Indonesia Resumes Football League After Stadium Disaster

Relatives of victims wait outside a hospital in Malang, East Java after an Indonesian football stadium stampede on October 2, 2022.  AFP

 

Indonesia resumed football league matches behind closed doors on Monday, two months after it was rocked by one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

The government suspended competitive football matches following a deadly stampede in the city of Malang that killed 135 people, including more than 40 children.

“The football league (season) will be finished. The scheduled (matches) that were determined previously will be completed,” the country’s chief security minister Mahfud MD told reporters before the games began.

He added that matches would be held without fans in the stands.

The government’s decision was made “to support the future of the national football,” Mahfud said.

In a statement on Monday, Indonesia’s football association chief Mochammad Iriawan thanked the government for allowing the resumption of the football league, adding that authorities had worked to ensure it was “safe” to stage matches.

Four matches of Indonesia’s top flight Liga 1 were completed on Monday after the government’s announcement.

After supporters invaded the pitch at the end of a league match between local team Arema FC and rivals Persebaya Surabaya on October 1st, police fired tear gas into packed stands, sparking a stampede at the Kanjuruhan stadium in Malang, East Java.

In the wake of the tragedy, President Joko Widodo suspended the league, ordered an investigation into what happened and pledged to demolish and rebuild the stadium according to FIFA standards.

Three police officers are among six people who have been charged over the tragedy.

Meanwhile, an investigating task force has called on Iriawan and all of the association’s executive committee members to resign.

Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali said the matches will be held “with strict guidance” from the police and the country’s football association.

He emphasised that Indonesia’s national team “needed” the competition to prepare for the AFF Championship, while the country is also set to host FIFA U-20 World Cup next year.

The youth tournament is scheduled to take place in May-June 2023, in multiple cities across the archipelago nation.

Amali said the government will evaluate the organisation of the matches.

“The most important thing is to move forward, and then we will evaluate as there may be things that needed to be improved.”

AFP

Finally, Comedian Arap Uria Meets Iconic Commentator Peter Drury

arap-uria
Arap is famous for his lip-synch videos on social media. [email protected]

 

Kenyan comedian Arap Uria has finally met with English football commentator Peter Drury.

Arap, whose real name is Meshack Kiprop, rose to fame on social media for mimicking him and some other football commentators and met Drury at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar.

On Friday, the Kenyan posted a photo of himself in the Middle East nation, requesting to meet the iconic commentator, months after Drury praised him for his lipsyncing act and said he would love to see him.

“Hello Peter Drury, it’s Arap Uria, I am in Qatar and I would love to meet you,” he wrote on a placard in a tweet which attracted Drury’s co-commentator Jim Beglin who offered to help him.

Hours later, the dream turned reality!

“Gooooal!!! he tweeted after meeting his idol, sharing a photo of both of them. “Finally, with Peter Drury. Many thanks.”

“Wonderful,” Beglin also wrote alongside a photo of Arap and Drury. “It has happened.”

READ ALSO: [Qatar 2022] Full Last 16 Fixtures, Date And Time

‘Terrifyingly Funny’

The comic shot to prominence for his lipsynching videos of Kenyan politicians including President William Ruto.

But in 2018, Arap posted a video mimicking Drury’s commentary of the Champions League match between AS Roma and Barcelona which saw the Italian side record a historic comeback against the Blaugrana.

The video went viral and it did not take time before he got Drury’s attention. The commentator was to later send a message to Arap, praising him for his act which he described as “terrifyingly funny”.

“Arap, it’s Peter here, I really wish I could be with you today. It’s so frustrating that I am here in Doha to witness the World Cup draw. Listen, I love what you do. I hope you are laughing with me and not at me,” the 55-year-old said in an April video.

“I must say I am certainly laughing with you. It’s terrifyingly funny, it’s superb. Football shouldn’t be taken too seriously. With all the passion you show for it, I do love your work and I hope one day we might get to meet each other face to face and you can teach me how to commentate.”

