Kwara United FC has redeemed its pledge to players after their qualification for the next stage in the ongoing TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup competition.
The team defeated AS Douanes of Niger Republic 3-0 in Nigeria, and played out a goalless draw in Niamey on Sunday to scale through the competition.
Before the battle of Niamey, the team’s management, led by the Chairman, Kumbi Titiloye, had promised the players N2m cash gift if they qualified for the next round of the competition.
The General Manager of the club, Bashir Badawiy, in his message to the players at the training session, said the pledge had been redeemed, while efforts were being intensified to have the bonuses paid.
While commending the players for the qualification, he reminded them of the bigger challenges ahead, especially their next opponent, RSB Berkane of Morocco.
Also the Kwara United will play the Moroccans in the first leg at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos on Oct. 9, with the return leg fixed for Oct. 15, in Morocco.
Badawiy therefore, charged the players to be more committed, as the management, with the support of the government, would keep motivating them to do their best.
He commended the Governor, Malam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for his regular support to the team which enabled it to perform optimally.
The general manager also commended the Executive Chairman of the State Sports Commission, Malam Bola Mogaji, for his support to the team.
“This is Kwara United FC’s third appearance in CAF competitions, having played in CAF Cup in 19992000 and in 20062007 seasons” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the united team emerged fourth in the 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season to qualify for the continental engagement.
NAN also reports that the club has been tipped alongside Remo Stars, who were now out for the competition to represent Nigeria in the Confederation Cup.
The management of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu has announced the appointment of defender Uche John as the club’s captain in the forthcoming 20222023 season.
The club, in a statement by Norbert Okolie, its Media Officer said John’s appointment was as a result of his unanimous selection by teammates.
It said his selection was at a brief ceremony after the team’s training session on Tuesday.
“After his selection, the club’s Administrative Secretary, Ferdinand Ugwuarua, charged him to lead by example as much was expected of him both on and off the pitch in leading the team to achieve its set target for the new season.
” The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defender will be assisted by midfielder Ugochukwu Ugwuoke, while Ebuka Anthony was appointed as the second assistant skipper.
The statement disclosed also that the club’s Technical Adviser, Abdul Maikaba, while speaking on the development, urged the players’ leaders to show leadership by example.
Maikaba expressed the belief that the new team leaders would lead by example as much was expected from them, especially John the new skipper.
“I expect John to use his wealth of experience in the league to guide others to ensure we achieve our set target for the season,” he said.
NAN reports that John took over from Tope Olusesi and has featured in more than 60 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches from 2016 to 2022 for Enyimba and Rangers International.
“This is really a big task put on my shoulders.
But I am ready to lead by example and be a good link between players, coaches and management.
“With the support of all, I am sure that we shall deliver the expected goods at the end of the season.
”I am humbled by this additional task and by God’s grace, I will not disappoint those behind this choice,” John said in his reaction to the development.
The Technical Adviser of Kwara United Football Club, Coach Abdulazeez Mohammed, says the club has a crucial 90 minutes of battle in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Mohammed said the play is still a crucial hurdle to cross for his team in the Preliminary Stage of the competition, with the second leg tie against AS Douanes.
Kwara United FC will square up against the Niamey-based side in the return leg of the ongoing 20222023 TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup competition on Sunday, with their nose in front owing to the 3-0 first leg win in Lagos on Sunday.
But for coach Mohammed it’s not over, until it’s finally over.
“We will try to go and get qualification in Niamey, because the job is not done yet.
“We still have crucial 90 minutes ahead of us.
We will go there and play to get the ticket to the next stage.
“Our targets are to play and earn a clean sheet, and also qualify.
We are going there to attack, and that’s why I told my strikers to ensure that any ball that comes to them counts.
“We got three goals in the first leg, all goals coming in the first half, and I will say it’s normal in African perspective.
We are trying to change the mentality of the players, because, we are supposed to get more than three goals in the match.
“In Niamey, my players will need to keep their heads, and play according to our plan and targets.
We have trained hard ahead of the battle of Niamey,” he said.
The match will hold at the Stade General Senyi Kountche, and the winner over the two legs to play Morrocan side, Berkane, in the next stage.
This is Kwara United FC’s third appearance in CAF competitions, having played in CAF Cup in 19992000 and in 20062007 seasons.
Kwara United FC finished fourth in the 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, and tipped alongside Remo Stars, to represent the country in the Confederation Cup.
