Saturday, 23 December 2017

CD Primeiro De Agosto sign Al-Ittihad Star YISA

Al-Ittihad defender, Yisa  Anifowoshe on Friday joined Angolan league reigning champions, CD Primeiro De Agosto, reports nigeriasportsarena.blogspot. com.

The 25-year-old teamed up with the Girabola side on one-year deal following a year stint at King Abdullah Sports City in Saudi Arabia.

"I am overwhelmed joining this team. It's one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me as a footballer and knowing fully well that I will be playing in the CAF Champions League is a dream come true.

" I have always wanted to play for a team with big ambition and I am happy that I am here.

"This is one of the biggest teams in Africa and I will put in all my best in ensuring that we defend the title and probably lift the CAF Champions League trophy," the former Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries FC player enthused.

The Os Rubro e Negros who will be playing their CAF Champions League preliminary match against FC Platinum of Zimbabwe in Angola will begin preparation for the new Girabola season next year January.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

NFF/Zenith Bank Tourney: The future is here says Akinwunmi

NFF 1st Vice President and Chairman of the NFF Youth Football Committee, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi was full of elan and elocution on Tuesday, after another successful and highly inspiring conclusion of the NFF/Zenith Bank Future Eagles Championship.

 

This year’s event was concluded at the Agege Stadium. Five days of exciting youth football in Kano came to an exciting finale in Lagos with South East U15 boys emerging champions after a 5-2 spanking of their North West counterparts.

 

Yet, there were so many talents on display on both sides that Akinwunmi, who is also Chairman of the NFF Football Committee, was much delighted: “I am very happy at what I am seeing here. We can safely say the future is here. I had no doubt when we started this programme that we were on to a great thing.

 

“Indeed, in the next two years or thereabout, we would have no reason to go outside this competition to pick our U17 National Team. We are also emphasizing the importance of combining academics with football. Any player who is unable to do this will be dropped. You can never compare the ball sense and guile of a player who is combining education with football career with that of one who is unable to.”

 

Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer of this year’s competition, Divine Nwachukwu netted a hat –trick to steer the South Easterners to glory. His goals came in the 32nd, 43rd and 53rdminutes. Franklin Eneh had put South East ahead in the 21st minute, with Oluebube Oguduba sealing victory for them in the 75th minute. Ibrahim Saifulahi netted both goals for equally impressive North West in the 52nd and 60th minutes.

 

South West emerged champions of last year’s edition.

 

“Football is about catching them young and this is what we are doing. Talented players abound everywhere in this country and you only need look for them to get enough. We will not relent but will even intensify the programme to bring the best from all the zones. My joy is that the sponsors (Zenith Bank) are also happy with this and have expressed immense joy at how this is turning out.

 

“With the raw talents that we have, all that is left is for us to find ways of exposing them, and we will work very hard at that. We will also ensure we bring the selected players to camp periodically to nurture their talent and add finesse to their game,” Akinwunmi added.

 

NFF President Amaju Pinnick, Executive Committee members Ibrahim Musa Gusau, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, Babagana Kalli and Chidi Ofo Okenwa, NFF Youth Committee members Busari Ishola, Dotun Coker and Edema Fuludu, Emmanuel Iba (Chairman of Akwa Ibom FA), members of the Lagos State FA and an array of the nation’s top sports editors/managers were among dignitaries at the finale.

 

North Central had earlier emerged champions of the U13 competition after defeating South West 4-2 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in Kano at the weekend.

 

The NFF U15 National Team had earlier wowed dignitaries and spectators with eye –catching performance in a 3-0 defeat of Pepsi Academy in an exhibition match that preceded the final match.  

 

HONOURS

 

Best Coach award - Jude Agada (South East)

 

Best Goalkeeper - Anthony Okoronkwo (South East)

 

Golden Boot Award - Divine Nwachukwu (South East: 6 goals)

 

MVP - Divine Nwachukwu (South East)

 

ALL THE RESULTS

(U13 COMPETITION)

South South 3 North East 0 (W/O)

North Central 2 North West 1

North East 0 South West 3 (W/O)

North West 3 South East 0 (W/O)

South West 0 South South 0

South East 0 North Central 3 (W/O)

South West 2 North West 1

North Central 2 South South 1

 

FINAL

South West 0 North Central 0 (2-4 after penalties)

 

(U15 COMPETITION)

North East 2 South South 3

South West 0 South East 2

South South 2 North West 4

South East 4 North Central 0

North West 1 North East 0

North Central 1 South West 3

North West 4 South West 3

South East 4 South South 1

 

FINAL

North West 2 South East 5

 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Ifeanyi Ifeanyi perfect replacement for Mikel Obi

Nearing the twilight of the Jay Jay Okocha era, Nigerians began a frantic search for the perfect Jay Jay replacement. From Nosa Igiebor, to Rabiu Ibrahim, Nigerians have seen false messiahs who have failed to impress or hold down slots in the National teams and have struggled for game time at their various clubs.