Coach Salisu Invites 18 Players For Costa Rica Friendly

The home based Super Eagles
The home-based Super Eagles

 

Head Coach Salisu Yusuf has picked goalkeeper Kayode Bankole, utility player Dominion Ohaka and midfielder Afeez Nosiru as part of the team to play for Nigeria in a friendly game with Costa Rica team A. 

The Super Eagles will face the Costa Ricans in an international friendly in the country’s capital on 9th November.

NFF’s FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon said the three-time African champions were invited to the Central American nation as the Los Ticos prepare for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Coach Salisu also selected goalkeepers Bankole and Nathaniel Nwosu (U-23 team first choice), defenders Daniel Bameyi, Chidiebere Nwobodo, and Evans Ogbonda, midfielders Nosiru and Qudus Akanni and forwards Sunday Faleye and Edidiong Ezekiel, among others.

READ ALSO: ‘Potential Heartbreaker’: South Korea Sweats On Son’s World Cup Fate

The game, billed for the National Stadium in San Jose, will kick off at 8 pm Costa Rican time on Wednesday, 9th November (which is 3 am, 10th November in Nigeria).

The Nigeria team have been training at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan for the past week, and are scheduled to fly out of the country to Costa Rica on Saturday.

EAGLES FOR COSTA RICA

Kayode Bankole, Nathaniel Nwosu, Daniel Bameyi, Samuel Kalu, Chidiebere Nwobodo, Mustapha Jibrin, Evans Ogbonda, Afeez Nosiru, Samson Paul, Daniel Wotlai, Ezekiel Edidiong, Dominion Ohaka, Qudus Akanni, Shina Akinniran, Sunday Faleye, Jerry Alex, Isaiah Ejeh, Suleiman Garba

Barcelona’s Pique Retires From Football

In this file photo taken on September 14, 2019, Barcelona’s Spanish defender Gerard Pique celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Valencia CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)

 

Barcelona’s Gerard Pique announced his retirement on Thursday after a decorated career.

“Saturday’s match (against Almeria) will be my last at the Camp Nou,” the 35-year-old posted on Twitter.

The veteran defender bows out with three Champions League titles for his childhood club and the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with Spain.

READ ALSO: Germany Striker Werner Ruled Out Of World Cup

“I wanted to tell you that I’ve decided the moment has come to end this journey,” he said in a video clip of the star watching images of himself as a small boy wearing the Barcelona shirt, or chasing after autographs.

“There’s no other team after Barca,” he added.

“I’m going to become a super fan, I’ll be supporting the team and pass on my love for Barca to my son.”

“And sooner or later, I’ll be back,” he concluded.

Arriving at the Camp Nou aged 10 Pique left his home city for Manchester United’s academy in 2004, winning a first Champions League trophy under then manager Alex Ferguson in 2008.

He then returned to Catalonia, helping Barca to eight La Liga crowns, seven Copas del Rey, and three Champions League titles in 2009, 2011, and 2015.

AFP

U-17 World Cup: Nigeria’s Flamingos Begin Campaign Against Germany Today

Flamingos’ best outings were quarter-final finishes on three occasions. [email protected]

 

Nigeria’s Flamingos begin their campaign at the 2022 U-17 Women’s World Cup when they face Germany on Tuesday.

Coach Bankole Olowookere’s side are in Group  B of the competition taking place in India. Aside from the Europeans, the lot also has Chile and New Zealand.

The youngsters will clash at the Pandit Jawaharlal Stadium in Goa from 8.00 p.m. (4:00 pm Nigerian time), hours after the group’s other side – Chile and New Zealand – do battle on the same pitch.

Since its inception in 2008, Nigeria have qualified for all editions of the competition – except the 2018 tournament –  but have never gone past the quarter-finals.  This year’s competition, which was billed for 2020 but move due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the seventh edition. En route to reaching the finals in India, the Flamingos beat DR Congo, Egypt, and Ethiopia in the African qualifiers.

Their best outings were in 2010, 2012, and 2014 where they finished in the last eight. As part of their preparations for the age-grade competition, Nigeria had a 10-day camp in Turkey, playing some friendly matches.

READ ALSO: Liverpool Star Diaz Ruled Out Until After World Cup

‘A Good Challenge’

In India, Coach Bankole is expecting his team to hit the ground.

