Thursday, 30 April 2015

Iheanacho Inspires City EDS To IPL Final


Nigeria wonder kid Kelechi Iheanacho goal in the second half inspired Manchester City Elite Development Squad (EDS) to a thrilling 3-2 extra-time semi-final win over Leicester on Thursday in an International Premier League (IPL) Cup to book a date with FC Porto in the final.


After making an impressive goalscoring comeback in the FA Youth Cup final loss to Chelsea last weekend, Kelechi Iheanacho hit the target once again for City EDS at the club Academy stadium yesterday against Leicester City as he scored his second goal in four days.


City EDS came from a goal down to record the thrilling victory after a below average performance in the first 45 minutes, thanks to Kelechi Iheanacho who came in as a super substitute and changed the fortune of the game for City with a 57 minutes equaliser.


The visitors retake the lead with Panayiotou scoring his second goal in the game six minutes after Inheanacho’s cancelled out his first goal.


However,Jose Angel Pozo who was a torn in the flesh for the visitors found a second City equaliser with six minutes to end the game when he ran onto Inheanacho’s through ball and slamming home definitively, his goal took the game to extra-time where the Blues  dominated both half of the extra time.


City got their reward for hard work after 107 minutes as Kelechi’s fellow second half substitute Manu Garcia slammed home the winner for City.

City EDS sets up a mouthwatering cup final against the Portuguese giants and a shot at the first piece of silverware in Patrick Vieira’s EDS reign.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

NNL Resumption Date May Be Shifted For The Third Time


The Nigeria National League (NNL)  which is to kick off this weekend may be postponed for the third time according to a top source who pleaded to be anonymous.



The second tier league in Nigeria is scheduled to get underway this weekend but the situation on ground may force the league organisers to shift the resumption date by  due to late registration of some teams. 




The league has witnessed postponement on two occasions might be postponed for at least a week in other to enable participating  teams finish up their registration. 



According to the source who wants to remain anonymous, disclosed that the league might see a new date once again. 



"As I speak to you now the league might be postponed cause we still have like 10 teams who are yet to complete their registration by one reason or the other and we cant start the league without the teams completing their registration.



So its looking like we give them a grace of one week and after that we start the league. 



"We just have to accommodate the participating teams to finish up their registration and hopefully we have a itch free season". He said. 


The NNL board adopted an  abridged league format for the 2014/2015 season with four different groups from across the country.

WOMEN FOOTBALL: Confluence Queens Chaiman Confident Of Good Outing Against Delta Queens

Chairman of Confluence Queens Football Club, Mallam Abdul Sule has expressed optimism on the chances of his girls ahead of this weekend Nigeria Women Premier League opener against Delta Queens in Oleh.

Confluence Queens have been handed the toughest draw of the NWPL group A week 1 fixtures with an away match against Delta Queens tipped as one of the contenders for the group.Sule has affirmed that the Wada Queens are up to the task even as he praised the Delta Queens as one of the top side in the league. 


“For Confluence Queens, we are up to the challenge against Delta Queens, I know they are a good side but with the qualities in our team, I'm optimist we remain the best Queens in the league.


Asked if playing away in the week 1 fixture is a problem, the former Super Eagles star replied, “We can play anywhere, be it at home or away from home, it doesn't matter. What is most important is for the players to put in their best and compliment our efforts.


“Last season, we played our first match away to Bayelsa Queens where we picked a point. I believe we can do better this time around.


“Beating Delta Queens at home is realistic, it's not an impossible mission because I know we have the team to achieve that. Our target this season is to be one of the best, if not the best"the ex Stationery Stores forward concluded.

WOMEN BASKETBALL: Christiana Set New Record In Zenith Basketball League

Christiana Issac, the IGP Queens guard continued her hot shooting form to set a Nigerian Female Basketball league record of 71 points in two nights as she nailed 35 points and 5 assists as the Inspector General of Police Queens powered to an impressive 83-23points win over GT2000 to record their 2nd victory in 4 games at the 2015 Zenith Bank basketball league holding at the National Stadium, Abuja.



The Police girls dominated all through taking a 48 points lead into the half time break (50-12), and then outscoring their opponents in the 2nd 36-11 to coast to victory. Nancy Jonathan also added 12 points and 4 assists for the IGP Queens as they get set to observe their break tomorrow.



In other results from Tuesday, former 4 times champions, First Deepwater held on to a 3 points victory after a fierce fight back from Benue Princess to win 40-37. While experienced Delta Force powered by Uchechi Agbotan's 22 points and Esther Igben's double double -17 points and 12 rebounds ensured they blew out Coalcity Angels 64-12.



Sunshine Angels of Akure got back to winning ways with a 57-36 points win over Immigration while Plateau Rocks and Nasarawa Amazons got their first win of the campaign with a 45-31 and 42-6 points win over Oluyole Babes and Zamfara Babes respectively. 

