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ICPC seals NFF 2nd Vice President’s residence

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ICPC seals NFF 2nd Vice President’s residence

The official residence of the 2nd vicepresident of the Nigeria Football Federation Mallam Shehu Dikko has been sealed following an order by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). The ICPC sealed Dikko’s No. 1 River Benue, Maitama residence following an order of forfeiture of the property by a federal high court, on Friday.

 

The house was sealed this morning by the commission over allegation of fresh corruption cases against the federation. According to the ICPC, the action is to uncover huge financial malpractices in the football association, allegedly involving Dikko and other executives. Rasheedat Okoduwa,

 

ICPC’s spokesperson told reporters that Dikko’s property is sealed following allegations of fresh corruption charges against him and some others in the federation. “It is true that ICPC sealed Shehu Dikko’s Maitama residence this morning,” Okoduwa said.

 

“He is been investigated with others over a fresh corruption charges. “It has nothing to do with the cases of SPIP or EFCC.” Attempt by our correspondence to get his side proved abortive as his phone lines were dead. He was said to have left his residence early this morning. NFF has been on the watch list of many anti corruption agencies in the country following series of alleged financial malpractices.

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Dennis set to haunt PSG in Champions League

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Dennis set to haunt PSG in Champions League

Super Eagles forward, Emmanuel Dennis, will be aiming to add Paris Saint Germain to the list of big teams he has scored against as Club Brugg welcome the French club in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League.

Dennis, who netted a brace in matchday 2 of the Europe competition against Real Madrid in their 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on October 1, will be hoping to re-enact the performance against PSG.

A win for the Belgian club against a PSG side that would be aiming for the maximum point could brighten their chances of qualifying from the group.

Indeed, Brugge are now 10 Champions League games unbeaten including those qualifiers, while in the competition proper you have to go back to matchday two last season for their last defeat – a run of six games.

Five of those games, including both so far this season, have ended all square, though, while stretching even further back Brugge have only won three of their last 20 outings in the Champions League proper.

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Pascal: Eagles’ll be ruthless against Benin, Lesotho

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Pascal: Eagles’ll be ruthless against Benin, Lesotho

Team Coordinator of the Super Eagles, Patrick Pascal, has said the Nigerian team will be ruthless when they face off with Benin and Lesotho in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for November.

Pascal said nothing short of victory should be expected when the Super Eagles play Benin Republic and Lesotho.

It would be recalled that the draws for the 2021 AFCON paired Nigeria alongside Benin, Lesotho and Sierra Leone with the Super Eagles starting their campaign against Benin in November before taking on Lesotho few days later.

Speaking with New Telegraph, Pascal said that the players had learnt how to play against African opposition despite some of them not starting their career back home in Nigeria.

“Nothing short of victory against Benin and Lesotho in November,” he said.

“Football has changed to what it used to be. We have the likes of Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina and others who have never played back home in Nigeria but were at the last AFCON and did very well.

“They have learnt how to play against African oppositions; they have them as team mates and opponents too in their various clubs.

“Imagine, the average ages of these players are between 22 and 23, they are very young players. In the past, we don’t usually have such young players in the team, which is to tell you that we are making good progress.”

Meanwhile, the ex-international has said the team has endeared themselves to Nigerians and now people look forward to watching them.

He said the 1-1 draw against Brazil in a recent friendly game had boosted their confidence and  are ready to take on any opposition.

Pascal added: “This set of players in the team are hungry for success and now endeared themselves to hearts of Nigerians.

“All what they needed from us is support and encouragement.

“If you look at the main Super Eagles, people now have confidence watching the team and we have set of young players doing well for their various club sides.

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CHAN: Bonfrere slams Imama’s ‘kick and rush’ tactics

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CHAN: Bonfrere slams Imama’s ‘kick and rush’ tactics

Former Super Eagles coach Jo Bonfrere has knocked down the long-ball tactics Imama Amapakabo employed in a desperate bid to overturn a heavy loss against Togo and qualify for next year’s African Nations Championships in Cameroon.

