Indoor Sports Hall Collapses In Calabar

A major disaster which would have claimed lives and left many severely injured was averted in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, when an uncompleted multipurpose indoor sports hall at the U. J. Esuene Sports Stadium collapsed.

The incident happened at a time when the children’s competition taking place in the stadium was suspended to observe the Easter Holiday as more than 2000 children would have been crushed to death.

The structure was supposed to be one of the facilities to host the National Sports Festival by the State, which was awarded for 14 million Dollars.

Reacting on the unfortunate development, Chairman of the State’s Sports Commission, Mr Orok Duke, blamed the incident on the Contractor who besides not completing the job after being fully paid 14 million Dollars upfront, still used substandard materials.

The indoor Sport hall Chairman said, the stadium was awarded by the immediate past administration and has been under construction for over two years.

“What I have discovered is that the contractors to this project have used substandard materials and it is showing because this structure has been here for not more than three years but what we should note is that this structure was erected before the advent of Prof Ben Ayade’s government.

“And in keeping with our policy of trying to reposition sports, I had asked for permission to go after the contractor, but my principal, the governor had said he does not want to be distracted. We should cut our losses and move on because he was still focusing on hosting the National Sports Festival.

“The most frightening thing is the discovery of these substandard materials which means this was a tragedy waiting to happen.

“If it hadn’t happened now, maybe it would have happened when we had a full house with a lot of athletes.

“Being Good Friday, I can say that God just intervened because a lot of people would have been killed, especially now lots of children come to the stadium. This structure was supposed to be here for over 200 years. So we are really stunned about this development.

“The original design of the indoor sports hall had two ovals. So money was given for two ovals, but he started work on one and could not even complete it. Even at that, substandard materials were still used. It is only in Cross River that sundry contractors would walk in, cheat us and walk away without anyone going after them. It is sad for us”, Mr Duke said.

Mr Duke further called on relevant agencies to thoroughly look into the matter and act accordingly in order to serve as a deterrent.

NRA Urges LMC To Clamp On Hooliganism In NPFL

Courtesy: www.npfl.ng

The Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), has called on the League Management Company (LMC) to clamp on the rising tide of hooliganism.

This followed the persistent attack on some of its members officiating in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in some venues.

Three referees that handled Sunday’s NPFL game between Kano Pillars and Akwa United were manhandled by the home fans at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.

The NRA in a statement lashed out at the club’s officials for inciting the fans against its members, irrespective of the outcomes of their games.

The statement added that it would not hesitate to withdraw its members from the league if the ugly trend continues.

Super Eagles Coach, Rohr Confirms Onazi’s Injury

Super Eagles Coach, Rohr Confirms Ogenyi Onaz' InjurySuper Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has confirmed that Ogenyi Onazi has suffered a serious back injury on Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Senegal.

The stand in skipper was replaced by John Ogu in the first half and Rohr said afterwards that the midfielder would require a scan to ascertain the level of damage.

Rohr also suggested that Ahmed Musa could be carrying a knock after the Leicester City forward was substituted in the 75th minute.

The Super Eagles will take on Burkina Faso on Monday as they continue preparations for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Rangers, Rivers United Get Confederation Cup Opponent

Federation Cup, enugu rangers, Rangers, Imama Amapakabo, NPFLRangers International and Rivers United, have been drawn in the last 16 of the CAF Confederation Cup.

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champion, Rangers, were drawn against Zesco United of Zambia.

The club crashed out of the Champions League after losing to Zamalek 5-3 on aggregate.

Rivers United would face Rayon Sports of Rwanda, following their drop to the second tier having lost to Al-Merrikh 4-3 on aggregate.

The first leg would be played on April 7 and 9, while the return leg is scheduled for April 14 and 16.

CAF President, Ahmad Thanks Delegates For Support

CAF President, Ahmad Thanks Delegates For SupportThe new Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Ahmad Ahmad, has thanked delegates for their confidence and for giving him the mandate to rule African football.

He said: “its a normal changeover” after he was elected to replace Issa Hayatou, after 29 years in charge.

The 57-year-old emerged as a surprise candidate late 2016 and was initially given little chance of unseating Hayatou, who had ruled over African football since 1988.

The Malagasy beat incumbent Issa Hayatou by 34 votes to 20, to assume leadership of the continent’s soccer governing body till 2021.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has also congratulated the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, on his success at the just concluded Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee elections held on Thursday in Addis Ababa.