NPFL Attends First Ever Global Leagues Meeting In London, Calls Income Redistribution

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was among the 24 leading Professional League organisations from across the world of football
that met in London on Tuesday, April 28 for the first ever Global Leagues Forum.



This historic meeting brought together Presidents, Chairmen, Chief Executives and General Secretaries from Professional Leagues that represent over 1100 of the world’s top Clubs. Professional Leagues from Bolivia, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany,Honduras, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, UAE, USA, as well as the European Professional Football Leagues Association, were represented. Players of clubs in these leagues provided just under 90 per cent of the players who took part in the FIFA World Cup 2014.



In the NPFL delegation including Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko and Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Nduka Irabor, made a strong case for the redistribution of incomes derived by the developed Leagues from the Nigerian territory.



The discussion between the leaders of Professional League football was wide ranging and focussed on strategies for the successful development of Professional League football in each of their countries. These focussed on relationships with players and fans in particular, and Professional League business models.



Dikko said he was very hopeful that some of the contacts made would soon begin to yield dividend particularly in the areas of human capacity development and technical overhaul of the game.



"The LMC Is absolutely delighted to be part of this inaugural meeting as a pioneer member of the forum. This clearly signifies that the LMC is making huge progress and in the right direction to be so recognized on a global scale.



"The contacts made will surely impact positively on our efforts to improve on the fortune of the NPFL", Dikko said.



According to Renata Affonso, the Planning and Projects Manager of the Conference, it is recognised that whilst all Professional Leagues are different, the issues they face are the same as each looks to develop the professional game in their country. The World Leagues Forum thus provided a platform for sharing of experiences and approaches, with established Leagues committing to assisting developing Leagues across the world.




The Leagues agree that wherever a common view on issues can be achieved, Leagues should speak with a single voice, as leading members of the global football family. A focus of the next meeting in the USA (19-20 October 2015) will be on formalising a new way of working more closely together.

Photo: LMC

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

LMC named Ishaku Ibrahim As NPFL Match Day 6 Referee of The Week

The League Management Company (LMC) has announced Referee Ishaku Ibrahim from Kogi State as the Glo Premier League Match Day 6 Referee of the Week.

Ishaku officiated in the match between Sunshine Stars and Wikki Tourists in Akure for which he was praised for his firmness, fairness and correct calls.

"We commend Mr. Ishaku Ibrahim for his sterling display which our Match Delegate and the away team officials acknowledged. The LMC will continue to reward excellence to encourage others to raise their game", Salihu Abubakar, the LMC Chief Operating Officer said.

Sunshine Stars came from behind twice to defeat Wikki Tourists in the highly contested encounter.

Photo: LMC

Monday, 27 April 2015

WOMEN FOOTBALL: Sunday Uchechi Brace Wins It For Minsk BWPL


Nigerian striker Uchechi Sunday Lopez continued her rich vein of form as she grabbed a brace in Minsk's 2-0 win at Bobruichanka on Sunday.



The 20-year-old opened the scoring in the 24h minute before she doubled the lead two minutes before the hour mark.


Uchechi has now netted five goals in two matches in the 2015 Belarus Women Premier League season. She is the top-scorer of the BWPL.


Other Nigerians on the payroll of Minsk are Onome Ebi, Gift Otuwe, Esther Sunday and Ishola Tawa.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

We Will Work Harder - Dolphins FC Coach


 

After the 2-0 loss to Akwa United in Uyo on Sunday, Dolphins coach, Stanley Eguma has promised that he and his team will work harder.

 

Eguma described it as a good game but adds that he will not blame his players for the penalty they conceded in the first half but adds that they lost concentration.

 

“The loss of concentration cost is the game but I have to exonerate them for the penalty.

 

“They fought hard but couldn’t control that penalty they conceded. I think it wasn’t a bad game. We have lost today but we must go back and work harder for subsequent games,” Eguma said

 

Zachary Baraje of Akwa United said he will only agree that things are even when they go away from home to get a point or three.

 

“Today’s victory will certainly help in building the confidence my boys are losing, but by the time we pick a point away, I think I will have a better team,” Baraje said.

 

Dolphins next play Lobi Stars in Port Harcourt on Sunday, May 3, 2015.

Friday, 24 April 2015

South West Rugby League Resume This Weekend

Nigeria Rugby Football Federation vice-president, Olatunji Fasimoye has stated that the body in conjunction with ‘Friends of Rugby’ have put in the necessary modalities for a smooth take off of the second-round phase of the South-West League kicking off this weekend inside the mainbowl of the Lagos National Stadium.



Speaking during the media chat held at the media center situated inside the National stadium, Fasimoye assured all clubs of fairness and new innovations in the second half of the season as he revealed that all grievances and complaints have been reviewed with a view of improving the standard of the league.



Fasimoye who stood in for the President, Sir Edward Fom Pam stated that all the south-west rugby clubs including Royal Stallions of Ilorin have all indicated their readiness to continue in their quest to upstage Cowrie RFC from the top spot.