The Home-based Eagles won 2-0 in Lagos at the weekend, but failed to overturn a 4-1 loss they had suffered in Togo last month.

This was despite the fact that 10 minutes of additional time were given by the match officials on Saturday.

“The long balls did not help the team because Togo had tall defenders to deal with them,” said Bonfrere, who was at the Agege Stadium to watch the game on Saturday.

They aimed these balls at the No 9 (Nyima Nwagua) but he couldn’t deal with them.

“They should have tried using the wings and crosses to go past the defence.”

CHAN Eagles coach Imama himself admitted “technical blunders” from the first leg with co-ordinator Patrick Pascal also saying the players who played in Lagos would have done a better job than those who were paraded in Lome.

Imama made as many as six changes to the starting XI from the Lome leg of the 2020 CHAN playoffs – Daniel James, Ifeanyi Nweke, Anthony Shimaga, Nyima Nwagua, Ibrahim Olawoyin and Ifeanyi Anaemena.

Last year, Nigeria played in the final of the CHAN in Morocco.

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Eaglets lose final warm up tie

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Eaglets lose final warm up tie

Golden Eaglets of Nigeria lost their last warm up game 1-0 to Japan in on Sunday before the start of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on October 26 in Brazil.

A 22nd minute goal scored by Wakatsuki Yamato clinched victory for the Japanese side in the game played at the Sao Paulo Football Club ground in Coita, Sao Paulo.

The Nigerians fought their way back into the game in search of an equaliser, but the tactical discipline of Japan and the resolute play in the defence frustrated the efforts of Eaglets’ attacking trio of Olakunle Olusegun, Wisdom Ubani and Ibrahim Jabeer in the game.

Nigeria will play her opening game in group B in the 2019 Brazil U 17 World Cup against Hungary at the Goiania Estadio Olimpico on Saturday.

They will also face Ecuador and Australia in the first round of the competition.

In the meantime, the 12 players dropped from the squad in Brazil are due to arrive in Nigeria via Dubai on Tuesday.

They include four players who featured at the U-17 AFCON in Tanzania in April.

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CHAN: Ezeji blasts Imama over Eagles’ ouster

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CHAN: Ezeji blasts Imama over Eagles’ ouster

Nigeria league legend, Victor Ezeji, has questioned the competence of the Home-based Super Eagles coach Imama Amapakabo after the team lost the African Nations Championships ticket to Togo.

The squad, on Saturday, at the Agege Stadium, needed to overturn a three goal deficit but managed to record a 2-0 win over their Togolese counterparts who had won 4-1 in the first leg of the qualifiers.

He said it was shameful that Nigeria missed out on the ticket to CHAN, insisting the country has the capacity to produce squad that can even win the tournament.

Ezeji, who played in the Nigerian league for two decades,  said tactical and technical blunders ensured the squad failed in their bid to make it to the competition which will be hosted by Cameroon.

“I have always said if it comes to materials we have them; what we are lacking is administration. We invited more players to camp to beef up the squad and we saw the difference but we had these players in the first place and  what stopped us from using them in Togo?.”

“At least we have Enyimba, Kano Pillars and Rangers playing on the continent, I would have picked the chunk of the players from these teams, if I were the coach. Players from these squad are still match fit but  he decided to stick with his U-23 players,” he said.

The former Enyimba striker however counselled that the coach should not be sacked but be allowed to continue in his role as the U-23 handler.

He said the Manager had done well as the handler of the Olympics team whom he had guided to the U-23 Nations Cup qualification.

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Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League Final 8:First Bank, MFM, Dolphins, others jostle for semifinal tickets

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Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League Final 8:First Bank, MFM, Dolphins, others jostle for semifinal tickets

Champions First Bank of Lagos continue their journey towards retaining their Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League title on Tuesday (today) as the quarter-finals of the National Final 8 take place at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos.

The nine-time champions will be jostling for semi-final spots along with the seven other teams who have also been participating in the Zenith Bank-sponsored post-season since Friday.

The other teams in the Final 8 are Customs of Abuja, Delta Force of Asaba and Plateau Rocks (all in Group A with FirstBank), as well as Group B teams Air Warriors of Abuja, Dolphins of Lagos, MFM of Lagos and Black Gold.