Kwara United Football Club players have been charged to do the country and state proud in Niamey, as they prepare to play AS Douanes of Niger Republic in the return leg of the CAF Confederation Cup. The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Wasiu Jimoh scored twice and Samson Paul the other scorer as Kwara United battered the Nigerien team on Sunday in Lagos at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena.
Kwara United FC will take centre stage against the visitors at the Stade General Senyi Kountche, a natural grass pitch, on Sunday.
The Head of Delegation, Malam Bola Mogaji, while delivering Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaqr’s message on Thursday in Ilorin, told the players that they are ambassadors of Nigeria and Kwara.
“You are the ambassadors of the country and our dear state, Kwara.
Go to Niamey and finish the job you started in the first leg.
“With 3-0, you have lessened your job out there, but that shouldn’t give you the room to be complacent.
“Our governor is highly concerned about Kwara United FC, and he is doing everything possible for the team.
“We must play well, win well, to justify the huge investment on the team.
“In the first leg, you couldn’t score in the second half because you are complacent.
I want you to go to Niamey, take all your chances, score as many goals as possible.
Be aggressive in front of goal.
It’s very important.
“We are bargaining for nothing less than victory because we have worked for it, we have prayed for it, and have trained hard for it.
We pray God to be on our side on Sunday in Niamey,” he charged.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the winner, over the two legs, will play Moroccan side, Berkane, who are the current holders of the Confederation Cup title.
NAN recalls that this is Kwara United FC’s third appearance in CAF competitions, having played in CAF Cup in 19992000 and in 20062007 seasons.
Kwara United FC finished fourth in the 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, and tipped alongside Remo Stars, to represent the country in the Confederation Cup.
The Niger Government has called on the state-owned Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna to justify government investment on the team by topping the 20222023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to secure continental ticket.
Alhaji Mammam Musa, the state Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, made the call on Thursday in Minna, while unveiling 15 new players for the 20222023 NPFL season.
“I want to commend you for finishing 12th in the just concluded 20212022 season of the NPFL.
“It is not too bad and it is not too good.
I want to commend you and also urge you to improve on the position to justify government investment on you.
“We want you to improve by topping the league and secure a continental ticket,” he said.
Musa who was represented by Alhaji Baba Sheshi, Director of Sports in the state Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, assured the new players that government was committed to their welfare packages, hence the need to put up good performance.
“I want to reassure you that we have enough budgetary provision that will take care of your salaries, allowances and other entitlements.
“As I speak now, we have paid Niger Tornadoes players their salaries up to last month, go and verify,” he said.
He called on the players to demonstrate commitment, loyalty and discipline to enable them to succeed in the task ahead.
“You know that without this three qualities you can not be a successful player,” he said.
The Commissioner told the new players that the club was one of the precious jewels of the state, hence the people held it in high esteem.
“Therefore for you to have been chosen to represent over four million people in the state, you should count yourself very fortunate,” he said.
He expressed concern over the inability of the state government to upgrade the existing Bako Kontagora Memorial Stadium, to enable the club play home matches in Minna.
“I want to assure you that the state government is doing everything possible to ensure that Niger Tornadoes play their home matches in Minna by next year,” he said.
Musa urged the management of the club to be committed to welfare of players and staff, to get the desired result.
Similarly, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf, the state Football Association (FA) Chairman, promised that the body would support the club to succeed.
Earlier, Coach Bala Abubakar, the club’s Technical Adviser who promised to work hard to secure a continental ticket, appealed to government to give the team the needed financial support.
“On behalf of the technical crew and players, I am appealing to the state government and management for financial support to top the league and win a continental ticket,” he said.
Abubakar said that the club was working to set a standard for other clubs in the NPFL to follow by making the welfare package of players public.
“We want to set the pace by making the contractual agreement of our players public for other clubs to emulate,” he said.
He explained that in the 20212022 league season, the club registered 40 players and later dropped 10, while five left the club for greener pastures, hence the recruitment of 15 new players to beef up the team.
The Coach used the opportunity to dispell the rumour making rounds in the state that he was recruiting players and negotiating their entitlements.
“I want the public to know that there is a technical negotiation committee for Niger Tornadoes.
“The Team Manager is the Chairman of the committee, the Secretary of the management committee is the secretary of the committee, while I am just a member,” he said.
Also, Babatunde Solomon, a new player contracted from Offa United in Kwara, assured that the players would work as a team to top the 20222023 NPFL to get continental ticket.
“The morale is high, I like what I met on ground,” he said.
