NPFL: Rivers United Vow To Fight For Title In Uyo

NPFL, Rivers United, Rangers, Rivers United, wikki tourists, NPFL, Abia WarriorsRivers United will be hoping for the impossible to happen in their last game of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

The Port Harcourt based team are vying for the title and will play Akwa United in Uyo on Sunday in what they have described as the most decisive game of their campaign.

Coach of the team, Stanley Eguma is indifferent about what will happen in Uyo because even if they win, Enugu Rangers need just a point in their game against El-Kanemi to emerge champions.

Eguma admits they no longer have their destiny in their hands but as professionals, they will play for a victory against Akwa United.

Meanwhile, Nigerian football fans are pleased with the organization of the 2015/2016 NPFL season.

In their opinion, the quality of play has improved with Enugu Rangers’ consistency and Rivers United taking the fight for the title to the last game.

The fans also want the government and private institutions to show more interest for the development of the league.

 

NPFL: Rangers Extend Lead, Ikorodu United’s Struggle Continues

NPFLMatchday nine of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) produced 21 goals (2.1 goals per game), six home wins, three draws and one away victory.

Enugu Rangers consolidated their lead on top of the league table to two points with a hard fought 2-1 win against oriental rivals Enyimba FC of Aba.

Joseph Osadiaye got the champions in front in the 14th minute, when he curled in Ikechukwu Ibenegbu’s lofty pass from the edge of the area. Godwin Aguda levelled terms for the Flying Antelopes in the 21st minute from a Bobby Clement assist. Clement again turned provider for Chisom Egubuchulam, who finished it with a fine goal eight minutes to the break.

In Owerri, Heartland FC saw off a difficult Giwa FC challenge with a 2-0 win, which saw Roland Koffi smashing home a cracker at the death.

Shagari Mohammed was the hero in Kano, providing assists for Prince Aggreh and Suleman Usman to slot in the goals in the 28th and 47th minutes respectively. Pillars move into second place on the log.

In Jos, MFM FC played 1-1 away to Plateau United. The result increases pressure on head coach, Zachary Baraje, who has been asked to spring results or face the music.

Federation Cup champions, Akwa United, held Wikki Tourists to a barren draw at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, despite being without their technical adviser, Maurice Cooreman, who failed to travel with the team due to illness. The home side will have Godwin Obaje to blame for failing to convert outright opportunities in the opening half.

In Akure, Tope Orelope’s equalizer in the 63rd minute, appeared to have secured a point for Shooting Stars, but that was not the outcome, as the Akure Gunners snatched a late winner through Okiki Afolabi. Dele Olorundare also had a goal to his name in the sixth minute.

Elsewhere, Abia Warriors grabbed a narrow 1-0 win at home to Niger Tornadoes, at the Umuahia Township Stadium through Chisom Chikatara’s late goal. Ladan Bosso’s El-Kanemi side thrashed Nasarawa United 3-0 in Katsina, while Warri Wolves drew goalless with visiting Lobi Stars at the Warrior Township Stadium.

Rivers United appear to have finally found their rhythm, edging newcomers Ikorodu United in a five-goal thriller at the Onikan Waterfront.

Guy Kuemian got the visitors in front, in the ninth minute before the home side levelled terms through Ifegwu Ojukwu just before the quarter of an hour mark. Nonso Okonkwo and Wilson Andoh put the game beyond the Lagos side before the break, with stunning goals.

Ikorodu United’s late chase only aided them to reduce the deficit through Ojukwu, before end of proceedings. But Ojukwu’s brace proved too little to help them avoid a fifth defeat on the bounce as they drop to second from bottom.

After the game, new technical adviser, Sam Okpodu described the team as young and inexperienced.

”This team has a lot of learning to do and with time they will understand themselves and start getting the desired results” he concluded.

NPFL: Plateau United, MFM React To Week 7 Results

NPFLPlateau United Assistant Coach, Sani Adamu, says the newly promoted side will continue to push for a continental finish at the end of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL.

Two quick-fire goals by Plateau United’s Nuhu Julius and Sunday Ingbede cancelled out Tony Okpotu’s opener for Lobi.