In the interactive session, Fasimoye outlined the games schedules of the upcoming league stanza with each team expected to play seven more matches as he urged the participating clubs to be disciplined and abide by the rules governing the fast rising sport in Nigeria.



He complained to sports writers that sponsorship has not been forthcoming despite numerous letters, proposals and meetings held with individuals and corporate organizations as he thanked 'Friends of Rugby' led by CMB  for the progress recorded so far.




Eight teams are expected to storm the mainbowl on Saturday with Cowrie Rugby Club leading the pack with 35 points.



Other teams include Police Rugby Club, Royal Stallion, Racing RFC, Eko II, Gosah RFC Hawkster Athletics and Lagos RFC.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

WOMEN FOOTBALL: Abdul Sule Tasks Confluence Queens

Chairman of Confluence Queens FC, Mallam Abdul Sule has emplored the Wada Queens to put in more efforts and remain focused ahead of the 2014/15 Nigeria Women Premier League season with draws fixed for Wednesday 22nd May 2015 at the FIFA Goal Project Centre in Abuja.



Speaking through the club spokesperson Ojo Tosin, Sule made the call while addressing the players after their training session at the Lokoja Confluence Stadium on Monday.



“Our target this season is to finish among the best clubs in the NWPL. I know we have the quality. The motivation to perform is there but everyone must play significant roles, it's very important.''



Abdul Sule who replaced Mallam Abdul Adama as the club chairman is fully aware of the task ahead.



“We have set targets for this season. And we must remain focused, and work as a team to achieve our aims. Success don't come easy. To be at the top, you must work hard for it.”



Last season, Confluence Queens finished fifth last season behind the likes of Rivers Angels, Pelican Stars, Sunshine Queens and  Osun Babes.



They are among the teams that will battle for the 2014/15 NWPL abridged league.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Ogunmuyiwa Hails NFF President As He makes History

Nigerian Referee Jelili Ogunmuyiwa was full of praises for NFF President, Amaju Melvin Pinnick after making history on Sunday as the first Nigerian in decent memory to take charge of a CAF Championship final.



Ogunmuyiwa, 36, was selected by the Confederation of African Football to take charge of the final match of the 2015 African Beach Soccer Championship, between Madagascar and Senegal in Victoria, Seychelles.



An international referee since 2008, Ogunmuyiwa almost missed the tournament as Immigration officials moved to stop him from boarding the flight to Seychelles in Lagos, because he did not have an entry visa into the Indian Ocean Island, venue of the competition.



“I am so, so happy to officiate the final match in Seychelles. It is a dream come true for me. But it would have remained just a dream if not for the intervention of the NFF President, Mr. Amaju Pinnick. He personally intervened with the Immigration people to allow me board the flight to Seychelles, explaining to them that I have a letter from CAF and that I would be given my visa on arrival.



“The NFF President’s personal efforts and that of the new Board are working well for Nigeria football. I want to sincerely appreciate him.”



In Seychelles, Ogunmuyiwa, described by NFF Consultant on Refereeing and FIFA Technical Advisor (Refereeing), Mr Linus Mba as one of the best referees Nigeria can boast of at the moment, was 1st Referee for the matches between Senegal and Morocco, Ghana and Morocco, Seychelles and Egypt and Morocco and Seychelles, before taking charge of the final, which Madagascar edged 2-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Senegal.



On assumption of office at the end of September 2014, the present NFF administration led by Mr. Amaju Pinnick had promised to thoroughly enhance the capacity of Nigerian referees, with a vision to see a Nigerian referee officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.



Two batches of 10 and 20 referees have gone to the United Kingdom on capacity –building programmes (Ogunmuyiwa was in the second batch in February), with a third batch of 20 to depart for a similar programme next week.



“I must say that the efforts of the new NFF administration are yielding dividends. I have received reports from high quarters that the profile of Nigerian referees is rising,”




FIFA Technical Advisor Linus Mba said on Monday. Ogunmuyiwa lectured fellow arbiters at the pre-Season Seminar organized by the NFF early March.



Nigerian referee Ferdinand Udoh was selected toofficiate at the 2015 African U-17 Championship in Niger Republic, and assistant referee Abel Baba was also in action at the 2015 African Youth Championship in Senegal.



Referee Joshua Opeyemi Amoo will also lead Peter Edibe, Abel Baba and Abubakar Ago to officiate a CAF Confederation Cup second round, second leg match between ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire and Onze Createurs of Mali in Abidjan next week.

Dolphins Fail To Fly In Akure


 

A controversial goal in added time by Prince Aggrey gave Sunshine Stars a 2-1 win over Dolphins in the league on Sunday evening at the Akure Township stadium.

 

It was a game Dolphins drew last season and when Chiwendu Ali put the Pride of Rivers ahead after 37 minutes it seemed like another day in the office for the 2011 league winners.

