Sunday, 29 July 2018

Falconets win big, ready for FIFA World Cup



Nigeria’s U20 girls, Falconets, will depart from their final training camp in Tirol, Austria on Thursday, 2nd August for the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, with high level of confidence after scoring seven goals and conceding none in two friendly games.

The 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup silver medallists hammered Austrian Women League top flight team, FC Wacker Innsbruck 4-0 in their final pre-tournament friendly in Tirol, Austria on Saturday, with a brace from top scorer Rasheedat Ajibade and one each from Adebisi Saheed and Chinyere Igboamalu. A few days earlier, the Nigerian girls had spanked another Austrian top flight side, FC Bergheim 3-0.

Saturday’s match in Tirol was also watched by Nigeria’s Youth and Sports Minister Solomon Dalung.

Ajibade, who plays for FC Robo Queens of Lagos and also featured at the last tournament in Papua New Guinea, top –scored for Nigeria in the African qualifying campaign and is heavily touted to dazzle the world in France next month.

Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala was the top scorer and best player at the 2014 finals in Canada, where the Falconets finished as runners-up behind Germany.

The U20 girls remain Nigeria’s most successful women’s team at global level, winning silver at the FIFA World Cup twice (Germany 2010 and Canada 2014) and bronze once (Japan 2012), and reaching the quarter finals in Thailand (2004), Russia (2006) and Chile (2008).

The four official host cities for the 9th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup are located in the Brittany region: Concarneau, Dinan/Léhon, Saint-Malo and Vannes. The Stade de la Rabine in Vannes will host the opening match on 5th August as well as the final match of the competition on 24th August.

Nigeria will battle Haiti, China and Germany in Group D of the 16 –nation finals, while Africa’s other flagbearer Ghana must negotiate a tough Group A against host France, New Zealand and The Netherlands.

Group B has North Korea, England, Mexico and Brazil while USA, Japan, Paraguay and Spain fight things out in Group D.

The Falconets’ opening match is against perennial foes Germany (who beat Nigeria in the 2010 and 2014 Final matches) at the Stade de Marville in Saint-Malo on Monday, 6th August, before clashes with Haiti at the same venue on Thursday, 9th August and against China in Dinan/Léhon’s Stade de Clos Gastel on Monday, 13th August.

To qualify for the finals, the Falconets dismissed Tanzania’s U20 girls 9-0 aggregate, brushed aside Morocco 6-2 on aggregate and whiplashed their South African counterparts 8-0 over two legs in January this year.


NIGERIA’S 21 FOR FRANCE 2018

Goalkeepers: Onyinyechukwu Okeke, Rita Akarekor, Chiamaka Nnadozie

Defenders: Glory Ogbonna, Opeyemi Sunday, Mary Ologbosere, Joy Duru, Blessing Ezekiel, Oluwakemi Famuditi

Midfielders: Christy Ucheibe, Bashirat Amoo, Peace Efih, Adebisi Saheed, Mary Saiki, Taibat Odueke, Grace Igboamalu

Forwards: Rasheedat Ajibade, Anam Imo, Chidinma Okeke, Aishat Bello, Gift Monday

NFF to empower, absorb Ikeme into Super Eagles’ technical crew



The Nigeria Football Federation has announced that it will offer retired Super Eagles’ safe hands Carl Ikeme coaching education as a goalkeeper trainer and then absorb him into the technical crew of the Senior National Football Team.

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi disclosed at the weekend that the Federation is in contact with Ikeme, who announced his retirement from the game on Friday afternoon, with a view to training him as a goalkeeper coach.

“Carl Ikeme was an embodiment of absolute dedication, commitment and patriotic fervour in the games that he played for the Super Eagles. The circumstances of his retirement from the game are somewhat depressing, even as we thank God for his life.

“The Nigeria Football Federation will find the resources to send him on a coaching course, and afterwards absorb him into the technical crew of the Super Eagles. That is the least we can do for such a dedicated patriot.”

Dr. Sanusi revealed that the NFF was in the know about Ikeme’s plan to retire from football. “A few weeks ago, he had spoken on phone with the NFF President and 1st Vice President of CAF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to intimate him on his (Ikeme’s) desire to retire. Even though he was sad about, the NFF President commended his fighting spirit and respected his decision, and also said he would rather allow the player or his club to break the news.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC of England goalie Ikeme, diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July 2017 but who entered into complete remission only last month, announced his decision to retire from the beautiful game on Friday.