Officers from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Thursday sealed off the office of the League Management Company (LMC) in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no fewer than 10 police officers arrived at the entrance of the LMC office early in the day to seal up the premises.
They took up places to bar workers and visitors from entering the office located at 20, Osun Crescent in the Maitama District, after arriving with a van and two patrol cars.
The officer leading the team of policemen, after refusing to reveal his identity, told NAN they were instructed from the Force Headquarters to seal off the LMC office.
He also said they were given orders not to allow newsmen take pictures of the scene.
”Anyone who wished to do so will have to get a permit from the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) before he or she could be granted access,” the officer added.
NAN reports that the order to seal off the LMC office may not be unconnected with the directive on Friday by the Federal Government.
The directive, passed through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, had advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to immediately withdraw LMC’s operating licence.
The LMC had since 2012 been the sole operator of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The directive, in a statement signed by Ismaila Abubakar, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, had said government was constrained to withdraw its recognition of the LMC.
This, it said, was in view of the several unpleasant incidents regarding the management of the country’s professional football league.
The NFF was also directed to set up an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to run the league pending the time the clubs would run it themselves.
NAN reports that NFF, as at Thursday, was yet to react to the directive as well as the sealing off of the LMC office.
Kwara United Football Club of Ilorin on Sunday began their 20222023 CAF Confederation Cup campaign with a 3-0 win over visiting AS Douanes of Niger Republic.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the match, a first leg match in the preliminary round of the competition, was played at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos.
Kwara United drew the first blood in the fifth minute when Samson Paul followed up Wasiu Jimoh’s rebound effort to tap home at close range.
The hosts controlled most of the proceedings and were dictating the pace of the game with Issa Gata leading with his mesmerising display in the middle of the pack.
The centre referee awarded a penalty kick in the 17th minute when a player of AS Douanes was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the goal area.
Jimoh scored the penalty kick, even though the visitors’ goalkeeper Omar Halidou got the direction.
But the ball was too fast for him to stop the match’s second goal from being recorded in the 18th minute.
Kwara United maintained their dominance of the match and kept the pressure on for most part of the first 45 minutes.
With four minutes left on the clock before the break, Kwara United added the third goal of the match.
Gata won possession in the dangerous area before gaining advantage to score with a powerful shot.
Even though rain affected the flow of the game in the first half, the second half was more competitive as the visitors troubled the hosts in the midfield.
The visitors’ attempts to reduce the tally was always thwarted by the resilient efforts of the duo of Ayodeji Bamidele and Abiodun Adebayo in the Kwara United defence.
NAN reports that the return leg match will hold at the Général Seyni Kountché Stadion or Stade Municipal in Niamey, Niger Republic next Sunday.
The winners over the two legs will face Moroccan side Berkane, who are the current holders of the Confederation Cup title.
This is Kwara United FC’s third appearance in CAF competitions, having played in the CAF Cup in the 19992000 and 20062007 seasons.
Kwara United FC finished fourth in the 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, and joined Remo Stars to represent Nigeria in the 20222023 Confederation Cup.(
Victor Baribote, a former chairman, Nigeria Premier League (NPL), has thrown his weight behind the Federal Government’s directive on the withdrawal of the League Management Company’s (LMC’s) operational licence.
The Federal Government had on Friday advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to immediately withdraw LMC’s licence as operators of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
A statement by Ismaila Abubakar, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, awakened stakeholders to this development early Friday.
Abubakar said government was constrained to withdraw its recognition of the LMC as the operator of the NPFL with immediate effect.
This, he said, was in view of the several unpleasant incidents regarding the management of the football league in the country.
Baribote who spoke with NAN on Sunday in Abuja, described the LMC as an illegal conception aborted by legality.
He wondered why some group of people were crying foul over the federal government’s directive and lamented the fact that Nigerians were not good students of history.
“Why all these noise about LMC?
Some of us are not good students of history.
I think the question we should ask ourselves is how did the so-called LMC come into existence?
“An elected Board of the NPL was unconditionally removed in the middle of the night when responsible Nigerians were sleeping by a group of people who gathered in the name of purported Congress.
“This they did without any of the Board members present and the Minister masterminded the Coup and heaven did not fall against this illegality of the highest order.
“Today if another Minister seeing the realities on ground decided to put a stop to an act that is not known to the laws of the land I don’t see anything wrong with such an action,” he said.