 

Ayo Saka turned round his marker in midfield and passed to Victor Alegbe who in turn freed Ifeanyi Egwim on the left.

 

Egwim’s cross who struck in ferociously by Chiwendu in only his second game for Dolphins after joining from National Division One side, Go Round FC.

 

Two minutes later, referee, John Charles called a penalty for Sunshine after a Dolphins defender was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box, but Tunji Adeniyi shot the kick wide.

 

At half time, Sunshine Stars coach, Kennedy Boboye brought in Dele Olorundare and he made his impact felt two minutes later.

 

Joseph Douhadji failed to head clear a cross into the Dolphins area, Olorundare latched on the loose ball and found Adeniyi who controlled well before slotting home behind Sunday Rotimi in goal for Dolphins.

 

With the game in added time, Sunday Rotimi failed to take care of a cross into his area and Prince Aggrey scored though it seemed he handled the ball before turning round to score, a glaring hand ball both the referee and his assistant missed.

 

Dolphins’ players protested the goal for two minutes before restarting the game.

 

Stanley Eguma was livid at the end of the game, blaming the referee for the loss

 

“The referee made us to lose this game. The whole world has seen it. Even under live television this happened. We have to do something about this because it is not the best,” Eguma said.

 

Kennedy Akinboboye of Sunshine Stars described it as a very difficult game but that he noticed the Dolphins players got complacent thinking they had escaped with a draw before he punished them with game changing substitutions

 

“It was difficult playing against a very experienced side. I never gave up. I brought in some people to push the attack and when I noticed Dolphins were relaxed thinking they had gotten a draw, we pushed up,” Boboye said.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Sixteen Teams Battle It Out In Federation Cup Play-offs


Sixteen teams, including the exciting youthful side, Nath Boys FC of Lagos, AA Stars of Sokoto and Kukuruku FC from Edo State are poised for the play-off round of this year’s Federation Cup competition, which comes up on Tuesday, 21st April.


The play-off round brings together the rookie teams among those that reached the finals in the States. After the play-off, the winners proceed to the Draws for the National competition, which this year has been set for April 30.


Black Cats of Cross River State, Mgbo Ambassadors of Ebonyi and Kwara Football Academy will also be involved in the matches spread across the federation.


FIXTURES

AA Stars (Sokoto) Vs Kurmi Market (Kano) - Katsina

A.B.U FC (Kaduna) Vs Mighty Junior (Benue) - Abuja

Inter FC (Enugu) Vs Black Cats (Cross River) - Abakaliki

Mgbo Ambassadors (Ebonyi) Vs Pilo FC (Imo) - Aba

Kukuruku FC (Edo) Vs God’s Time (Delta) - Lokoja

Kwara Academy (Kwara) Vs Maracana FC (Ekiti) – Ibadan

Peacemaker FC (Ondo) Vs Nath Boys (Lagos) - Osogbo

Fed. Med. Centre (Kogi) Vs Anambra B Team - Makurdi

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Kogi United Boss Commends Emeka Inyama NNL Board on Transparency

Chairman of Kogi United FC, Abdul Sule has heaped praises on the board of the Nigeria National League, NNL for openness and commitment to develop the second tier league in the country adding that Kogi United will make good use of it to promote.




Sule who stated this at the Congress/Draws for the league in Abuja on Wednesday noted that the Chief Emeka Inyama led NNL board has shown interest to raise the bar in making the league attractive to sponsors just as he expect them to put policies and plans raise into actions.





While admitting that the Wada Boys are grouped in a strong pool, the former Super Eagles utility player expressed optimism that his side will give its all to gain the ticket to the Premier League.




"The congress and draws were good, the fixtures were ok, there is transparency and openness in it, they (NNL) are trying to do it more better this time, to make the league good for sponsors and I think we have strong opponents, but its not a threat for us, by God's grace we will get through," begins Abdul Sule.




"I'm ok with all that have been said but I hope they will keep to their promises, if they do that and officiating part good too then everything will be fine".



For us in Kogi United, we started last season by transforming the team and the transformation agenda was ok and now we have the time and chance to go to the premier league, that's our target we are aiming to make a strong statement in premier league, but of course we have to start from somewhere and that's to climb the ladder to the apex.




When asked about his plans for the Women team of the state, Abdul Sule expressed belief on the qualities of his girls adding that the management will give the best of support to them to be ranked among the best players worthy enough for the national teams just as he solicited support from supporters and fans of both clubs to achieve greatness.





"For Confluence Queens, you know we have one of the best teams in Nigeria some of our girls have been to the national teams, presently we still have one in the Super Falcons, Chioma Wogu so gradually we are making our players to be among the best, make it to the national teams and they will always be good, what we want from our fans is support and prayers, on our part we will always do our best, the government of Captain Idris Ichalla Wada has been doing great for us to make Kogi State football teams a brand and force to reckon with, by God's grace will be great this season," concludes the Hummel ambassador.