He played 191 matches for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, and was pivotal in the club’s promotion from League One to the English Championship. He is currently being heavily celebrated for uniting a club more renowned for its divisive tendencies.

Ikeme was in goal for the Super Eagles in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Swaziland home and away, and away to Zambia; the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Tanzania home and away, and against Egypt at home, and; in friendly matches against Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Niger Republic.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Odey scores as FC Zurich claim derby win over Grasshoppers



FC Zurich striker, Stephen Odey opened his 2018/19 goal account on Saturday evening as the City Club claimed a 2-0 derby win over Grasshoppers in Matchday Two of the Raiffeisen Super League played at the Letzigrund Stadium.


Having missed out of the first league match last weekend against FC Thun.  The former MFM FC player was included in coach Ludovic 18 man list to for the derby game and he justified his inclusion with the second goal of the match.


After a goalless first 45 minutes, Adrian Winter put the City Club in front with just two minutes into the second half of the entertaining derby.


The 62 minutes of the game witnessed a defining moment for FCZ as they sealed their second straight win of the season courtesy of a second goal from Odey.


Odey expressed his feelings to nigeriasportarena.blogspot.com "I am really excited with the way we played today and very happy for the amazing result and my goal as well.


" Derby games are not easy games, there's a lot to play for although the maximum points is important which we got today.


"As a striker, I love scoring and I am always sad when I don't score. The goal came today and I'm really happy for that. And thanks to coach Ludovic for the opportunity to play in one of the biggest derbies in Swiss," Odey concluded.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Haggai Sportswear partners Ogunjobi Cup

Nigeria's foremost sports kitting company Haggai Sportswear has entered into partnership agreement with the organisers of Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi Football Championship as official kit sponsor of the third edition of the tournament.



Haggai is a sister company of Nigeria’s foremost sports equipment marketers, the popular Zenith Sports.



Ogunjobi Cup is sponsored by the Pillar of Sports in the State of Osun and organized by State of Osun Football Association and gradually becoming a commercial hot cake for big brands.



The partnership deal was sealed on Monday in Oshogbo after the Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Sports, Paul Maduakor, and Tunde Shamsudeen (Ogunjobi's SA on Media) concluded talks.



Haggai Sportwear announced it will kit the U-13, U-15 and U-18 finalists, and awards for the Best Goalkeeper, Highest Goalscorer and the Most Valuable Player..



According to Shamsudeen who brokered the deal noted: "It's another feather in the cap for the tourney as it has come into partnership agreement with top sportswear brand, Haggai.



“We are excited with the Haggai partnership. Haggai's presence is an indication that the tourney has a bright future."



Maduakor said his firm entered into partnership with the organizers of the tournament because of his love for Chief Ogunjobi, having proven to be one of the best football administrator in the country.



"The idea behind this partnership, is to help develop our grassroots football which of course is the bedrock/ foundation for our football."




Sixty-two (62) grassroots teams in the State of Osun, registered for the ongoing tourney with the final scheduled for August 21, to celebrate the former Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation, date-of-birth.

CAA Asaba 2018: Nduka Irabor joins volunteers unit



More and more respected Nigerians are signing on to work as volunteers at
the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships to be staged in Asaba,
Delta State from August 1-5.

According to a statement from Olukayode Thomas, Head of Media and Publicity for CAA Asaba 2018, the latest on the line is Nduka Irabor,Editor Emeritus and former Chairman of the League Management Company, LMC.

The Chairman of the Local Organising Committee for African Championship,
Solomon Ogba commended Irabor for taking the bold step while he also
encouraged other Nigerians; particularly those in the entertainment industry, musicians, actors, comedians and the likes to also join the train as Asaba is set to make history for Nigeria and Africa.


“I must commend Mr. Irabor for showing yet another of his exemplary attitudes, I will like to see more eminent Nigerians come on board; the musicians, actors, and comedians are all welcomed as things like this help improve our ratings out there” Ogba stated.


The CAA Asaba 2018 LOC boss further noted that with Nigeria bidding to host the 2022 Youth Olympics, activities like this will help Nigeria when the concerned international bodies are making up their minds in giving hosting rights to a country.


