FIFA (www.FIFA.com) organized seminars for 129 match officials, on three continents; seminars were held in Asunción, Doha and Madrid, in May and June; the goal is to prepare referees to use technology only for support.
Between May 31 and June 22, FIFA held three seminars to thoroughly prepare the 36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials from the six confederations chosen to officiate at the upcoming FIFA World Cup. FIFA Qatar 2022™.
The three-day seminars saw officials from each confederation meet in Asunción, Paraguay (CONCACAF/Conmebol), Doha, Qatar (AFC/OFC/CAF), and Madrid, Spain (UEFA), led by Pierluigi Collina, president of the Committee of FIFA Referees, and Massimo Busacca, FIFA Director of Refereeing.
Match officials were put to the test in theory classes and on-field training sessions each day, allowing them to simulate and practice various live game situations.
“Our goal is to prepare the referee as best as possible to avoid the use of technology, but the technology is there to reduce the possibility of human error that could affect the outcome of a match.
Even the best referee can make a mistake; he is a human being, and we know it,” said Pierluigi Collina.
The success of the seminars on three continents was particularly pleasing considering that during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA refereeing had to move all education online (https://fifa.fans/3SUIPiX ).
36 referees, 69 assistant referees and 24 video match officials appointed for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ (https://fifa.fans/3SPG4iS) For selected match officials, their participation in the FIFA World Cup FIFA Qatar 2022™ is the ultimate realization of a professional dream.
For Danny Makkelie from the Netherlands, one that he had had since childhood.
“When I received the invitation and the confirmation that he had been selected with my team, it was an incredible feeling.
When I started as a referee, I was 12 years old and my goal was already that I wanted to reach the top, and I dreamed of the World Cup," said the Dutchman, who was also a video assistant referee at the World Cup final of the FIFA Russia 2018™ For assistant referee Karen Diaz (Mexico), she hopes to be one of six pioneering women, along with referees Stéphanie Frappart (France), Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda) and Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan), and assistant referees Neuza Back (Brazil) and Kathryn Nesbitt (USA: Participating in a men's FIFA World Cup will open up opportunities for more women.
"I feel very happy and very grateful to all the people who have given me this opportunity."
“We have to make sure that this time it doesn't become the only time women are selected, but the first of many to come."
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ is now just over 100 days away As Massimo Busacca concludes: "It's like a football team; t They have to prepare everything very well for the most important competition we have in sport.
I expect a great World Cup. We know what we are doing.
The sacrifice we are making, the seminars, talking and talking, is because we want to achieve a goal.
I'm sure the referees understand that.
their message, and they will do very well.” Living Football, July 2022 (https://fifa.fans/3SLWWr3).
Reality TV show, Big Brother Naija “Level Up” edition, has continued to dominate social media trends since the show kicked off on July 23.The News Agency of Nigeria while keeping tab on trends, noted that a “record breaking” disqualification of a housemate and other dramas generated several reactions on the social media during the week.
On Aug. 7, BBN housemate, Beauty Tukura, known as Beauty, was disqualified after actions which Big Brother described as “out of line”.
Beauty had earlier in the week been given a strike for an altercation between her and Ilebaye, during which she pulled the housemate’s wig.
Also, on Aug.6, Beauty had a misunderstanding with Groovy after the Saturday night party and threw her wig and glasses at him while she also attempted to break the housemate’s microphone.
She was eventually issued a double strike by Big Brother, which made her the first housemate to receive a strike and also get disqualified in the first week before an eviction.
On Monday, Nigerian singer, Kizz Daniel was arrested in Tanzania during his Afroclassic Tour after he did not show up for a show which he had been paid for.
The social media was agog after Kizz Daniel was seen escorted to a police station by policemen on the orders of the show promoter.
There were different reports alleging that Kizz Daniel refused to perform because his gold chain or some clothes were left behind on his previous flight.
Kizz Daniel’s Road Manager, however, in live streamed conference on Instagram with media personality, Daddy Freeze, said lack of coordination and proper arrangement of the slated event by promoters of the show led to the misunderstanding.
Kizz Daniel subsequently apologised for the incident and decided to perform at a later date for free.
While the social media was cooling off with Kizz Daniel’s arrest, reality TV show, BBN began trending after housemates Khalid and Daniella were seen making movements under the duvet.