Kogi United are grouped in Division A1 alongside Kaduna United, Adamawa United, Plateau United, Yobe Desert Stars, Jigawa Golden Stars, Supreme Court and Spotlight FC.



The Confluence State club will kick off their new season with a home game against Spotlight FC from Katsina on May 2, 2015 at Confluence Stadium, Lokoja.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Odiche, Ogharanduku Wins League Bloggers Awards For March

Pix by Shengolpixs

Heartland's Ebere Odiche and Tony Ogharanduku of FC Taraba have emerged the League Bloggers Awards [LBA] Player and Manager for the month of March.



The outstanding performances of the two men in the month under review in the Glo Premier League put them ahead of other nominees in the two
categories.



Odiche racked up his biggest shift in the top flight in his career by scoring twice, both from free kicks, to play a pivotal role in Heartland's superb start to the season.


The former Warri Wolves man apart from his free kick goals against Shooting Stars Sports Club [3SC] and Nasarawa United proved to be a central figure in the attacking play of Heartland in March which saw them score seven goals in just two matches after their opening game with champions Kano Pillars was called off.


The Heartland player has beaten the quartet of Sikiru Adewale [Warri Wolves], Segun Alebiosu [Kwara United], Evans Iyoro [Kwara United] and Enyimba's Idris Aloma.


Ogharanduku clearly breezed past the trio of Erasmus Onuh [Heartland], Tunde Abdulrahman [Kwara United] and Mitko Dobrev [Gabros FC] for the manager's award based on the almost perfect start in the top flight this term by his team.


FC Taraba chalked up seven points out of nine in March, which is considered an unbelievable return for a club only in their second season in the top division and also still regarded as upstarts.


Ogharanduku's men sit pretty at the top of the pile ahead of Heartland, who have a point less than FC Taraba.


The LBA will present Odiche and Ogharanduku their awards later in April as the first recipients of the player and manager gongs respectively for this season's Glo Premier League.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

BASKETBALL: NSC Thumbs up NBBF As They Set To Present Olympic Qualification Blueprint


By Oluwafemi Adefeso

Having successfully qualified to defend her All African Games title in Congo Brazzaville, and also an opportunity to vie for a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics by qualifying for the 2015 FIBA Africa Championship in Tunisia come August.


The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has received thumbs up from National Sports commission (NSC) for her recent accomplishments following a meeting between the hierarchy of the Basketball Federation and the Director General of the National Sports commission, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye.



President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Mr Tijjani Umar, disclosed after the meeting which was held in Abuja that the impressed NSC DG immediately requested the Nigerian Basketball Federation to submit her national programmes to the Sports commission to ensure Basketball receives optimum support to succeed in the various competitions leading to the Olympics. 



“We’ve set a huge precedence in qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics. We qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and we want to repeat that experience in Rio de Janeiro next year. In order  for us to achieve this, we have outlined programmes that will ensure that both the Men and Women national teams are well prepared to compete at the 2015 FIBA Africa championships so that we can qualify for the Olympics Games”. Mr Umar noted.



The NBBF President further disclosed that the Federation has set up a 2 man task force, that will travel to the United States to meet with the Nigerian players abroad in order to carry them along with the national team programmes having continued to  maintain communication with the home based players who persecuted the qualifiers.



“We have so much talent pool that can serve the national team home and abroad, so we have decided that we will present two national teams that will persecute the Afrobasket and All African Games just to ensure we keep all the national players integrated into the national team programmes so we can always have the best talents available at every point time”. He concluded.

BASKETBALL: NSC Thumbs up NBBF As They Set To Present Olympic Qualification Blueprint

By Oluwafemi Adefeso

Having successfully qualified to defend her All African Games title in Congo Brazzaville, and also an opportunity to vie for a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics by qualifying for the 2015 FIBA Africa Championship in Tunisia come August.



The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has received thumbs up from National Sports commission (NSC) for her recent accomplishments following a meeting between the hierarchy of the Basketball Federation and the Director General of the National Sports commission, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye.



President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Mr Tijjani Umar, disclosed after the meeting which was held in Abuja that the impressed NSC DG immediately requested the Nigerian Basketball Federation to submit her national programmes to the Sports commission to ensure Basketball receives optimum support to succeed in the various competitions leading to the Olympics. 



“We’ve set a huge precedence in qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics. We qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London and we want to repeat that experience in Rio de Janeiro next year. In order  for us to achieve this, we have outlined programmes that will ensure that both the Men and Women national teams are well prepared to compete at the 2015 FIBA Africa championships so that we can qualify for the Olympics Games”. Mr Umar noted.



The NBBF President further disclosed that the Federation has set up a 2 man task force, that will travel to the United States to meet with the Nigerian players abroad in order to carry them along with the national team programmes having continued to  maintain communication with the home based players who persecuted the qualifiers.