He argued that it was wrong for one to use an instrument of government to source for funds and still be the one to spend such funds in running his private company registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Baribote who is also a one-time Second Vice president of the NFF, pointed out that government reserves the right to say it doesn’t recognise the LMC as a body under the Federal Ministry of Sport.
“Bear in mind that the LMC is not one of the five members of the NFF as clearly stated in Article 10. 1 of the Statutes of the NFF 2010 as amended .
“The Minister for Sports is only exercising his over sight function over Sports, including but not limited to the NFF in consonance with Article 1.1 of the NFF Statutes for ease of reference reproduced here.
“The NFF is a private organisation of an associative nature in compliance with the laws of Nigeria it is register for unlimited period” and this provision is approved by FIFA.
“Who over see sports as contained in our constitution which the NFF have willingly submitted themselves and APPROVED by FIFA?
of course the sports Minister,” he said.
He stressed that it was within the purview of the Sports Ministry not to recognize the LMC and so direct the NFF to withdraw the license that was wrongly contracted to the LMC.
“Again take a look at page 3 of the NFF Statutes second to the last paragraph “ NPL” means “ Nigeria Premier League “, the body subordinate and dully recognised by NFF and responsible for the organisation of Premier League Football in Nigeria “ “Furthermore, Article 78 sub(2) also states: “ The Executive Committee may delegate to NFF’s subordinate Leagues the authority to organize competitions.
“The competitions organised by the Leagues shall not interfere with those competitions organized by NFF.
Competitions organized by NFF shall take priority” “Even the Court cannot but help one to enforce an illegal contract.
“It is therefore within the purview of the Sports Ministry not to recognise the LMC and so direct the NFF to withdraw the license that was wrongly contracted to the LMC.
“So why are we making a heavy weather out of nothing?
,” Baribote said.
Malam Saliu Mustapha, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Kwara Central Senatorial district in the 2023 general elections, has announced financial reward for Kwara United FC ahead of the team’s first round match against AS Douanes of Niger Republic on Sunday in Lagos.
In a statement by the candidate in Ilorin on Saturday, he pledged $500 for each goal scored by the team against the Nigeriens, and an additional $10,000 for the 26-member team if they advance through to the group stage, “as well as a more generous cash prize if they win the tournament”.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the APC candidate, who is also the Turaki of Ilorin Emirate, in August at the request of Kwara United FC management, sponsored a ‘open gate’ for supporters and football enthusiasts in the state to watch for free the team’s final home game against Mountain of Fire FC in the 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Expectedly, the Kwara United FC, also known as Harmony Boys, victoriously defeated their opponents 3-0 in the match.
“In addition, I have directed my team to make adequate transportation arrangements, in collaboration with the Kwara United Supporters’ Club, for those who may be willing but unable to attend the match live in Lagos.
“Regular tickets will also be made available for free to the contingents.
“This is my modest way of supporting Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s vision of always elevating Kwara through sports and other endeavours.
“It is my expectation that this financial reward will motivate Kwara United FC team to achieve greatness, which has been their hallmark for many years, and to represent Kwara and Nigeria in the continental competition,” Mustapha said.
He urged all soccer-loving Nigerians in Lagos and its environs to come to the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, on Sunday to cheer up the team and make the second leg in Niamey on Sept. 18, a formality.
Kwara United Football Club of Ilorin has fixed ticket prices for their TotalEnergies Confederation Cup match against AS Douanes of Niger Republic.
The General Manager of the Club, Bashir Badawiy, who said this on Friday while addressing newsmen, said the match is scheduled for Sunday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos.
According to him, the tickets are in three categories of Very Very Important Person (VVIP), Very Important Person (VIP) and popular side.
The VVIP is N3, 000, VIP is N1, 000 while the popular side goes for N500. He said arrangements were in top gear to ensure a hitch-free game, adding that the players are in high spirit ahead of the crucial game.
AS Douanes of Niger Republic arrived Lagos on Thursday night ahead of the first leg, first round encounter expected to kick-off by 3.00pm on Sunday.
The return leg match will hold at the Général Seyni Kountché Stadium Stade Municipal de Niamey, Niger on Sept. 18. The winner, over the two legs will play Moroccan side, Berkane, who are the current holders of the Confederation Cup title.
This is Kwara United FC’s third appearance in the CAF competition, having played in the CAF Cup in 19992000 and in 20062007 seasons.
United finished fourth in the 20212022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season and were tipped alongside Remo Stars FC of Ogun, to represent the country in the Confederation Cup.