The housemates turned lovers were wrapped under the sheets as the camera showed movements which viewers described as “aggressive cuddling”, on social media.
On Tuesday, Nollywood was once again thrown into darkness after the news of the death of 54-year-old filmmaker, Biyi Bandele, filled the air.
NAN gathered that Bandele has a yet-to-be-released work, “Elesin Oba” (the King’s Horseman),an adaptation of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s classic drama, “Death and The King’s Horseman”.
The movie which he directed for EbonyLifeFilms is slated to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF, in September.
While the industry waa mourning the death of Bandele, another Nigerian filmmaker, Otu Njama, reportedly died on Wednesday after his lifeless body was discovered in his apartment at Badore, Ajah area of Lagos.
Njama, who was said to be in his thirties was reported to have seen his doctor before he was being told to get rest which he did but did not wake up after.
On Thursday, Nigeria’s under-20 National Women’s Football Team (Falconets), trended with about 20,000 searches in anticipation of their match against France at the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose.The Falconets later defeated France 1- 0 after Flourish Sabastine converted a pass from Mercy Idoko to a late winning goal in the 85th minute.
On Friday, Nigeria striker, Asisat Oshoala, joined the trends after she was shortlisted for the 2022 Women’s Ballon d’Or Award.
Oshoala was recently crowned the 2022 CAF Women’s Player of the Year. An award she won for the fifth time to surpass other contenders.
On Saturday, English Premiere League (EPL) team, Manchester United, trended with over 500, 000 searches on Google after the team suffered a 4-0 defeat against Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.
This is, however, the team’s second loss of the new Premier League season after successful pre-season matches which had given fans hope of an interesting season.
Fans of other English football clubs have continued to troll Manchester United fans with memes suggesting that other games of the team be moved to kids channel for more serious ones to occupy the sports channel.
On the same day, Gospel singer, Mercy Chinwo, trended with over 20, 000 searches after she and her husband, Pastor Blessed Uzochikwa, tied the knot in a church ceremony.
Fans and well wishers have continued to congratulate the singer, after singer and politician, Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, shared a photo of himself and the groom on his Instagram page.
The Kwara Stadium Complex in Ilorin will soon wear a new look ahead of the 20222023 CAF Confederation Cup competition, the state FA Chairman, Idris Musa, has said.
Musa said this when he received officials of Phreestyle Sports, organisers of Amapro pre-season football competition, on Wednesday in Ilorin.
The Football Association (FA) chairman said they had secured a sponsorship deal to install grass and renovate the stadium before the commencement of the competition.
He said work on the project will commence on Aug. 15. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kwara United and Remo Stars will represent Nigeria in the CAF Confederation Cup competition, while Rivers United and Plateau United will play in the CAF Champions League.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Phreestyle, Shogo Shodunke, commended the FA for its support to the ongoing Amapro pre-season football competition.
He said that some football agents from Europe were in the state to scout for talented players.
The Kwara chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) says the continental ticket handed over to the state’s darling team, Kwara United FC, is a reward for the State Government’s commitment to the team and sports development generally.
In a statement signed by the Secretary of the association, Mr Olayinka Owolewa, on Monday in Ilorin, the association noted that the ticket was also a reward for the determination of the management to change the narrative in the state, as it concerned the club.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kwara United Football Club was listed as the second representative for the country in the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) cup competition.
Rivers United FC and Plateau United FC will play in the CAF Champions League, while Remo Stars, which ended in the third position on the final league table and fourth placed Kwara United will play in the CAF Confederation Cup. While congratulating the team, SWAN however called for early preparation for the team ahead of the bigger challenge to ensure good representation in the competition.
Kwara United FC would have to reconstitute the technical crew and as well recruit more tested players in preparation for the competition.
The body also urged the government to adequately support the club and also ensure that all the necessary infrastructure and other facilities were put in place on time ahead of the commencement of the competition.
NAN recalls that Kwara United FC had previously played in the CAF competition twice, in 19992000 and 20062007 seasons, and ending their campaigns on the two occasions in the quarter-finals.
The United States continues to lead the Women's World Ranking; Changes to the top three; A record 185 teams listed in the rankings.
July 2022 was a busy month for women's football, with five major tournaments taking place around the world.