The Elephant Girls finished top of their group by winning all three games and they will face Group B’s bottom team, Black Gold, in the first quarter-final game on Tuesday.  Black Gold lost all their group  games by big margins and are not expected to stretch the almost unstoppable FirstBank in what should be a one-sided encounter.

Group B winners Air Warriors, who won 20 of 21 games in the regular season and have a 100 percent Final 8 record so far, take on Group A’s fourth-placed team Plateau Rocks in the second quarter-final match-up.

The Air Warriors have been in great form and are tipped to be one of the contenders for the prestigious Zenith Bank Women’s Basketball League title.

The third and fourth quarter-final games are expected to be more even contests as Dolphins, who finished second in Group B, battle Delta Force, the second-placed team in Group A, while Customs face MFM.

Customs finished second in Group A as MFM came third in Group B and are seeking to bounce back after two defeats in the pool games.

All the games will take place at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium,  Lagos from 11am.

The champions of the competition and runners-up will qualify to represent Nigeria at the FIBA Africa Zone 3 Champions Cup qualifiers in Cotonou from 28 October to 3 November.

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Chevron National Junior Championship serves-off Wednesday

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Chevron National Junior Championship serves-off Wednesday

The Chevron Junior Tennis Championship will serve-off on Wednesday, October 23 at the prestigious Lagos Lawn Tennis Club at the heels of the two weeks long Lagos Open tournament. The tournament will feature 64 players competing in two age groups – boys and girls 12s and 16s

The Chevron Junior Championship will be a fitting climax to a project which took tennis to over 1500 boys and girls in seven target communities and had the best of them prepared for competitions.

The project is already producing eye-catching results as players from the program are already punching above their weight and breaking into the senior and professional ranks.

Seun Akinwumi, 12, paired his teammate Daniel Adeleye ,15, to win the doubles event at the National Youth Games in Ilorin for Ekiti State. The girls singles title was won by Destiny Okhinaye, 14, for Lagos State. The 16 year-olds were excluded from the competition.

At the senior level, eight of the juniors got into the main draw of the CBN Senior Open Championship with two of the girls reaching the quarterfinals and getting invitations to the All Africa Games camp. Two of the junior girls, Serena Teluwo and Omolade Aderemi played in the main draw of the Lagos Open – a professional tournament.

This week’s competition is expected to produce a lot of fireworks with defending champion in the Girls’ 16, Rebecca Ekpeyong,  going against in-form players like Teluwo and Okhinaye. Omolayo Bamidele and Aderemi, finalist and semifinalist of the last edition have been promoted into the senior category.

The boy’s 16 category will also be missing the rivalry between David Dawariye of the South South and Suleiman Mohammed of Abuja who have been promoted to the seniors. However, 14 year-old David Ekpeyong and Adeleye will be favourites to win the boys 16 event.

The boys and girls 12s is expected to throw up the regular rivalries. Favour Amaechi from the South South, Mary Azi from the North Central and Nene Yakubu from the South West in the girl’s event while Ogunsakin South West, Lucky Danjuma and Yakubu Yahonna of the North Central and Precious Ikeuba of South South stand out as the top contenders.

According to the International Tennis Academy, organisers of the championship, entry into the venue is free and matches will start at 10 am each day and end at 4.30pm.

The grand finale is scheduled for Sunday, October 27 starting 12 noon. 

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Zenith Bank/Delta Principals’ Cup:Organisers announce minor changes in run-in fixtures

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Zenith Bank/Delta Principals’ Cup:Organisers announce minor changes in run-in fixtures

Organisers of the ongoing Principals Cup Football Competition for secondary schools in Delta State have announced minor changes in the run-in fixtures of the competition.

The youth developmental competition revived three years ago is sponsored by Zenith bank in partnership with the Government of Delta State.

On Monday, logistics that forced some zonal games to this week have made the organisers to move the quarterfinals of the competition from October 30 to November 6.