“We have so much talent pool that can serve the national team home and abroad, so we have decided that we will present two national teams that will persecute the Afrobasket and All African Games just to ensure we keep all the national players integrated into the national team programmes so we can always have the best talents available at every point time”. He concluded.

BASKETBALL: Zenith Women League To Resume In April

The Nigeria Basketball Federation has announced April 23rd as the jumpball for the first phase of the Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League season.


The new date is sequel to the conclusion of the general elections which necessitated the postponement of the Women’s League in the first place.


The championship traditional first phase which will take place at the indoor sports hall of  the National Stadium Package ‘B’ Abuja will see the likes of Customs, FCT Queens, Benue Princess,  Plateau Rocks, Delta Force, AHIP Queens, Coal City Queens, Oluyole Babes, GT-2000, Immigration, IGP Queens and Taraba Hurricanes wrestle power houses Sunshine Angels, First Deepwater, Dolphins and defending champions First Bank for the 2015 title.



The teams are expected to arrive Abuja on Thursday, 23rd, ahead of the technical meeting on the 24th of April as action is set to resume on  Saturday, 25th April till May 4th.

Orji Hits Brace In Ferencvárosi 6-1 Win

Ferencvárosi Torna Club striker Ebere Orji struck twice as her side thrashed Dorogi Diofa 6-1 in the match day 1 of the Hungarian Női Nemzeti Bajnokság Championship play off on Saturday.

 

Orji tormented the defence line of Diofa and accounted for their woes.

 

Three minutes into the match Viktoria Szaba open scoring for Ferencvárosi, before Orji doubled the lead in the 11th minute.
 

Nineteen minutes later Evelin Mosdoczi hit the target for Ferencvárosi’s third goal and Jelena Cankovic still had the time to score her side's 4th goal of the match.


Second half recorded three goals with the away side scoring one. At first Orji obtained the ball inside the visitor’s area to hit a brace.

 

Monica Benko then reduced the deficit 17 minutes from time, but Boglarka Horvath scored with four minutes remaining to end the game 6-1. 

 

Orji's team will next be away to Astra Hungary on 19th April.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

League Bloggers Awards Shirtlist Five Players, Four Managers For March

The League Bloggers Awards (LBA) has shortlisted nine actors in the Glo Premier League as nominees for the March Player and Manager awards.


There are five shortlisted in the player's category and four in the manager's award.


In the running for the LBA Player for March are Ebere Odiche
[Heartland], Evans Iyoro [Kwara United], Idris Aloma [Enyimba], Sikiru
Adewale [Warri Wolves] and Segun Alebiosu [Kwara United] while the
quartet of Erasmus Onuh [Heartland], Tunde Abdulrahman [Kwara United],Tony Ogharanduku [FC Taraba] and Mitko Dobrev [Gabros FC] have been picked for the manager's category.


The shortlisted actors in the Glo Premier League for March have put in
decent shift for their clubs after three match days this season.


Odiche has been solid for Heartland so far scoring twice from free kicks against 3SC and Nasarawa United. He helped mastermind the
demolition of Nasarawa United 5-2 on match day three.



Kwara United winger, Iyoro, has shown he has a sweet left foot which
has chalked up a goal in March. He was the mainstay in the attacking
football of the Harmony Warriors in March with dribble runs, cross and
vision.



Aloma has featured in every minute for Enyimba in the league, and his
bombing runs down the left side of his team's defence have added
attacking impetus for the Peoples Elephant. He capped his outing in
March with a goal at Lobi Stars.



Wolves have got themselves a striker who can reach double digits of
goals in Adewale. The former First Bank FC man made his top flight
debut count by scoring twice in the 3-0 win against Giwa FC.



Alebiosu is the second Kwara United player in the five-player shortlist. He was in red-hot in the month under review scoring twice in three matches including the goal that secured his team a point at Wikki Tourists.



The chase for the manager's award is interesting with Ogharanduku and Onuh guiding their teams to the top-two positions in March. FC Taraba under Ogharanduku are unbeaten in three matches and have taken seven out of nine points to stay top at the end of the month in review.



Onuh has seen his side produce breath-taking football against 3SC and Nasarawa United, scoring seven goals in two games and are the only top-10 team with a 100 percent record so far.



Abdulrahman has been able to blood together his Kwara United troops
and they have started the season strongly by going unbeaten including
earning draws at Dolphins and Wikki, while Bulgarian Dobrev has guided Gabros to two wins in March putting them in top-four position.



The LBA will announce the winners for March on Monday.

NOMINATED PLAYERS
Ebere Odiche [Heartland]
Evans Iyoro [Kwara United]
Idris Aloma [Enyimba]
Sikiru Adewale [Warri Wolves]
Segun Alebiosu [Kwara United]

NOMINATED MANAGERS
Erasmus Onuh [Heartland]
Tunde Abdulrahman [Kwara United]
Tony Ogharanduku [FC Taraba]
Mitko Dobrev [Gabros FC]

Kogi United, Confluence Queens Get Ex-International As New Boss

Former Super Eagles defender, Abdul Sule has been appointed as the new chairman of Kogi State football clubs, Confluence Queens and Kogi United.