In addition to UEFA Women's Euro 2022, continental championships were held in Africa, South America, North America and Oceania, serving as qualifying events for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™.
Since June 17, 2022, when the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking was last published, no fewer than 221 matches have been played, generating considerable movement up the rankings.
And while the USA (1st, -), recent winners of the CONCACAF Women's Championship, remain the team to catch, the Stars and Stripes have a new challenger in the form of Germany (2nd, plus 3).
The EURO 2022 runners-up overtake Sweden (third, minus 1), whose own European title ambitions came to an end in the semi-finals.
Newly crowned continental champions, England (4th, plus 4) moved up four places ahead of France (5th, minus 2).
The relegations of the Netherlands (6th, minus 2), Canada (7th, minus 1) and Spain (8th, minus 1) are the other significant changes in the Top 10 of this edition.
Like the Lionesses, South Africa (54th, plus 4) also moved up four places thanks to their 2022 CAF Women's Africa Cup of Nations title.
Semi-finalists in that tournament, Zambia (80th, plus 23) are the team that has improved the most in this edition after ascending 23 positions.
Nigeria (46th, minus 7), which surprisingly lost 1-0 to She-polopolo in the match for third place, recorded the biggest decline in terms of points (minus 69.33).
Another notable improvement in this edition is Jamaica, who achieved their highest placement (42, plus 9), after their third place in the Concacaf Championship.
Also enjoying record highs are Iceland (14 plus 3), the Republic of Ireland (26 plus 1), Portugal (27 plus 3) and Zambia.
Four new teams have joined the Ranking since June 2022: Cambodia (120, -), Turkmenistan (137, -) Timor-Leste (152, -) and Guinea-Bissau (169, -), giving the August edition of 2022 a record - breaking 185 FIFA member associations.
Click HERE (https://fifa.fans/3QhktOi) to see the full standings.
The next edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women's World Ranking will be published on 13 October 2022, ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ Draw on Saturday 22 October 2022 in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau.
Leader USA (no change) Moves into top 10 None Moves out of top 10 None Total games played 221 Most games played England, Philippines, Senegal (9 each) Most movement by points Zambia (plus 89.78) Most movement by ranks Zambia (23+ places) Biggest Drop by Points Nigeria (minus 69.33)Biggest Drop by Ranks Mexico (10+ places)Newly Qualified Teams Cambodia, Turkmenistan, Timor-Leste, Guinea-BissauTeams No Longer Qualified None
The Super Falcons of Nigeria have dropped by seven spots in the July FIFA Ranking, to be placed 46th, after ending 4th at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco.
In the ranking table published on the website of the world football governing body on Friday, Nigeria garnered 1535.09 points in the month under review and lost 69.33 points, which is the biggest decline in terms of points.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the former African champions surprisingly went down 1-0 to the She-polopolo of Zambia in the match for the third place match of 2022 WAFCON.
At the continental level, the drop in spot however did not displace the Falcons as the 1st placed team in Africa with the current WAFCON winner, South Africa placed 2nd.
Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast are the 3rd, 4th and 5th placed teams, respectively.
South Africa (54th, plus 4) moved up four places on the back of their title triumph at the 2022 CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Semi-finalists at that tournament, Zambia (80th, plus 23) are this edition’s most-improved side after surging 23 places.
At the global scene, July 2022 was a busy month for women’s football, with five major tournaments taking place across the globe.
In addition to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, continental championships were held in Africa, South America, North America and Oceania, all serving as qualifying events for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.
Since 17 June 2022, when the -Cola Women’s World Ranking was last published, no fewer than 221 matches have been played, generating considerable movement in the standings.
And while USA (1st), recent winners of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, remain the team to catch, the Stars and Stripes have a new pursuer in the shape of Germany (2nd, plus 3).
The EURO 2022 runners-up move ahead of Sweden (3rd, minus 1), whose own European title ambitions came to an end in the semi-finals.
Freshly crowned continental champions, England (4th, plus 4) moved up four places ahead of France (5th, minus 2).
Drops for the Netherlands (6th, minus 2), Canada (7th, minus 1), and Spain (8th, minus 1) are the other significant changes in this edition’s Top 10. Another notable improver in this edition is Jamaica, who achieved their highest-ever placing (42nd, plus 9), following their third-place at the Concacaf Championship.
