Channels TV Wins Aiteo-NFF Development Award

 

Channels Television has won the AITEO-Nigeria Football Federation award for the second consecutive year, for promoting football at the grassroots.

The Channels International Kids Cup, a corporate social responsibility programme of the TV station, started in 2009 as a Lagos state competition and has evolved into an international event featuring participants from the Benin Republic and Ghana.

The tournament received the development award at the maiden edition of the NFF awards for constantly improving on the objective of discovering and nurturing young talents under the age of 13 in primary schools.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ stand-in captain Ahmed Musa and Super Falcons’ opposite number Onome Ebi took the big gongs at the second edition of the awards that held in Lagos on Monday night.

Among the winners were Super Falcons’ coach Thomas Dennerby, Super Eagles’ ace winger Samuel Chukwueze and Enugu Rangers’ coach Olugbenga Ogunbote.

The project started only last year, but, like the first edition, dignitaries and guests came from all over Africa and other parts of the world.

The highlight of the night, by miles, was the special recognition of the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994 – the squad widely nicknamed ‘Golden Generation’ after qualifying Nigeria for her first ever FIFA World Cup finals, winning the Africa Cup of Nations on away soil for the first time and coming within 100 seconds of a quarter-final place at the World Cup in the United States of America.

Physically present and bathed in applause were goalkeepers Peter Rufai and Alloy Agu, defenders Austin Eguavoen, Uche Okechukwu, Benedict Iroha, Nduka Ugbade and Taribo West, midfielders Mutiu Adepoju, Austin ‘JJ’ Okocha, Sunday Oliseh and Edema Fuludu and forwards Finidi George, Samson Siasia and Daniel Amokachi. Omoyemi Yekini, daughter of the ‘goalsfather’ Rashidi Yekini, stood in for her late father as well as the four others who had passed on: team Captain Stephen Keshi, goalkeeper Wilfred Agbonavbare, defender Uche Okafor and midfielder Thompson Oliha.

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Emmanuel Amuneke, Michael Emenalo, Emeka Ezeugo, Efan Ekoku, Isaac Semitoje and Chidi Nwanu could not make it down to Nigeria for the ceremony. While a couple of the players present on Monday night did not make the final cut for the World Cup in America, six members of the group went ahead to join the Dream Team and return to America to conquer – by winning Africa’s men’s football gold at the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta two years later.

Secretary-General of FIFA, Ms Fatma Samoura (the first African/first woman to occupy the position) was honoured with the NFF Order of Merit Award, as Presidents of 18 Member Associations of FIFA, the Abia State Governor (Chief Okezie Ikpeazu), the Acting Governor of Edo State (Comrade Philip Shaibu), two Governors-elect (Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State) and captains of industry, political juggernauts, A-class artistes and heavyweight stakeholders of the game watched at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management, Members of the NFF Congress and chairman of various Clubs were also in attendance.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation and First Vice President of CAF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, once more eulogized the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for providing the conducive environment for football to thrive and for total support for the NFF and the various National Teams, while calling on Nigeria’s other billionaires and well-heeled companies to emulate AITEO Group and boost the development of football in Nigeria.

Business mogul and politician, Chief M. K. O. Abiola was honoured with the NFF Presidential Award, while Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his hefty support for football projects and programs of the National Teams.

There were several members of the CAF Executive Committee, namely Dr Danny Jordaan of South Africa, Suleiman Waberi of Djibouti, Aisha Johansen of Sierra Leone, Moses Magogo of Uganda and Sita Sangare of Burkina Faso.  All noted the good and great works that Samoura, who spent 21 years working for the United Nations, has been doing as chief accounting officer of FIFA since she assumed office three years ago.

NFF First Vice President and Chairman of the Awards organizing committee, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi said the Federation decided it was apt to honour the Super Eagles’ Class of 1994, 25 years to their AFCON –winning exploits and FIFA World Cup performance. It would be recalled that Nigeria was named the second most entertaining team of the USA 1994 World Cup.

Responding on behalf of the 1994 Eagles, defender Austin Eguavoen expressed deep appreciation of the squad to the NFF for the honour, while also using the opportunity to plead that NFF should help the players pursue the Federal Government’s promise of a house for each member of the squad, following the AFCON triumph in Tunisia 25 years ago.

2ND AITEO-NFF AWARDS WINNERS

Young Player of the Year (Female): Anam Imo

Young Player of the Year (Male): Samuel Chukwueze

Fair Play Award: Akwa United FC

Fans of the Season: Kano Pillars FC Fans

Coach of the Year (Female): Thomas Dennerby

Coach of the Year (Male): Olugbenga Ogunbote

Goal of the Year: Ahmed Musa

Team of the Season: Super Falcons

NFF Development Award: Channels Television (Channels International Kids’ Cup)

Special Recognition: Super Eagles of 1994                           

Lifetime Achievement Award: Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

NFF Presidential Award: Chief M.K.O Abiola (of blessed memory)

NFF Order of Merit Award: Fatma Samoura

Player of the Year (Female): Onome Ebi

Player of the Year (Male): Ahmed Musa

Amapakabo Wants Rangers To Hold On To Celebration

Federation Cup, enugu rangers, Rangers, Imama Amapakabo, NPFLEnugu Rangers head coach, Imama Amapakabo, wants his team to hold to their celebrations despite being just a point away from becoming champions in the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

The Flying Antelopes recorded an impressive 2-1 win over relegated, Ikorodu United on Sunday in Abeokuta to boost the chances of winning their seventh top-flight title.