Sule, who was until his new appointment the Technical Adviser of Kogi United.



At the official unveiling at Confluence Stadium, Lokoja on Wednesday, Governor Idris Ichalla Wada said Sule's appointment was to improve on the effort of his predecessor, Abdul Adama.



Represented by his Personal Assistance, Sule Unekwojo, Governor Wada noted that his administration would continue to give total support to the state clubs adding that the club will witness more success this season.



"We want continuity of success and progress in our state football clubs, the government is committed to encouraging both clubs to do well, Abdul Sule's track records speaks volume and we are confident he will continue to add more values to the teams," he said.



Speaking on behalf of the management, Ameh Henry thanked the state government for the quick response on Abdul Sule's appointment adding that the replacement was worthy due to his experience in football both internationally and locally.



He said former boss, Abdul Adama has done much in reshaping the fortune of both clubs just as promised the new chairman the management's maximum cooperation, support and advise.



Responding on his new assignment, Abdul Sule praised the State Governor for the new task in making state clubs force to reckon with.



While calling on the management members for total support and cooperation, Sule promised to be transparent in his dealings.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Hon Adama Inspires Kogi State FA Cup Champions, Idah United


People have asked several questions on the secret of the success of recently crowned Kogi State FA Cup champions Idah United.


There are many factors that aids the successful run of a champion - ranging from motivation to the playing personnel of the team.


For Idah United, at the beginning of the journey they wouldn't have thought of winning the tournament.


Behind the achievement of an organisation, there is the silent planner who maps out strategies.


An official of Idah United who pleaded to anonymity told us the massive impact Hon Abdul Adama played in the giant killing run of his team.


 ''I must confess the man is generous, he is a team player and doesn't joke with the welfare of people around him.'' We are grateful to him for supporting us right from day 1 of the tournament,'' the official said.


We scooped from a reliable source that Hon Adama motivated Idah United with cash before the final against FMC FC and rewarded them with another huge sum of money after the victory.



Hon Adama recently resigned as the chairman of Kogi United after 19 successful months of outstanding management and motivation of the team.



Kogi United won the cup in 2014 and in 2015 it landed in Idah, the home town of Hon Adama.



And Hon Adama wrote on his facebook timeline: The last time I saw this cup, it was in my office as Chairman of Kogi United; I resigned from office and the cup followed me to my LGA, Idah. To Allah be the glory.''



We await the return of Hon Adama back to the Arena empowering sporting personnels in the nearest future.

Adule Hit Target In Cup Game

Nigeria international Adule Charity found the back of the net for BIIK Kazygurt as they defeated Kariak FC 3-2 in a Cup Game on Monday.

Adule set up a goal and then plundered one for herself in the five-goal thriller for the Kazakhstani women's football league champions.

Last season the 21-year-old struck 36 times in all competitions for the three-time League champions.


The invitational cup competition serves as pre season tournament for Adule's club.


The 2015 league season is expected to get underway by 30th April.

BASKETBALL: D'Tigers To Face Host Tunisia In Afrobasket 2015

The Nigerian senior male national basketball team, the D'Tigers have been pitted against former champions and host Tunisia in Group A at the draws for the 2015 FIBA Africa Basketball Championship which took place at the Carthage Acropolium in Tunis on Saturday. 


The D'Tigers who are now the 3rd ranked team in Africa( 24th on the FIBA World rankings) will be hoping to roar past  no 4 ranked Tunisia, who last won the competition in 2011. Also seeded in the group is a little known Uganda who are making their debut  at the continental showpiece and the 1st of 3 wild card teams which will be announced at the end of April by FIBA Africa. 


The tournament which will be held from 19-30 August in the Tunisian cities of Nabeul and Tunis will serve as a qualifying event for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.


In Group B, defending champions Angola who will be gunning for their 12th title under the tutelage of new but experienced coach Moncho Lopez , will battle against Mozambique, Morocco and another Wild Card entry.While Afrobasket 2013 runners up, Egypt will hope to go a step further than their fairytale run carried them in Abidjan as set up an interesting match up against West African foes in Cameroon and Mali who threw up a suprise to qualify ahead of 2013 bronze medalist Senegal alongside Gabon makes up group C.


Finally the Elephants of Cote d'ivoire who dramatically ended up 4th at home in 2013 will have the Nigerian born Alex Uwora tutored Cape Verde to battle against, debutant Zimbabwe and the 3rd wild card pick to compete against in Group D. 


It is the third time that Tunisia will get to stage the Afrobasket, having previously hosted it in 1965 and 1987.


Seven teams tabled bids for the 3 Wild cards available to the Tunisian showpiece. Amongst which are South Africa, Algeria, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Senegal, Congo and Guinea.