“We are excited to be starting the tournament by playing against one of the strongest women’s teams in the universe. It is a good challenge because if you’re going to win trophies, you must beat the best teams,” the Nigeria Football Federation quoted him as saying.

“Our focus is on getting the three points at stake, which will boost our confidence for the remaining games of the group phase and going forward in the competition.”

The continent also has other representatives – Morocco and Tanzania. The North Africans are playing hosts India, USA, and Brazil in Group A while Tanzania take on Japan, Canada, and France in Group D.

Time For Nigeria Vs Germany U-17 Women’s World Cup Game

As noted earlier, the match time for the U-17 Women’s World Cup game between Nigeria and German is 4:00 pm (WAT).

21 FLAMINGOS TO FLY NIGERIA’S FLAG IN INDIA:

Nigeria earlier called up 21 players for the competition as seen below: 

Goalkeepers: Faith Omilana; Linda Jiwuaku; Jessica Inyiama

Defenders: Olamide Oyinlola; Josephine Edafe; Comfort Folorunsho; Miracle Usani; Tumininu Adeshina; Blessing Sunday; Alase Attervall; Immaculata Offiong

Midfield: Chidera Okenwa; Blessing Emmanuel; Mary Aderemi; Bisola Mosaku; Taiwo Afolabi

Forward: Omowunmi Bello; Opeyemi Ajakaye; Edidiong Etim; Alvine Dah-Zossu; Yetunde Ayantosho

Full Grouping For U-17 Women’s World Cup

GROUP A: India, USA, Morocco, Brazil

GROUP B: Germany, Nigeria, Chile, New Zealand

GROUP C: Spain, Colombia, Mexico, China

GROUP D: Japan, Tanzania, Canada, France

Higuain Breaks Down In Tears, Confirms Retirement From Football

Higuain played for several clubs including Real Madrid. [email protected]

 

Inter Miami striker Gonzalo Higuain is determined to end his career on a high in MLS after announcing his retirement at the age of 34 on Monday.

The former Juventus, Real Madrid, Napoli, and Argentina striker will see out the current season at Inter Miami and attempt to push Phil Neville’s side into the play-offs before quitting the game.

Ironically, Higuain has been in excellent form in MLS recently, the Argentine scoring 12 goals in the last 14 games including a match winning strike in Toronto at the weekend.

But with his Inter Miami deal expiring at the end of the season, the striker believes now is the time to follow his brother Federico into retirement.

READ ALSOAs He Plots Liverpool Revival, Klopp Says Even Ronaldo Has Confidence Dips

“The day has arrived to say goodbye to football, a profession that has given me so much and one I feel privileged to have lived with its good and bad moments,” a visibly emotional Higuain told a news conference attended by the entire Inter Miami squad.

“I want to thank each technical staff that coached me: Club Palermo, River Plate, Real Madrid, Argentina, Napoli, Milan, Chelsea and finally Inter Miami.

“I’ll take beautiful moments with me in my head and in my heart.

“I had an unthinkable career and achieved more than I could imagine. It’s a decision I made three or four months ago.”

Higuain meanwhile hopes to crown his career with an MLS title, with Inter Miami battling for a place in the postseason playoffs.

“It would be a dream to end my career as a champion in MLS,” he said.

Higuain scored 31 goals in 75 appearances for Argentina and helped them reach the World Cup final in 2014 and the 2015 Copa America final.

His international career however came to a halt following Argentina’s defeat in the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup.

His club career was equally stellar, the high point coming in La Liga with Real Madrid where the forward scored 107 goals in 190 games before moving to Napoli and netting 71 goals in 104 appearances. He later joined Juventus and won two domestic doubles in his first two seasons.

“When you are a big player with that kind of experience and ability , you can carry the team on your back,” Miami coach Neville said.

“There were a lot of questions about him a few weeks back but we spoke about legacy and how he wants to be remembered. You can wave the white flag or show what you are all about.

“What he has shown since is that he has proven he’s world class and a winner. The season is still going though and he has to keep on carrying and inspiring a group of young players.