Also enjoying all-time highs are Iceland (14th, plus 3), the Republic of Ireland (26th, plus 1), Portugal (27th, plus 3) and Zambia.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that four new teams have joined the Ranking since June 2022 namely Cambodia (120th), Turkmenistan (137th) Timor-Leste (152nd) and Guinea-Bissau (169th), giving the August 2022 edition a record-breaking 185 FIFA member associations.
Wednesday’s round of 32 matches in the 2022 Aiteo Federation Cup competition really lived up to the contest’s biggest feature of surprise element, where underdogs give no respect to big names.
The competition’s round of 64 a week earlier, where the big names make their entry, looked to be too easy for the top-flight sides from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The likes of Shooting Stars FC, who never got to the national stage, and new NPFL champions Rivers United who withdrew last week were spared the ignominy of being eliminated by underdogs though.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Wednesday’s games did the expected though, with Cup-holders Bayelsa United and former champions Rangers International being sent packing.
Two-time CAF Champions League winners Enyimba International and 20222023 CAF Confederation Cup aspirants Remo Stars were also victims after the matches threw up interesting results.
Bayelsa United, even though not in the top-flight but a big name in Nigerian football, fell to fellow Nigeria National League (NNL) side Green Berets.
Rangers International were eliminated by former fellow NPFL side Heartland FC, just like Kwara United and Remo Stars who fell to other top-flight sides.
But Nasarawa United, former continental competition campaigners, did not have it easy qualifying against Sokoto United.
They had to go through the “shooting range”, the stage where penalty kick shootouts go to the sudden death level.
Former Cup champions Bendel Insurance also had to endure a penalty kicks shootout against Ottasolo FC in order to go through.
Now, the round of 16 is expected to produce more of the surprises even though the number of underdogs still in the competition has thinned out.
Green Berets FC, Akure City Academy, Kogi United and DMD FC have top-flight opponents to contend with, but their opponents will still be wary of them.
They only need to look back at what happened in the round of 32 to keep looking over their shoulders.
The other four fixtures look well-balanced, with past meetings and association through the NPFL helping to form long-standing rivalry.
But noteworthy is the fact that eight of the 16 fixtures in the round of 32 were decided with penalty kick shootouts.
It is a pointer to what is likely to happen in this round of 16. Below are the results from the Round of 32, as well as the Round of 16 fixtures: ResultsBayelsa United 0 Green Berets 0 (4-5 penalty kicks) Enyimba International 0 Niger Tornadoes 0 (5-6 penalty kicks) Doma United 0 Lobi Stars 3 Akure City Academy 2 Bendel Insurance Feeders 1 Rangers International 1 Heartland FC 1 (7-8 penalty kicks) Sunshine Stars 5 Rovers FC 1 Cynosure FC 1 Katsina United 3 Remo Stars 0 Akwa United 3 Kogi United 2 Kanta United 2 (5-4 penalty kicks) DMD FC 0 Housing Corporation 0 (4-2 penalty kicks) Zamfara United 0 Kano Pillars 5 Fulfill FC 0 El-Kanemi Warriors 1 Kwara United 1 Wikki Tourists 1 (3-4 penalty kicks) Bendel Insurance 1 Ottasolo FC 1 (4-3 penalty kicks) Sokoto United 1 Nasarawa United 1 (10-11 penalty kicks) Fixtures Green Berets vs Niger Tornadoes Lobi Stars vs Akure City Academy Heartland FC vs Dakkada FC Sunshine Stars vs Katsina United Akwa United vs Kogi United DMD FC vs Kano Pillars El-Kanemi Warriors vs Wikki Tourists Bendel Insurance vs Nasarawa UnitedOLAL
Football Kings of West Coast Football Kings of West Coast By Chukwuemeka Opara, News Agency of Nigeria Nigerian soccer fans direly needed succour when the Super Eagles, bungled a veritable opportunity to appear in its seventh World Cup final in Qatar.
The Eagles disastrously drew 1-1 with the Black Stars of Ghana in Abuja on March 29, in one of the African playoffs for the November, 2022 mundial.
The team had drawn 0-0 with the Ghanians four days earlier in Kumasi thereby eliminated on the infamous away goals rule.