Amapakabo told Channels Television that although the side are close to winning the title they still have to win the last day match against El Kanemi Warriors to be properly crowned the undisputed champions.

Enugu Rangers are top on the league table with  60 points; three ahead of closest challengers, Rivers United with a game to play.

Remo Stars Promoted

Meanwhile, coach of Remo Stars, Nduka Ugbade says his side are not carried away after gaining promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League next season.

Coach Ugbade told Channels Television that the team would rather concentrate on their last league game against UNICEM Rovers at home.

No matter the outcome of the game, Remo Stars are heading to the NPFL for the first time, having recorded an unassailable 28 points in their Division B1 of the NNL.

But Ugbade says they plan to finish a successful campaign on a high in front of their fans in Ijebu-Ode to justify the investment of club owner, Kunle Soname.

NFF Names Paul Le Guen As New Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser

Paul Le Guen, NFF, Super Eagles, Technical AdviserThe Technical and Development Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation on Monday named Frenchman Paul Le Guen, as the new Technical Adviser of the Senior National Team, Super Eagles.

He will be assisted by Nigerian Salisu Yusuf, who takes the role of Chief Coach.

The appointments are subject to agreement of contract terms with the NFF Executive Committee.

Spokesman of the Committee, Paul Bassey, told thenff.com after the meeting at the NFF secretariat on Monday that Enugu Rangers gaffer Imama Amapakabo and former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper and skipper Alloy Agu, who served as assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer for the games against Mali and Luxembourg in May, retain their places in the technical crew.

The new crew’s immediate challenge is a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Tanzania in the first week of September – a dead rubber, but which would serve as ample preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match away to Zambia on October 3.

The 52-year-old new Eagles’ boss steered the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.

He played for Brest, Nantes and Paris Saint Germain and won 17 caps for France, before coaching Rennes, Lyon, PSG (in France) and Glasgow Rangers (in Scotland). He also coached Oman.

Yusuf, capped at U20 level by Nigeria, called the shots in interim capacity for two international friendly matches in Europe at the end of May, which the Eagles won.

The Committee has also recommended to the NFF Board, the appointment of one–time Super Eagles’ assistant coach Bitrus Bewarang as the new NFF Technical Director. Bewarang, who is president of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association, will replace the late Coach Shaibu Amodu.

There is also a recommendation that former Super Eagles’ defender Nduka Ugbade be restored to the U17 National Team as assistant to Coach Manu Garba.

Yahaya, Eze Promise To Meet January 15 Deadline

Musa_Yahaya1Tottenham Hotspur youngster, Musa Yahaya and FC Porto’s Chidera Eze, have promised to be with the Flying Eagles squad by the January 15 deadline given to them.

“We have been following up on the release of the foreign pros called up for the African Youth Championship and so far the signals have been very encouraging,” said team secretary Auwal Aliyu Ibrahim.

“For instance, Musa Yahaya is off to Malaysia for an invitational tournament with the Spurs youth team and he has called to say he will join us as soon as he returns.

“Chidera Eze has also assured he will come in before the January 15 deadline set by the coach for all overseas-based players to report to the training camp in Kaduna.”

Sweden-based Taiwo Awoniyi and Musa Muhammed are so far the only pros now training with the African Youth Championship-bound squad.

The other foreign pros called up include Moses Simon, Kingsley Madu, Isaac Success, Kelechi Iheanacho and Chidiebere Nwakali.

Meanwhile, the team led by coach Manu Garba will open 2015 with an endurance drill in the morning of New Year’s day.

“We will begin 2015 with hard work,” said Flying Eagles assistant coach Nduka Ugbade.

“There is still a lot of work to be done before our first match at the AYC and so we cannot afford to relax even for a day.

“All celebrations therefore have to be put on hold until we have met some of our targets.

“Our New Year’s day will be when we would have qualified for the World Cup in New Zealand.”

Eaglets beat Junior Mena of Niger 6-0

Nigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets has qualified for the next round of the U-17 African championship after beating Niger team the Junior Mena on a 10-1 aggregate in second leg which saw the Eaglets wallop the Nigeriens 6-0 on Saturday.

Nduka Ugbade, the Assistant coach of the Under 17 team could not hide his happiness on the performance of his team.

Ifeanyi Matthew, Izu Omego, Musa Mohammed, Musa Yahaya scored a goal each as Isaac Success terrorised Niger’s Junior Mena every time the Eaglets go forward during Saturday’s game at the UJ Esuene Stadium in Calabar.

The next opponent of the Nigerian team is Guinea and the Golden Eaglets will be playing hosts to the first leg on the weekend of October 12, 13 and 14 and the return leg will hold on October 26, 27 and 28 in Conakry, Guinea.

The first leg game of the Under17 African championship qualifying was played in Niamey where Eaglets triumphed with a 4-1 score line.