“He has stood up and his influence off the field cannot be underestimated.”

Higuain will put his emotions to one side on Wednesday when Florida rivals Orlando City arrive in Fort Lauderdale with a play-off slot very much up for grabs.

AFP

New Leaders Set To Emerge As NFF Congress Begins In Benin

Giwa Takes Control Of NFF As Dalung Asks Pinnick To Obey Court Order
A logo of the NFF.

 

The 78th Annual General Assembly and elective congress of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are ongoing in Benin city, the Edo State capital.

The event was nearly stopped by a court ruling but an Appeal Court on Thursday paved the way for the elections to go ahead as earlier scheduled.

READ ALSO: [NFF Elections] FG Asks Stakeholders To Abide By Court Order

Ten candidates including NFF’s first vice president, Seyi Akinwunmi; former international, Peterside Idah, are in the race to succeed incumbent, Amaju Melvin Pinnick.

Also in attendance for the event are FIFA’s Head of Development Programmes for Africa and former Swiss international, Gelson Fernandes.

Football Injuries ‘Up 20 Percent’ In Europe’s Top Leagues – Study

File photo: Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar reacts after getting tackled during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lyon (OL), on December 13, 2020 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

 

Injuries across Europe’s top five leagues rose by 20 percent in the 2021/22 season, according to a study published on Wednesday, as arguments intensify over football’s congested calendar ahead of the World Cup.

The study by insurance brokers Howden found clubs paid a record-high price for injuries of £513 million ($550 million) last season.

Injury cost was calculated by multiplying the cost per day of a player by the number of days they were unavailable because of an injury.

World players’ union FIFPRO says structures must be put in place to limit player workloads.

For the first time this year, a European campaign will be interrupted by a mid-season World Cup, causing further fixture congestion either side of the tournament in Qatar, which starts on November 20.

European governing body UEFA has increased the number of competitive games with the addition of the Nations League to the international schedule and is expanding European club competitions from 2024.

READ ALSOFIFA Ends Video Game Partnership With EA Sports After 30 Years

World governing body FIFA is set to follow suit, with the World Cup expanded to 48 teams from 2026.

The Premier League had the highest injury cost of any of the top five divisions at nearly £185 million, with La Liga in Spain a distant second on £109 million.

French champions Paris Saint-Germain had the highest injury cost of any club in Europe at £34 million.

Injuries in the Premier League were up to 1,231 in 2021/22, compared to 938 the season before.

The permanent adoption of five substitutions per side by football’s lawmakers IFAB is designed to lessen the load on players.

But FIFPRO is urging FIFA to go further by mandating minimum rest periods of four weeks in the off-season and a mid-season break of two weeks for each player.

AFP

‘This Is Not Goodbye’: Mikel Obi Retires From Football 

Mikel To Miss Eagles AFCON Qualifier Against South Africa
In this file photo, ex-Super Eagles midfielder John Obi Mikel attends a press conference in Kaliningrad on June 15, 2018, during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. OZAN KOSE / AFP.

 

Nigerian star Mikel Obi has retired from professional football after a sparkling career spanning twenty years. 

“There is a saying that ‘all good things must come to an end’, and for my professional football career, that day is today,” the 35-year-old former Chelsea man said on Tuesday.

“I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mikel Obi (@mikel_john_obi)

For the former Super Eagles skipper, his career won’t have come this far without support from coaches, family members, fans, and teammates, among others.

“You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days that I did not live up to your expectations,” Mikel added. “I say a big thank you.”

As for those who may have been inspired by his footballing exploits, the former Lyn Oslo star urged them “to never give up on their dreams; for every time you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started.

“This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you.”

He last played for Al Kuwait SC but his contract was terminated by the club in November 2021 for undisclosed reasons. He had one year left on his contract.

The Nigerian broke into stardom following a sterling performance for the West Africans at the 2005 World Youth Championship where the country lost to a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentine team. The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star clinched the tournament’s Golden Ball while Mikel won the silver boot.

Around that time, Mikel was the subject of a three-way transfer saga involving Manchester United, Chelsea, and Norwegian side Lyn Oslo. He eventually signed for the London club where he won several laurels including two league titles, three FA Cups, one Champions League, a League Cup, Community Shield, and a Europa League trophy.