The fans were aghast, with those inside the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, going berserk.
They destroyed stadium facilities and anger was palpable across the nation.
After darkness comes light, as the old adage goes.
But there seemed to be no light at the end of this tunnel.
The distraught fans needed succour.
The Eagles next engagements were two international friendlies against World Cup bound Mexico and Ecuador in the United States of America in May and AFCON 2023 qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Sao Tome in June. There were however two sub-regional youth competitions in between: The West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone B, U-17 and U-20 championships.
In this two competitions to be hosted in Niamey, Niger Republic and Cape Coast, Ghana respectively, the two finalists would qualify for the African U-20 and U-17 championships in 2023. These were competitions of lesser magnitude, but to an average Nigerian football fan, every victory mattered.
The question sprouted: Would the Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets be ready?
The apprehension was somewhat confirmed.
The Flying Eagles only resumed camping with barely three weeks to the competition in May. Coach Ladan Bosso hurriedly invited players to camp.
He lamented the shortness of the preparatory period, but vowed to present a team which would spring surprises.
Coach Nduka Ugbade, also lamented, but made the same promise on the Golden Eaglets.
To the average Nigeria fan, the preparatory period was too short for both teams to make impact.
The interest waned.
The Flying Eagles however, kicked off the competition in Niamey with a 2-0 spanking of defending champions Ghana on May 8. The team drew 2-2 with Burkina Faso to qualify for the semi-finals, where it beat an enterprising Ivorian team 2-1 to qualify for the final.
This final qualification also earned it a berth at the African U-20 championships in Egypt in 2023. The team outclassed Benin Republic 3-1 in the final to win the competition.
The triumph took many fans by surprise.
Joy was restored even if on a minute scale.
The wish was for the Golden Eaglets to follow suit in June. The joy could perhaps be restored in full.
The Eaglets fortunately took the cue and took the WAFU Zone B, U-17 competition by storm.
The team on June 11, whitewashed hosts Ghana 4-2. It defeated Togo 3-1 to qualify for the semifinal where it humbled Cote d’ Ivoire 3-1. The team sensationally beat a stubborn Burkina Faso 2-1 in the final to win the competition.
Thus, the new kings of the West African sub region football had emerged.
The News Agency of Nigeria sought the views of football fans in Ebonyi on both teams and steps to be taken by relevant authorities to ensure that the kingship extends to the African continent and perhaps, the world.
Chaka Nweze, Pioneer Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi congratulated the Golden Eaglets for the feat, noting that they duly followed the footsteps of their immediate seniors, the Flying Eagles.
Nweze, also former Chairman of Ohaozara Local Goverment Area of the state, said the victories of both teams showed that the astute ‘can do’ spirit of Nigerians always stand them out among their peers.
Nweze said both teams showed astuteness in their resolve to win the competitions right from the preparations.
“I watched the Flying Eagles training in Abuja before the competition.
Despite the short period of preparation, they showed tenacity to succeed.
One could see aggression, commitment and efficacy in their approach.
“They dismembered teams they played in their trial matches.
The team continued from where it stopped at the competition proper and beat all opponents to emerge champions,” he said.
The soccer enthusiast said that the Golden Eaglets had a similar experience that was even more precarious.
Bosso had the luxury of picking more established players for the Flying Eagles, but Ugbade had the challenge of raising a team from a pool of rookies who are in schools and academies.
“Ugbade who captained the Eaglets to win the inaugural FIFA Kodak U-16 World Cup in 1985, also contended with the initial setback of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Most of his first team players reportedly failed the MRI scan and he had to raise a formidable team within such a short period,” he said.
The former Super Eagles fullback still raised a team which tore opponents to tatters in the trial matches and in the regional championship in Ghana, Nweze noted.
He advised coaches of both teams to sustain such domineering posture when they compete at the CAF and world championships.
Brendan Okafor, a football historian, also commended both teams for their splendid performances at the sub regional competitions and urged them to follow the steps of their predecessors who reigned in the continent and in the world.
Okafor recalled that the national youth teams which dominated the sub region in respective competitions in the past, also did so in continental and world competitions.
“The Flying Eagles that won bronze at the World Youth Championship in 1985 were the best in the sub region and won the African Youth Championship.
“The competition was then contested on a home and away basis.