Mikel Obi eventually stepped into the Nigerian creative hole, though a variation of the 2005 Mikel Nigerians hoped for(thanks to Mourinho). A slower and less flamboyant player than Jay Jay, Mikel exerts the same influence over the middle of the park and has a hand in every good thing the Super Eagles do up front.

At 30, Mikel has refined his game to depend more on intelligence than pace, a move that reminds us that the mercurial midfielder will soon be nearing the end of his National team playing career and the search for Mikel's successor would soon commence.

Blessed with an abundance of talents in Kelechi, Iwobi, the Nwakali brothers and even Etebo, Nigerians are a tad bit more relaxed about the impending exit of John Mikel Obi. However, for the skills and perceived vision all above listed players have, a ready-made Mikel Obi replacement plays in the Nigerian Professional Football League for Akwa United and deserves a genuine chance to understudy the maestro.

Slightly shorter than Mikel, he plays with a similar reliance on intelligence and vision to make his team tick. Like the fulcrum in Introductory Technology classes, with short give and go's, defense splitting passes and a knack for holding on to possession when under pressure, he lifts the creative burden off his midfield partners and makes the work of the attackers in front of him a lot easier.

A place in the CHAN team at the on-going NPFL invitational tournament will give us another look at the interesting midfielder, and a place on the plane to Morocco will present the grandest of stages for him to prove his mettle alongside the best in Africa. The question mark over his quality will be answered in just over a month, but I am backing the midfielder to prove that at 22 years, he should be blooded into the Super Eagles as fast as possible.

The player in the same mould as Mikel is Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, ex MFM Fc, and present Akwa United playmaker.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Odey unhappy with first FC Zurich goal

Despite netting his first competitive goal for FC Zurich against FC Luzern in Matchday 18 of the Switzerland Super League played on Sunday at the Letzigrund Stadion, former Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Football Club striker, Stephen Odey, says he is unhappy scoring his side's only goal of the encounter.

Zurich suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Luzern with Christian Schneuwly scoring the first goal on 11 minutes and Stephen Odey getting an equaliser for the home team in the 24th minute of the exchange. Stefan Knezevic of Luzern put Ulrich Forte's men to the sword with third goal of the game in the 37th minute.

"After putting so much of hardwork, I feel great about my first competitive goal with the main team of FC Zurich, it's long over due though but I am not happy with the result because it was not what I and the team wanted.

" It was my second straight start for my team ever since I joined them, and I am happy with the reception, the love and the care from the coaching crew, my teammates and the amazing fans.

"My game is improving day by day and I am settling down quickly into the team and today I scored my first goal in Europe but the result wasn't  what we bargained for," the 19 year old forward tweeted on his official handle @stevenOdey31.

With the loss, the City Club still keep the third spot in the Super League table with 28 points from 18 matches. Their next and last league game for this year will hold next weekend and it will be away to Lausanne Sport.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

New NLO season to start in March 2018


The Nationwide League One on Saturday rose from its Congress to fix March next year, 2018 for the kickoff of its 2018 football season. This was even as it commended the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF over the Super Eagles qualification to the next world cup in Russia 2018.

A communique signed by it Chairman, Drafting Committee, Yahaya Mohammad and Secretary, Olushola Ogunnowo issued to newsmen after it meeting in Katsina, said it passed a vote of confidence on the board of the Nationwide League One led by Alh. Mohammed Alkali and the Secretariat headed by Mr. Olushola Ogunnowo.

Part of the communique reads: “The Congress endorsed that the 2018 NLO Football season should kickoff by March 2018. “The congress also endorsed to review NLO rules and regulation and a five (5) man committee representing all the divisions and having the board director to serve as Chairman and the COO to serve as the Secretary.

The following names were nominated: Mr. Bayo Olanlege, DIV One Clubs, Mr. Yahaya Mohammed (DIV Two Clubs), Mr. Sule Abdullahi (DIV Three Clubs), Mr. Aliyu Kassim (Committee Chairman) and Mr. Olushola Ogunnowo (Committee Secretary). “The Congress approved that the the Zonal Coordinators should make effort to organize pre-seasons Tournament for clubs in there zones,” the communique however reads.

Giodano Football Club, FC, Kano State has emerged winners at the finals of the just concluded Super 8 tournament organized by the Nationwide League One. Giodano FC, Kano thrashed their counterpart from Nassarawa State, Aklosendi International Football Club, Lafia, by Two goals to One, 2–1.