He was also a one-time winner of the Turkish Cup and on the international scene scored six times.

Apart from winning the 2013 AFCON, Mikel had 91 caps for Nigeria and won a bronze medal for the country at the 2016 Olympics.  In the 2006, 2010, and 2019 editions of the AFCON, Mikel also helped Nigeria claim bronze. He also played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cup, captaining the team in the latter.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles’ Goal Is To Win Next AFCON, Says Peseiro

‘Thank you for the Memories’

In the wake of his retirement, tributes have continued to pour in for the former midfielder. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Super Eagles, and Chelsea were among the first set of persons to wish him well.

“Thank you for the memories and good luck, @mikel_john_obi” , the NFF wrote on Twitter. 

For Chelsea where he spent most of his career, the Premier League outfit wished him a happy retirement, sharing his Instagram post where the announcement was made.

“The Nigerian, who played a key role as the Blues secured a first Champions League trophy in 2012, made the announcement on his personal Instagram account having most recently been with Kuwait SC,” the club wrote on its website.

“Having given the Blues over a decade of service after signing as a fresh-faced 19-year-old, the midfielder lifted every major honour, which included two Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Europa League, among others. He clocked up a mammoth 372 appearances in a Chelsea shirt.”

Sport Leaders Eye Africa As Talent Source, Investment Target

This photograph taken on April 20, 2022 shows an exterior view of the al-Janoub Stadium in Doha (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

 

 

Africa offers a vast underdeveloped market for global sports, with thousands of athletes ready to join international ranks if only there were major investment, industry leaders and stars say.

But more government and private-sector partnerships are needed to turbo-charge African sports and bring young players into top-tier leagues of football, basketball and even American football, participants at a business forum said Monday.

In the event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, NBA commissioner Adam Silver hailed Africa as bursting with sporting potential, noting that more than 10 percent of players in the world’s premier basketball league were born in African countries or have African parents.

“Invariably more NBA, WNBA players will be discovered, will be nurtured, will be developed and then be able to play at the highest level,” he said of the region’s younger generations and the benefits of expanding youth training programs there.

Silver also stressed that in order to attract the “literally billions in investments that are needed,” sport in Africa must be seen as economically viable.

“In order to persuade… great businesspeople to invest in the infrastructure, we have to demonstrate that it’s a real business — that there is real return over time,” he said.

The forum featured former NBA stars like Congolese-American Dikembe Mutombo, WNBA sensation Chiney Ogwumike who is of Nigerian origin, and current Toronto Raptors power forward Pascal Siakam, a Cameroonian who caught the attention of scouts at a Basketball Without Borders camp in South Africa.

American football too has beefed up its presence. More than 100 current NFL players are African, according to Osi Umenyiora, a Super Bowl champion who leads an NFL initiative to expand the pipeline of new talent from places such as Ghana and Nigeria.

“From a business standpoint it would actually make sense to me to start making business in Africa now,” Umenyiora told the audience, adding the NFL has recently opened new player camps in Africa.

– ‘Grounded’ –

The discussion comes along the launch of the new African Super League, which is dangling major prize money for the 24 football clubs that qualify for the first edition next year.

Confederation of African Football president Patrice Motsepe said that while Africa’s link to European and American leagues is “important,” the Super League “will attract billions of dollars in football in Africa to pay the smartest and most talented young Africans and keep them on the continent.”

Recent 100-meter hurdles gold medalist Tobi Amusan, who in July became Nigeria’s first world champion in a track and field event, warned that Africa’s lack of infrastructure including training facilities could fuel a migration of athletes.

“I’m not saying don’t go to other places,” Amusan, who herself is based in Texas, told AFP.

“But if the government and private sector have stuff like this implemented in Africa, we keep our own grounded in our countries and not just have them wander away to other countries.”

The head of the region’s new top-flight basketball league also spoke of the delicate balance between international player recruitment and sports development on the ground.

“Africa needs to cease being just an exporter all the time,” said Amadou Fall, president of the Basketball Africa League, which launched last year.