The 1989 set to the competition also won the African championship then called the ‘Tessema Cup’ and gallantly lost to Portugal in the final of the World Youth Championship in Saudi Arabia.
“The 2005 set also conquered Africa en route another silver medal win at the World Youth Championship in Holland.
“The Golden Eaglets squad that took the world by storm and won the inaugural FIFA U-16 World Cup in China in 1985 were the best in Africa.
So also were the squads which also conquered the world in Japan 1993, South Korea 2007, United Arab Emirates 2013 and Chile 2015,” he said.
Okafor advised that just as the above mentioned successful teams, the coaches should retain the bulk of the players who ruled the sub region.
“We floundered in the past when teams were disbanded or their blending arrangements distorted before major competitions.
“The Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets coaches must had noticed areas of weakness and should strengthen the affected departments in their teams.
They must ensure that the players who would be drafted to fortify the teams are better than the ones they are replacing.
“There should be no place for quota system in the set-ups.
The best players, no matter their geo-political inclinations should be selected.
Undue interferences from political and related interests should be jettisoned,” he said.
Martin Agunanne, former Rangers International Feeders team player, praised the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) for appointing experienced and competent coaches for both national teams.
“Coach Ladan Bosso had garnered enough experience to assemble a formidable team.
Having failed with the Flying Eagles in 2007 and 2020, Bosso knew that this might be his last opportunity to impress as a national team handler.
“He quickly set to work with the present team and with less than three weeks to the competition in Niger Republic, produced a team that oozed talents from all departments.
“Nduka Ugbade follows in the same streak.
He was an assistant to Manu Garba when the Eaglets conquered the world in 2013. “He subsequently moved with Garba yet as assistant to the Flying Eagles in 2015. It is instructive to note that Emmanuel Amuneke who was also an assistant to Garba in 2013, went on to defend the title as the Eaglets head coach in 2015,” he said.
Agunanne advised both coaches to monitor the players who ensured victories for their teams.
“The period between these periods of conquests and the continental championships in 2023 is far and the players if not monitored, might derail.
“The players’ progress at their various clubs should be monitored to ensure that they stay fit and focused because the opposition at the continental championships would be tougher.
“The coaches should be in steady contact with the various clubs where these players ply their trades to ensure they are ready to conquer Africa and the world.
“The coaches should also use this free period to scout for players to fortify areas of deficiency and not to distort the laid down team building process,” he said.
Mrs Jane Ofoke, a teacher and football enthusiast, called for prayers and adequate support for both teams as they represent the hope of happiness.
“Between the World Cup qualification ouster and the recent floundering of the Super Falcons in the recently concluded African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Morocco, football fans had been disillusioned over our teams’ performances.
“Successes in the African U-20 and U-17 championships in 2023 will bring joy to Nigerians and keep the country in good stead of credible performances at both world championships.
The players need prayers to maintain their current form and be free from injuries.
“The NFF and the sports ministry should adequately motivate the players and officials.
A situation where the Golden Eaglets were reportedly rewarded with N40, 000 for their conquest in Ghana is appalling.
It will not motivate the players.
“The only motivating factor to them will be to excel at the competitions, to secure lucrative deals either at home or abroad.
“The coaches of both teams should be sent to refresher courses abroad to gain more exposure and be in tune with modern dynamics of the game.
Redundancy will definitely affect their abilities to compete at the continental and world levels,” he said.
Unarguably, with motivation, the two teams will maintain their lead as the Football Kings of the West Coast.
(NANFeatures) ** If used, please credit the writer as well as the News Agency of Nigeria .
The battle for a national title and a 20222023 CAF Confederation Cup ticket heightens this weekend as competition in the 2022 Aiteo Federation Cup enters the round of 64.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the annual national football competition began on Tuesday with the preliminary round fixtures.
The qualifiers have now advanced to the round of 64 to face some of the seeded teams, which include several former national FA Cup and Federation Cup winners.
Those in this category include the likes of Enyimba International of Aba, Niger Tornadoes of Minna, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, Rangers International of Enugu and Heartland FC of Owerri.
Others are El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, Bendel Insurance FC of Benin and Nasarawa United of Lafia.
They are also clubsides whose campaign in the 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) failed to yield either the title or a ticket to play on the continent next season.
