Wikki Tourists Football Club of Bauchi on Wednesday in Abuja defeated Kwara United FC of Ilorin to advance to the round 16 of the ongoing 2022 Aiteo Federation Cup competition.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the round of 32 match was played at the FIFA Goal Project pitch of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.
Wikki Tourists won 4-3 after a penalty kicks shootout which followed a 1-1 draw at full time.
Alao Dabani of Kwara United had opened scoring in the 10th minute of the game, while Victor Dawa drew Wikki Tourists level in the 35th minute.
Speaking after the match, the coach of Wikki Tourists, Kabiru Dogo, said he was happy his team have now moved to the next round of the competition.
“The two teams played a good match, and that is why we needed a penalty shootout to determine the winners.
“My players did well, and I thank them because they fought hard to excel during the penalty shootout and they also worked very well during regulation time.
“But we thank God that we are the better side, and victory is ours,” he said.
Dogo however said they would go back and prepare for the next level of the competition.
“We will go back home and prepare for the next game which must also be a win on our favour,” he said.
Misbahu Didi, the President of Para-Soccer Federation of Nigeria (PFN), says the renaming of Abuja National Stadium after the late Moshood Abiola is a welcome development in the country’s sports sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari renamed the Abuja National Stadium after the late Abiola during the inaugural Democracy Day celebration on Wednesday in Abuja.
Didi, while reacting to the development on Thursday in Abuja said the late Abiola, popularly referred to as M.K.O. Abiola, deserved the honour because he contributed immensely to Nigeria’s sports development.
“Philanthropists in the country should emulate Abiola’s virtues as a pillar of sports, so that sports can improve in the country.
“With this, President Buhari has indeed recognised and remembered M.K.O’s efforts in the development of sports in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Didi however appealed to President Buhari to show more concern and support for sports in the country so as to further enhance the development of the sports industry in Nigeria.
“Every sports federation has about five events in their line-up of programmes, but they cannot execute them because of lack of funding.
“The Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the philanthropists nowadays cannot sponsor sports activities single-handedly, and this makes governments to be our last resort for support.
“Now we don’t have philanthropists like M.K.O. Abiola anymore to sponsor and support sports activities in Nigeria, and this is killing our sports presently.
“But if the Federal Government, the NGOs and the philanthropists can join hands together to invest in the development of sports, Nigeria can compete with any country in the world.
“We have the raw talents who can represent the country and make us proud, but how are we going to discover them if there are no funds to organise competitions at the zonal and national levels,” he said.
(Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye and Olawale Alabi)
Elisha Musa, a sports official in the FCT, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s act of renaming Abuja National Stadium as Moshood Abiola National Stadium is very good for the facility.
Musa who is the Sports Officer of Kuje Area Council in the FCT told the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Kuje that the honour was deserved.
He said this was in view of the late M.K.O. Abiola’s contributions to sports development in Nigeria and Africa.
“Naming the Abuja National Stadium after Abiola is a good decision and it will help for easy identification, just as we have Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, among others.
“The late Abiola did so much for sports development in Nigeria and was a key supporter of sports activities at the national and grass roots levels,’’ Musa said.
He added that President Buhari’s pronouncement at the Democracy Day celebration at Eagle Square in Abuja on Wednesday was a welcome development to sports-loving Nigerians.
NAN reports that President Buhari had announced the change of name in honour of the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election.
The sports officer, however, called on the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to complete the abandoned Kuje Township Stadium to encourage grassroots sports in the area.
He added that the abandoned stadium, if completed, could host Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches, as well as track and field competitions and other local league matches.
“The stadium is with a capacity of about 20,000, and when completed will encourage grass roots sports development, as well as massive social and economic activities in the area.
“Sports is the only language understood by many people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds.
“We need to have a modern stadium in Kuje. Whenever it rains, we find it very difficult to watch and play football matches on the pitch we have now, because it has been abandoned for too long,’’ Musa said.
(Edited by Mustapha Lamidi and Olawale Alabi)