Remo Stars Lift Ogun State FA Cup

Remo Stars FC defeated Gateway United 4-3 via penalties after it ended1-1 to be crowned champions of Ogun State on Sunday.


The Sky Blue Stars took an early lead through Ekene Awazie in the 8th minute and were holding on to the lead before Gateway United leveled things up in the second half and the encounter had to be decided by penalty shout out.


Speaking through the club's Press Officer, Michael Onikute, On Wining the first silverware for the club in his first attempt and the clubs third, Uche Okagbue was full of praise for his wards who showed character and played against all odds.



"It is a relief and a happiness because, of course, we needed to make a statement with a win today," Okagbue said, "and we started well but Gateway rallied round and got back into the game.



"We started strong and you could see we were hesitant, and then we made a demonstration of how we waited a long time for that by eventually winning via penalties even when we lost the first kick we kept our nerves and believe that we could still win.



"We have waited and we achieved this on the third attempt, Happiness is linked, sometimes, with the suffering. It was a great moment.


"Gateway United came back really strong in the second half  to score which gave them believe of winning the encounter and tried to add the second but the team has a special spirit and a special togetherness and we tried to respond. It was important for us to try and get it to 2-1 before full-time or keep the scores at level terms.


"I want to appreciate the players and everyone involved with the team for making this possible, and we hope to be back next year with a better performance," Okagbue concluded.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

DStv Premier Basketball League Week 2 Results

Atlantic Conference

Oluyole Warriors 78-70 Kwara Falcons


Union Bank 54-59 Lagos Islanders


Customs 60-55 Delta Force


Dodan Warriors 61-42 Police Batons





Savannah Conference

Bauchi Nets 45-77 M.Mentors


Kano Pillars 70-64 Gombe Bulls


Peaks 60-52 Immigration


Kada Stars vs FCT Rocks Postponed. (Force Majeure)

Friday, 3 April 2015

Plateau United Signs Tobore

Upcoming defender Tobore Isaac has moved to Nigeria National League club Plateau United.


The Jos based club have confirmed that they have signed the 2012 National Sports Festival product.



"We can confirm that Tobore has completed his move to our club," a club official told Nigerian League reporter Ademetan Abayomi on Thursday night.


Plateau United are seeking promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League in the new NNL season due to get underway on 18th April.


"I have acquired enough experience to be able to succeed here and I will use this experience to help Plateau United return to where they belong," Tobore said.


The young defender helped Dynamites Force to a 4th round run in the 2014 Federation Cup.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Remo Stars, Gateway United In State Cup Final Clash

Remo Stars Football Club will take on Gateway United in the Ogun State FA CUP final at the MKO Abiola Abeokuta on Sunday and Technical adviser Uche Okagbue has expressed  optimism about his lads making a statement this time around.


The Sky Blue Stars qualified for the State Cup final and Federation cup (Nationals) after they defeated WUSU FC 4-0 in the semi-final to setup a blockbuster final with Gateway United for the third consecutive season.


History hasn't been on the side of the Ikenne Remo based side in state cup final having lost two finals to Gateway United.


Okagbue isnt fazed by the Club's history in the state cup final and has express satisfactory over his ward upseting Gateway United in the first clash of both sides this season.


"Am not worried by the record, here is an opportunity to rewrite such records.


"This is just another game with Gateway United which will be my first final with Remo Stars FC and creating history is what I want to do with this Football Club, starting with the final in Abeokuta.


"The team is in good shape for this encounter come Sunday, we have to play our game to our very best. Its all about playing our game and exploring Gateway United weaknesses.


"We've got the belive and ability to win the State Cup final and also represent the state well in the Nationals of the Federation Cup and we are working together to ensure we have a good campaign in the Federation Cup."

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Kogi United, Confluence Queens Boss Quit Office

Chairman of Kogi State Football Clubs, Kogi United FC and Confluence Queens, Mallam Abdul Adama has tendered his resignation to manage the clubs.


Mallam Adama who was appointed the sole administrator of both clubs September, 2013 was saddled with responsible of restructuring and repositioning both clubs in their respective leagues.




Adama said the decision to leave the clubsides, which are close to his heart, was difficult as he enjoyed a good working condition throughout his stay adding that he would remain grateful for the chance to serve and contribute to the development of sports in Kogi State.




The former Chairman of Bukola Babes (now ABS FC) said “This has been a very difficult decision to make as I enjoyed a good and progressive working condition throughout my appointment as chairman of Kogi United and Confluence Queens,” begins Adama.




“I remain grateful to Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State for the opportunity to serve and contribute my quota to the development of sports in our dear state,” Adama said.




Both clubs witnessed improved turn around under Mallam Adama.




For the first time, Kogi United finished 7th in their last campaign of the Nigeria National League, NNL and Confluence Queens finished 5th in the last NWPL season.




This season has been tagged the “Season of Consolidation” for both clubs and he wished both clubs a successful outing in their leagues.