Over the weekend the duo of Amos Adamu and Mike Itemagbour blazed the trail as they both confirmed that they will work as volunteers during CAAA saba 2018.


More Permanent Secretaries, Commissioners, captains of industries in Delta State and beyond are all expected to join the train of volunteers for the
2018 African Senior Athletics Championships that would take place inside
the newly-completed Stephen Keshi Stadium.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Lagos State to stage another FIBA World cup qualifiers

Lagos State has once again been picked as host of the 2019 FIBA Men's World Cup qualifiers 4th round between the 14th and 16th of September.


The decision to award the hosting rights of the 4th window of the qualifiers was contained in a letter sent to the Nigeria Basketball Federation secretariat by FIBA Africa Secretary General, Alphonse Bile on Friday.


The latest announcement has been described by many as an evidence of the growing confidence in Nigeria by the Federation of International Basketball Federation to be a major player on the African continent under the leadership of Engineer Musa Kida.


Host- Nigeria currently leading the pack with 12 points is in Group F alongside Senegal, Central Africa, Rwanda, Cote d'Ivoire and Mali.


Reacting to the letter, NBBF President, Musa Kida said winning the hosting right for the second consecutive time will present the D'Tigers the perfect opportunity to continue their unbeaten run in front of their home fans in their quest to qualify for the World Cup.


“We are so excited that we have been considered by FIBA to host Group F after we made an impression last time out. This is another opportunity for everybody to play their part in this memorable journey to China.”


“The team will be banking on their home crowd as they hope to extend their unbeaten run against tougher oppositions while the fans will troop out as usual to watch their team play."


Nigeria sit atop group F with 12 points from 6 games while Senegal is second with 11 point.


Central Africa and Rwanda occupy the 3rd and 4th spots with 9 points apiece with Cote d’Ivoire and Mali are both on 8 points.
The Group E games will be hosted in the Tunisian city of Rades.


At the end of the group games, the 2 highest placed teams from the 2 groups and the overall third placed team will qualify for the 2019 World cup holding in China.

Ogunjobi Cup begins this Sunday



Arrangements have been concluded for the third edition of Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi Football Championship, scheduled to kick-off on Sunday July 22, at the Oshogbo Township Stadium.



Sixty-two (62) grassroots teams in the State of Osun, registered for the tourney with the final scheduled for August 21, to celebrate the former Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation, date-of-birth.



Thirty-six (36) teams registered for the U-18 tourney which will be decided on knock out format, while sixteen (16) teams obtained forms for the U-15 and have been group into four to be played on league format, with ten (10) teams registering for the U-13 category.



The age grade tournament is sponsored by the Pillar of Sports in the State of Osun and organized by State of Osun Football Association to boost discovery of exceptional talents abounding at the grassroots, catching them young in a bid to provide a well defined future for the players.



Rotimi, Ogunjobi's son, a Law student of Afe Babalola University will do the official kick off for the U-13 and U-15 tourney, in company of Chief Ogunjobi, who will perform the U-18 kick off.




Ogunjobi, who’s the Special Assistant to the State of Osun Governor on Football Matters and Chairman Osun Football Association, emphasised the need to return to the grassroots to scout for talented football players, saying some of the country's soccer heroes were discovered at the grassroots.



Zakariyau FC, Ikirun will lock horns with Young Makanaki FC, Ilesha by 11.am in the opening game of the U-13, while Golden Boys of Oshogbo will battle Awolu FC of Ifon Osun by 12.noon for the U-15 opening match.



In the other fixtures of Matchday One of the U-18, Paragon FC of Ilesha and Success FC, Ilesha will renew their rivalry when they draw swords by 2.pm, as Fehinty FC of Ido Osun, will be having their hands full as they will tango Sharp Strikers FC of Oshogbo by 4.pm.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Nigerian Basketball Legend Olumide Oyedeji Becomes PEAK Sports Ambassador


Former Orlando Magic player, Olumide Oyedeji has signed a three years deal with PEAK Sports.

The Olympian become PEAK first African Ambassador.

PEAK Sport is a Chinese sportswear/sports equipment that designs, develops, manufactures, distributes and markets its sportswear products under the PEAK brand.