The Semifinals originally slated for November 4 has now been moved to November 13 while the third place and final remains November 21 at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

Delta Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chief Patrick Ukah, who confirmed the changes added that the changes wont affect the overall operations of the tournament.

“We are trying to give everyone equal opportunity. Because the zonal stage did not end as scheduled last week, some other quarterfinalists will play till Wednesday, Thursday while some had rested over a week already.”

Meanwhile, some quarterfinalists have emerged in the competition from five out of the eight zones while the remaining three will be decided this week.

College of Commerce, Warri, from Warri South, Alaka Government Secondary School, Ozoro, from Isoko North, Springate Int School, Umutu from Ukwuani LGA. Okotie-Eboh Grammar School, from Sapele LGA and Ogulagha G/S, Ogulagha, from Burutu LGA.

Chairman, Technical Committee of the ongoing Zenith Bank/Delta Principals’ Cup football competition, Lucky Sunday, assured that the standard and quality of the competition will not be affected by the changes.

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Taekwondo boosts Korea, Nigeria relations – Ambassador

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Taekwondo boosts Korea, Nigeria relations – Ambassador

Korea Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, Lee In Tae, has said the game of taekwondo has helped in fostering a story relationship between his country and Nigeria.

Speaking at the final day of the 10th  Korean Ambassador’s Taekwondo Championships which took place at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos on Friday, the Ambassador called for more development of the sport in Nigeria.

The championship which saw over 150 athletes taking part was another opportunity for Nigerian athletes to engage in proper competition.

The Ambassador noted that taewondo had grown to a sport loved by Nigerians, adding that he was proud to see the popularity swell  in Nigeria.

“As you know, taekwondo is a traditional Korean martial art loved by many people around the world,” Tae said.

“Not only does taekwondo enhance your physical strength, it also disciplines your mind and soul.

“Taekwondo encourages competition, but at the same time teaches us fairness and respect. These aspects helped Taekwondo become a global sport.

“And now, thanks to people, I am proud to see the popularity of taekwondo grow in Nigeria.

“The Ambassador’s Championship is part of our efforts to promote taekwondo in Nigeria. It also aims to help Nigerian athletes to improve their skills so that they can compete on the global stage.

“Taekwondo has helped strengthen mutual relationships between Korea and Nigeria. As more Nigerians practice the sport, more Nigerians are eager to study the Korean culture, the same goes to the Koreans.”

The Ambassador added that the ministry was at work in introducing Taekwondo to the grassroots which would engender more inculcation of Korean culture into the young ones.

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Hemery, Bhatia win Lagos Open Tennis

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Hemery, Bhatia win Lagos Open Tennis

The 2019 Lagos Open Tennis Championship ended on Monday with France-born Nigerian player, Calvin Hemery and Indian Riya Bhatia winning the men and women’s singles respectively.

The finals, which was shifted 24 hours because of heavy downpour in Lagos metropolis on Sunday, was the climax of the second leg of the ITF World Tennis Tour at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.

Frenchman Hemery won the tournament back to back as he was the winner of the first leg. Interestingly, his opponent in Monday’s final was the same Bosnia Herzegovina opponent Aldin Setkic, who he defeated in the first leg.

The final was an easy one for Hemery as Setkic retired when the game result was 4-2.

To Hemery, whose father is from Edo State, winning the ITF World Tour was a thing of joy for him, adding that he felt elated with the support he received from Nigerian fans, which he described as one of the rallying forces that propelled the victory.

The women’s singles final was a tough match for the winner, Indian Bhatia, who was stretched in the three sets thriller by opponent from Slovenia, Nastja Kolar.  The crucial match ended 7-5,1-6,6-3.

Bhatia described her opponent as a good player, adding that it took her determined effort to win the match.

The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwolu-Olu, who could not physically present at the finals was represented by Dr. Kweku Tandoh, the Executive Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission and the Director General, Mr. Oluwatoyin Gafar.

Dr Tandoh who represented the Governor gave kudos to the finalists, most especially the winners. He praised, on behalf of the state government, the Local Organising Committee LOC headed by Chief Pius Akinyelure for putting up a good organisation of the competition. He wished all the players safe journey to their respective destinations.

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