AFP

[email protected]: Team CUALA Finishes Third At Alumni Novelty Football Tournament

This photo shows Team CUALA before one of their matches.

 

Team CUALA narrowly missed out on the final to finish third as Bells University emerged champions of the Alumni Novelty Football tournament to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.

The event which took place at the Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos was organised by the Covenant University Alumni Association (CUALA).

It had six university alumni teams namely Afe Babalola University, Bells University, Covenant University (host), Landmark University, Redeemers University, and the University of Ibadan.

The event kicked off with three knock-out rounds and in the first knock-out match between Redeemers University and Afe Babalola University, Redeemers won 2-1 to advance.

The second knock-out match between Landmark University and the University of Ibadan ended in a 1-1 draw at full-time. UI won the penalty shoot-out 3-2.

In the local derby – a clash to determine who rules Ota, Covenant University took on Bells University of Technology and the match also ended in a penalty round after a 1-1 draw. 15 minutes into the game, Bells opened scoring from open play and took the lead into the break.

When second half action resumed, Team CUALA pumped up the heat and their efforts paid off when Leroy Datuowei scored with a fantastic header. After regulation time, the result stayed 1-1. Unfortunately, the Bishop David Oyedepo boys lost 4-3 in the penalty shootout.

Both teams met again in the semis and the result didn’t change. Bells University beat Covenant University 1-0 to reach the final. In the second semi-final match, the University of Ibadan beat Redeemers University 3-2 via penalties to book a final place after they played 1-1 at full time.

In the third-place match, Covenant University beat Redeemers University 1 – 0 courtesy of another fine goal by Leroy Datuowei. Bells University took their fine form into the final to beat the University of Ibadan 2-1.

The President of CUALA, Kemi Onabanjo-Joseph said the novelty match has produced the right mood to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the institution.

“In commemorating the 20th anniversary of our beloved alma mater, Covenant University, we thought it would be important to extend the celebration to the broader society, including other alumni communities,” she said.

Onabanjo-Joseph added, “Football is a unifying game and despite how competitive it can get, we decided to leverage the novelty tournament as a platform to bring communities together for value exchange. The event turned out even better than we expected.

“All the teams brought their A-games, new friendships were formed, and we are sure that the connections made yesterday will be value-adding. We are grateful to the alumni associations that accepted our invitation and look forward to an expanded tournament next year and beyond.”

Super Falcons Battle World Champions USA Again

Super Falcons meet with a number of Nigerians based in Kansas City, Missouri

 

Nigeria and USA women National Senior Teams clash in Washington DC on Tuesday in the second of a two-match tour of the United States by the nine-time African champions.

Three-time world champions trounced the Falcons 4-0 in the two teams’ first encounter at the Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, with a brace from Sophia Smith and one each by Lindsay Horan and Alex Morgan.

Both USA and Nigeria have qualified to participate in the 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals to be staged by Australia and New Zealand in the summer of next year.

Tuesday’s encounter will take place at the Audi Field in Washington. Audi Field is utilized by National Women’s Soccer League side Washington Spirit and Major League Soccer team, D. C. United and though the USWNT have played 10 times previously in Washington (all at the RFK Stadium), it is their first run-out at the Audi Field.

The game will commence at 11 pm Nigeria time (6 pm in Washington DC).

READ ALSOMan Utd Beat Arsenal At Old Trafford

Meanwhile, prior to their clash with USWNT in Kansas City, the Super Falcons took time to have a ‘Meet and Greet’ session with some prominent Nigerians based in the State of Missouri, including Adeola Ajayi (ex-Nigeria basketball team player), Chioma Atanmo (Community Manager, Sporting KC), Olofu Agbaji (ex-Nigeria basketball team player), Tijani Idris (ex-Nigeria basketball team player) and David Ehindero (a U.S –based Nigerian businessman).

Also at the simple but lively session were John Allagh (ex-Nigeria basketball team player), Prince Tega (a player with the NFL football team, Kansas City Chiefs), Ochai Agbaji (ex-Nigeria basketball team player), and Victor Ejelonu (CEO, My Village Grill Restaurant).