Oyedeji, who captained the Nigeria National Basketball Team, D’Tigers to the 2015 FIBA AfroBasket title in Tunisia said; "I just signed a three years endorsement with PEAK Sports which is one of the top five sports apparel in the World”.


“PEAK Sports signed a contract with the Nigeria national team which is not fulfilled. I’m excited and proud to be part of the PEAK Family and probably looking at the business part of it, having my own line brand, signed a three years endorsement and probably be the Africa PEAK ambassador, the first African athlete to be signed”, Ex-D’Tigers Captain Oyedeji added.

“I’m looking forward to join NBA All Stars like; Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), George Hill (Cleveland Cavaliers), Lou Williams (Los Angeles Clippers), Matthew Dellavedova (Milwaukee Bucks), Anthony Morrow (Oklahoma City Thunder) and couple of NBA players in the PEAK Family”.

“It’s good to be a brand ambassador for PEAK Sport, a great feeling to be part of it. To be the first African to be recognized by PEAK Sport; that means they know your value”, the former Shanxi Zhongyu player said.

Oyedeji is the only African player to ever feature in all major basketball tournaments on the global stage, including Olympics Games, World Cup, Commonwealth Games, All Africa Games, NBA, Euro-League, Asia Championships and South American basketball leagues.

PEAK Sports signed a deal with Nigeria Basketball Federation under Tijani Umar in  2016 for 4 years using the influence of Olumide Oyedeji to break the deal worth about 1.5 to 2 million U.S Dollars which included  merchandise, Cash and grant, bonuses, training tours ,coaches exchange program and training with developing house of basketball in Nigeria and it's has not  been utilized



Oyedeji who played in China for 8 years was popular and well known name in China  where he played with Beijing Ducks, Liaoning Pampam, Qingdao Eagle , Shanxi Zhongyu and Foshan Lions. where he became an household name in China basketball history .

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Future Eagles start AYG against Morocco in Algeria

The Nigeria U15 National Team, nicknamed Future Eagles, has been drawn to play Morocco, Djibouti and Libya in the football tournament of the 3rd African Youth Games that commenced in Algiers on Thursday.


The draw held on Wednesday put the Future Eagles in the same pool as Morocco, with whom the Nigerian boys were involved a two –match friendly fair in Marrakech in August 2017. Morocco won the first game 1-0 with the other match tied 1-1.


The Future Eagles and their Moroccan counterparts face off on Thursday, before the Nigerians take on Djibouti on Saturday and Libya on Monday.


Nigeria did not participate in the football event of the first African Youth Games in Rabat but won four out of five matches, drawing the other to emerge winners of the football gold at the second edition in Gaborone, Botswana four years ago.

Afeez Aremu joins Flying Eagles for Mauritania game


Norwegian club, IK Start has granted the request of Nigeria Football Federation to release former Super Eagles B star Afeez Olalekan Aremu to feature for the U20 boys,
Flying Eagles in Saturday’s Africa U20 Cup of Nations qualifier against Mauritania in Lagos.


The defensive midfielder turned up at the Flying Eagles’ Pearlwort Hotel camp in Ikeja and decided to train with the squad. The technical crew was impressed with his game and being eligible, he was asked if he could feature on Saturday. But he said his Norwegian club would have to grant permission for him to play as he is on holiday in Nigeria.


Team Administrator Aliyu Lawal Ibrahim immediately commenced the process and within the hour, the Kristiansand –based Club granted the permission with a caveat that the player must fly back to Norway on Sunday, 22nd July.



Aremu played for the Eagles B in the qualifiers for the 2018 African Nations Championship and at the WAFU Cup of Nations in Ghana in September 2017, but travelled to Norway before the CHAN finals in Morocco.



The Flying Eagles have been training at the Agege Stadium since returning from Nouakchott where they were forced to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of this final qualifying fixture. Coach Paul Aigbogun, alongside assistants Abdu Maikaba, Hassan Abdallah and Suleiman Shuaibu drilled the players on Monday morning, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and on Thursday morning, with the final training session scheduled for Friday evening.


The Mauritania U20 squad has been together, on-and-off basis, for the past four years and play a quick, passing game though they mostly falter in the final third – a deficiency that Aigbogun’s wards have also been striving hard to overcome.