Coach Adamu and Ingbede said that the team is made up of young players who are thirsty for continental action.

Meanwhile, newly promoted side, MFM FC have waved off their away defeat to Heartland of Owerri in week seven of the Nigerian Professional Football League.

A lone goal by Fortune Omoniwari handed MFM their second defeat of the season from seven games.

The Olukoya boys are, however, confident they can make up for the defeat when they host former champions Kano Pillars at home in week eight of the domestic league.

Gov Ahmed Advocates Public-Private Partnership In Sports

The Kwara State Governor, Mr Abdulfatah Ahmed, kwarahas advocated for Public-Private Partnership in the sports sector to harness the opportunities therein.

Governor Ahmed made the call while receiving board members of the Nigeria National League (NNL), led by its Chairman, Mr Emeka Inyama, at the Government House, Ilorin, Kwara state capital.

He also emphasised the need to create a sustainable entertainment world that would allow interface between football and business and called for investments in that sector for the growth of the round leather game.

Governor Ahmed, who identified sport as a unifying factor for national cohesion, stressed the need to use football in molding youths in Kwara and Nigeria at large, to shape their mental capacities, for the growth and development of the nation.

The Governor further said the state had positioned itself at both sub-national and national levels, assuring the gathering that the state would continue to host more competitions for the mental strength of players and spectators.

Earlier in his remarks, the Board Chairman of the NNL, Mr Inyama, explained that the NNL had been re-branded with enhanced credibility and integrity, calling for sponsors to further promote the league.

Mr Inyama commended the state government for its investment in sports and for the promotion of the Kwara United Football Club to the elite division; the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Showing Racism The Red Card

Before the start of the new English Premier League and Football League season, players will receive guidance from the Professional Footballers’ Association about tackling racist language.

According to a release by the PFA, managers of all 92 clubs have been contacted by the Association asking them to ensure the players attend the sessions that will focus on what is considered banter or acceptable jibes towards opponents and what is not.

PFA Chief Executive, Gordon Taylor confirmed the decision to educate players: “Racism is still a significant problem in football; we need to avoid any embarrassment again after recent cases.”

In the interactive sessions, players will be given scenarios where abuses can occur; either from fans or from other players and be guided on the correct response to give.  They will also be warned not to use discriminatory language referring to religion or disability.

The new FA sanctions carry a minimum five-match ban for a first offence of racist or homophobic abuse. In the last two seasons, Chelsea’s defender John Terry and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez have both received bans for racial abuse.

The letter from the PFA to the managers states that “We are looking to arrange this session in the near future and would appreciate you ensuring players attend as a matter of priority.”

NPL Interim Management Inaugurated, Baribote Heads To Court

The controversy plaguing the board of the Nigerian Premier League has been laid to rest, at least for now as a new 13-man interim management of the league was inaugurated yesterday.

The management will be responsible for the running of the affairs of the NPL, pending the election of a new board.

Corruption charges were brought against the head of the previous board; Rumson Victor Baribote as he was accused of misappropriation of funds and a lack of transparency and accountability which was held to blame for the failure of the NPL to attract sponsorship.

How the legal practitioner has decided to take his case to the Federal High Court despite his removal.

The committee will be headed by former member of the House of Representatives, Nduka Irabor and includes Nwankwo Kanu; NPL Secretary-General, Tunji Babalola; Mike Enahoro; Shehu Dikko; Modele Sarafa-Yusuf; Abubakar Nuhu Dan Buran; Kunle Elebute; Mike Idoko; former Secretary-General of the NPL Salisu Abubakar; chairman of Kaduna United FC Sabo Babayaro; chairman of Lagos State Football Association Seyi Akinwunmi and Ifeanyi Dike.

The new committee has been charged with organising the 2012/2013 season, which does not yet have an agreed start date, with reviewing all NPL contracts, with dealing with TV and sponsorship rights, developing strategy, reforming the League to achieve profitability and reviewing procedures for elections to the NPL board. It will also develop new standards for players contracts.