Now, they have to contend with the likes of Gombe United, Sunshine Stars of Akure, Katsina United, Akwa United of Uyo, Kwara United of Ilorin and Abia Warriors of Umuahia.
They will all jostle for the remaining continental club competition ticket, with the contest becoming stiffer with the surprise element brought into it by the so-called underdogs.
Just like last year when Nigeria National League (NNL) side Bayelsa United of Yenagoa won the competition, the lower league sides are like a red light to the top-flight sides.
This time around, 26 NNL sides, as well as 15 Nationwide League One (NLO) and 15 non-league clubs, began the contest with 17 NPFL sides.
Nine of them dropped out in the preliminary round, leaving behind 64 for the first round to be played on Saturday, Sunday and Monday across the country.
With the likes of NPFL champions Rivers United of Port Harcourt, Jos-based Plateau United and Ikenne-based Remo Stars, who already have continental competition tickets, still being involved, a hell-of-a-fight looms.
From the fixtures, the biggest of the battles should be in Owerri and Ikenne, going by the status of the teams involved.
However, with the surprise element usually associated with every Cup competition, anything can happen.
In the women’s competition, defending champions Bayelsa Queens of Yenagoa will still remain the favourites to claim the title going by their new status.
They won the 20212022 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership, and still look good enough to maintain their dominance.
But Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt will be looking to emulate their state-owned counterparts Rivers United who have now been reaping several benefits for winning a national title.
Nasarawa Amazons of Lafia, Delta Queens of Asaba and Edo Queens of Benin are also seeking national relevance and the Cup competition can offer them a route to that.
NAN reports that while the men’s competition will see qualifiers advancing to the Round of 32, the women’s competition offers passage into the Round of 16.
THE FIXTURESRound of 64 (Men) —– Bayelsa United vs Osevan FC – Aba (Saturday – 4 p.
m) EFCC FC vs Green Beret FC – Minna (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Enyimba International vs Ijebu United – Benin (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Dreams FC vs Niger Tornadoes – Enugu (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Apex Crane FC vs Doma United – Old Parade Ground, Abuja (Saturday – 2 p.
m) ABS FC vs Lobi Stars – Kaduna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Nnewi United vs Akure City Academy – Warri (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Insurance Feeders vs Dannaz FC – Ilorin (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Rangers International vs ABJ FC – FIFA Goal Project, Abuja (Sunday – 4 p.
m) JM Liberty vs Heartland FC – Calabar (Saturday – 4 p.
m) FRSC FC vs Adoration FC – Ilorin (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Rivers United vs Dakkada FC – Owerri (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Sunshine Stars vs Osun United – Ikenne (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Rovers FC vs Gombe United – Makurdi (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Mailantarki FC vs Cynosure FC – Makurdi (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Saki United vs Katsina United – Minna (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Remo Stars vs ?
– Asaba (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Essien Ayi FC vs Akwa United – Aba (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Mighty Jets vs Kogi United – FIFA Goal Project, Abuja (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Kanta United vs Kebbi United – Sokoto (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Plateau United vs DMD FC – Gombe (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Housing Corporation vs Jigawa Golden Stars – Minna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Zamfara United vs Gamji Eaglets – Jos (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Kano Pillars vs Junior Niger Tornadoes – Kaduna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Fulfill FC vs Olukismet FC — Makurdi (Saturday – 2 p.
m) El-Kanemi Warriors vs Kun Khalifat – Old Parade Ground, Abuja (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Yobe Desert Stars vs Kwara United – Ranch Bees Stadium, Kaduna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Wikki Tourists vs Junior Pillars – Damaturu (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Bendel Insurance vs Junior Katsina United – FIFA Goal Project, Abuja (Saturday – 2 p.
m) Ottasolo FC vs Abia Warriors – Warri (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Ekiti United vs Sokoto United – Minna (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Eaglets FC vs Nasarawa United – ABS, Kaduna (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Round of 32 (Women) —– Bayelsa Queens vs ?