Emphasis at training these past few days has been on putting away opportunities, and goalkeepers Detan Ogundare, Akpan Udoh and Robert Cole have also been drilled on thwarting the opposition even on one-on-one situations.


Saturday’s cracker kicks off at 4pm, with the seven –time African champions guaranteed a spot in the finals in Niger Republic early next year if they avoid defeat or a high –score draw.


Nigeria have been champions of Africa at U20 level in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2005, 2011 and 2015.


The Mauritanian delegation flew into Lagos on Wednesday morning and will have the official training at the Agege Stadium by 4pm on Friday.


The Confederation of African Football has appointed Egyptian officials to take charge of the match, with Mahmoud Zakaria Mohamed El Banna as Referee. He will work with compatriots Ahmed Taha Hossam (Assistant Referee 1), Hany Abdelfattah Mahmoud Elsnadidy (Assistant Referee 2) and Ahmed Mahrous Mahmoud Ahmed Hassan ElGhandour (Reserve Referee).


Mr. Sallieu Kamara from Sierra Leone will serve as match commissioner.



Monday, 16 July 2018

62 teams jostle for Ogunjobi Cup


Sixty - two (62) grassroots teams in the State of Osun will contest for the third edition of Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi Football Tournament for U-13, U-15 and U-18.



The age grade tournament is sponsored by former Secretary General of Nigeria Football Federation and organized by State of Osun Football Association to boost discovery of exceptional talents abounding at the grassroots, catching them young in a bid to provide a well defined future for the players.



The tourney is scheduled to kick off proper on Sunday July 22, 2018 at Oshogbo Township Stadium, with the finals billed for August 21, to celebrate the birth date of the State of Osun Pillar of Sports.



Osun FA secretary, Amoo Abayomi, told newsmen on Sunday after screening and draws for the tournament that thirty-six (36) clubs registered for the U-18 tourney which will be decided on knock out format, while sixteen (16) teams obtained forms for the U-15 and have been group into four to be played on league format, with ten (10) teams registering for the U-13 category.



He stated further that no fewer than one thousand, two hundred and forty (1240) players will take part in the tournament.



Matches for the U-18 tourney will be played at the main bowl of the Oshogbo Township Stadium, while Unity School Testing Ground will host matches for U-13, with Ido Osun High School hosting U-15 matches.



Ogunjobi has transformed Osun through the part of football development with series of football competition staged within the nook and crannies of the state.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Dan Fulani resigns as Elkanemi General Coordinator


General Coordinator of Elkanemi Warriors Football Club, Alhaji Abubakar Abubakar has tendered his resignation letter due to internal wrangling.



Dan Fulani as the former Enyimba International Football Club North East Coordinator is fondly called by his admirers on Wednesday resigned from his position as General Coordinator of the Nigeria Professional Football Club side.



The fans and players of the Borno Army, are in a state of shock following his resignation.



The former Sunshine Stars International Football Club North Coordinator said the decision to leave Elkanemi, a club 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 the team.



“After difficult considerations, I have decided to resign from my position as General Coordinator of Elkanemi Warriors Football Club.



“I deeply appreciate my time with Elkanemi and I want to thank all the fantastic people who made Maiduguri a fantastic place to work for me.”



Dan Fulani, joined Elkanemi Warriors on Monday January 9, 2017 from Shooting Stars Sports Club.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Ogunjobi Cup gets kick off date


The third edition of Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi Cup Football Tournament for U-13, U-15 and U-18 is set to take a center stage in the State of Osun, bulging amongst the grassroots clubs.

The age grade tournament which is organized by State of Osun Football Association is to ferret out exceptional talents abounding in the grassroots, catching them young in a bid to provide a well defined future for the participants.

According to Osun FA Secretary, Amoo Abayomi, the form would be on sale for the intending participants from July 2-15, 2018, while screening for U-13 and U-15 takes place on Saturday July 16, 2018 within the Oshogbo Township Stadium Complex.

The information further has it that, draws and fixtures for U-13, 15 and 18 shall commence immediately after the screening exercise at the same venue.

Numerous football clubs across the state are enjoined to grab this smashing opportunity forthwith.

The winner of each category and the respective runner's up would smile home with astounding prizes.

The tournament kicks off proper on Sunday July 22, 2018 at Oshogbo Township Stadium.