my heart to set up this foundation, just to produce another Chioma Ajunwa, but the fact was that there was no money to do it and I kept on telling myself that the money can never come until you take a bold step and today I have decided to take that bold step to shape the lives of the younger generation.

For the past two to three years now, we have not been making meaningful impacts in athletics. I didn’t like it and I know that no Nigerian likes the fact that we will go to the Olympics and World Championship and return without a medal, that is what gave birth to this project .

If I can make it in sports and in life generally, any other youth, given the proper guidance, inspiration and empowerment both in cash and mentoring will also make it in life. This is what this crusade is all about.

What is the criteria for the athletes selected?

We want to focus on athletes between the ages of 9 to13 years because this when they are completely unaware about drugs and other ways of cheating during competitions. The Chioma Ajunwa Foundation will spread to other parts of the country in April next year when the second edition will take place.

The athletes have to be in school, they are all secondary school students. We are doing it to encourage them not just being an athlete but to also help in their academics. I am a strong advocate of sports and education having a synergy to help churn out world class athletes who can face the world without fear so that by the time they retire from sports internationally, they would be able to fall back to a career outside sports.

What is the fate of those discovered during the championship, does it end here or you take it further?

What we are trying to do is that those that are discovered are monitored and their performances in school, helping paying their school fees and after they come of age, we hope to take them outside to Europe and America where they will showcase their talents.

You started with Lagos, what are your expectations in the nearest future?

My expectations are to make sure that this project goes round the country. We have six geo-political zones in Nigeria and we intend to spread it to other zones but due to the condition of things in the country now, we decided to restrict it to Lagos. Hopefully by next year, we would see how we will be able to reach other parts of the country.

In 1992, you were banned for drugs and you have always insisted on your innocence, do you think Nigerian athletes get into drugs ignorantly?

Whether ignorantly or not, the most important thing for everybody to understand is that the moment something is found in your system, you are in trouble. And that is why I have taken it upon myself to swallow my pride to come out and drum it into the minds and hearts of the young athletes that drugs is not good. I have been busy campaigning against the use of banned substances as well as trying to educate our upcoming athletes, telling them that there is no need for them to use drugs to enhance their performances whether deliberately or otherwise.

Due to the problems I had with drugs as an athlete, I believe that there is no other person that can champion this crusade about advising the younger ones not to entangle themselves with banned substances other than myself.

As a product of grassroot , what do you think is the problem with our sports development?

The problem is that we have neglected the need for discovery and nurturing of talents. Somebody must act to bring attention into this direction. I believe that I am a pace setter and I am challenging my other colleagues to come out to give back to the country.

I strongly believe that we can bail Nigeria out of this embarrassment. The situation where the country will go to a big international competition and we are depending on a few athletes for medals is appalling.

I think that if we can emulate the likes of Bahamas, Jamaicans and Americans, we would record huge successes in areas of talent discovery and grooming them to stardom.

Any challenges since you took the bold step to mould future athletes for Nigeria?

Oh yes. So many challenges, doing it here in Nigeria is not as easy as you think. Here, private and corporate bodies find it difficult to come in and assist knowing fully well that by the time they key into such projects, the future of the younger generation is meaningfully channeled.

People want to see you do it first, before they can decide whether to support or not and that is why I have decided to go out and plead with private organizations and also with the Federal government, that they should key into this venture because it will help us to get as many athletes as possible. This is the kind of programme that discovered people like me and I believe that by the time we nurture this to become a success, everybody in Nigeria will be happy for it.

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