(Sunday – 2 p.
m) Brave Heart Ladies vs Niger Amazons – Lokoja (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Abruka Queens vs Paragon Soccer Academy – Benin City (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Abia Angels vs Ekiti Queens – Asaba (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Naija Ratels vs Rivers Angels – Enugu (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Imo Angels vs Nasarawa Amazons – Ilorin (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Immaculate Queens vs Maureen Madu FC – Benin City (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Salem City FC vs Confluence Queens – Ilorin (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Gallant Queens vs Honey Badgers FC – Area 3, Abuja (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Castmog FC vs Delta Queens – Ilorin (Saturday – 4 p.
m) Sunshine Queens vs Heartland Queens – Warri (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Crystal Stars vs Dannaz Ladies – Enugu (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Moje Queens vs Osun Babes – Ekiti (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Joy FC vs Royal Queens FC – Owerri (Sunday – 2 p.
m) Ibom Angels vs Edo Queens – Owerri (Sunday – 4 p.
m) Awka Angels vs FC Robo Queens – Warri (Monday – 4 p.
Viewers’ anticipation of another edition of the Big Brother Naija reality TV show had dominated the social media last week before the death of two notable actresses turned the table.
Veteran Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh while in Delta, on July 17, was said to have slumped and rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the news of her death shook the social media scene on Monday as the late actress still shared a post on her Instagram page where she was having fun, few hours before she slumped.
While her fans trooped to her page to confirm the report and silently pray against her death, another veteran Nollywood actress, Sola Onayiga was reported dead on the same day.
While Ada Ameh was popular for her role as “Emu” in the popular TV series, “The Johnsons”, Onayiga played “Ireti” in the late 90s series, “Fuji House of Commotion”.
Their sense of humour when it comes to entertainment endeared them to Nigerians, so the news of their passage made people to wonder who would fit in into their large shoes.
Mourning the death of the actresses, actor Richard Mofe-Damijo wrote on his Instagram page, “It’s been from one heart-wrenching news to another today.
As Nollywood loses two of its finest actresses.
“My path crossed with both fine actresses.
Each death reminds me of how really fragile we all are.
May the soul of the dearly departed Rest In Peace.” It was a death too many as Nollywood mourned the death of the female icons.
Actress Kate Henshaw, however, doused the tension on Tuesday, when she blessed the social media scene with her pictures in celebration of her birthday.
The 51-year-old actress shared her pictures on her Instagram page with the caption, “GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS LORD UNTO ME.
HOW YOU ARE SO MINDFUL OF ME, KEEPS ME IN AWE OF YOU.
I AM GRATEFUL FOR ANOTHER YEAR.” On Wednesday, in what seemed like a solidarity move to sympathise and mourn with Nigerians over the death of the female icons, the national grid collapsed.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that it was the seventh time the national grid will collapse in seven months.
Major electricity distribution companies had said the national grid collapsed at 11:27a.m. but did not state the cause of the collapse.
Nigerian female footballer, Asisat Oshoala again made Nigeria proud on Thursday, when she won the award for CAF Female Player of the year.
Oshoala won the award following stiff opposition from Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout Njoya and Zambia’s Grace Chanda to become the first-ever woman to win the award five times.
On Friday, Mavin Records boss, Michael Collins Ajereh, popularly known as Don Jazzy, announced the death of his mother.
Typing what he described as the “most difficult caption” on his Instagram page, Don Jazzy shared a picture of his mother and wrote; “I lost my sweet mother this morning.
The matriarch of our family.
My supporter and backbone @indianpicolo.
“I am beyond devastated.
I have never felt pain like this in my life but I am consoled by the good life she lived.
She was loved by everyone that ever met her.
“She was so strong till the last minute for us even while she battled with cancer.
“I have never typed a more difficult caption in my life.
Please pray for our mums soul to Rest In Peace and for strength for my dad, my siblings, her grandchildren and our entire family to bear this loss.” Fans, colleagues and well wishers consoled the music label boss and prayed that God grant him the fortitude to bear the loss.
Saturday came with mixed feelings as the Super Falcons lost their third place match against Zambia while reality TV show, Big Brother Naija brought the fun in consolation for the week’s turbulence.
The African champions who could not make it to the final and the Shepolopolo of Zambia needed the bronze medal match but 0 – 1 scoreline saw the Super Falcons leave the competition without the medal.
The much anticipated seventh season of the Big Brother Naija show tagged “Level Up” priemeired with 12 housemates making it into the house already.
In what the organisers described as a double launch weekend, viewers are expecting more housemates and more fun from the reality show.