Sunshine Stars Protest Over Unpaid Wages

Sunshine Stars Protest Over Unpaid WagesPlayers of the Sunshine Stars and staff of the Ondo State Football Agency, have protested over non-payment of salary arrears as well as sign-on fees.

According to the protesters, the government is owing them up to 13 months and 6 months salary arrears for the staff and players as well as sign on fees for the players.

Sunshine Stars are currently 15th on the Nigeria Professional League (NPL) table with just two victories from nine league games.

Giwa, Effiong, Adama Recieve FIFA Ban Extension

Fifa, World Cup DrawFIFA has confirmed the worldwide extension of sanctions imposed by the Nigerian Football Federation’s (NFF), Disciplinary Committee on May, 12, 2016 against Christopher Giwa, Muazu Suleyman, Yahaya Adama, Sani Fema and Johnson Effiong, for breaches of the NFF Statutes and the FIFA Code of Ethics.

In accordance with Art. 136ff of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the five-year ban from taking part in any kind of football-related activity imposed on the five officials to have worldwide effect.

The quintet were suspended on Thursday in relation to the contest for the leadership of Nigerian football.

After reviewing the charges, available facts and evidence, the NFF Disciplinary Committee found the officials guilty of illegally representing the NFF in breach of Art. 40 of the NFF Statutes, when they without due authorization and mandate purported to contract a Law Firm, Messrs Leslie Cohen & Associates of Illovo Law Chambers, 4 Fricker Road, Ground Floor, South Africa in the name of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and refused to pay for services whereby the said Messrs Leslie Cohen & Associates commenced proceedings against the NFF for the sum of  one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) being legal fees for professional services rendered in the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg.

The officials were also found guilty of breaching Art. 69(1) of the NFF Statutes by taking football matters to the ordinary court and failing to submit to the jurisdiction of FIFA and the NFF.

In addition, Christopher Giwa was charged for breaching the general rules of conduct as contained in Art. 13 of the FIFA Code of Ethics when he invaded the premises of the Nigeria Football Federation and falsely presented himself as President of the NFF on 6th May, 2016.

Nevertheless, the relevant member associations as well as CAF have been duly notified of the chairman’s decision.

UEFA Pays Clubs For Players’ Euro 2016 Release

UEFA Pays Clubs For Players' Euro 2016 ReleaseUnion of European Football Associations (UEFA), has handed out a total of 150 million euros ($162.18 million) to clubs who released players for the Euro 2016 qualifying matches.

UEFA said that, 641 clubs benefited from solidarity payments meant to appease clubs who often complain about the amount of time their players spend with their national teams.

For the qualifying matches, 3,536 Euros was paid to a club each time one of their players was included in the 23-man squad of a national team.

For Euro 2016 itself, 7,321 Euros was paid to a club each time one of their players was included in the final squad.

According to the UEFA figures, Juventus received the biggest handout of 3.48 million Euros, followed by Liverpool 3.39 million Euros and Tottenham Hotspur 3.07 million Euros.

AFCON: Host Nation Crash Out

footballHost nation, Gabon, have crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage after a goalless draw against Cameroon in the final round of games in group A.

However, the draw hands the Indomitable Lions a spot in the last eight, after finishing second behind group leaders Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso defeated Guinea-Bissau 2-0. An own goal from Rudinilson Silva and Bertrand Traore handed the Stallions their first victory in the group.

The two teams join Senegal, and Ghana who have already qualified for the quarter-finals.

NFF Mandates Amodu To Work With Keshi

amodu
NFF Technical Director, Amodu Shaibu

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed that Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi, will work with the federation’s Technical Study Group.

The NFF also says Keshi will no longer make a unilateral decision in the selection of the Super Eagles squad for international matches but will be supervised by Technical Director, Amodu Shaibu.

The President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, disclosed that the NFF Technical Director, Shuaibu Amodu and the Technical Study Group headed by former Eagles Captain, Austin Okocha, will oversee the process of selecting players for the team’s assignments.

While stating that the invitation of players in the Nigerian Super Eagles will no longer be an exclusive duty of Stephen Keshi, Pinnick noted that the Coach “will still have his input” in calling up players.

Reports say Amodu has been directed by the football federation to wield his powers as Technical Director as he will be held responsible for the team’s failure and not Keshi

Nigeria kicked off their campaign in the 2017 AFCON qualification with a 2-0 win in Kaduna last Saturday with Gbolahan Salami and Odion Ighalo getting the goals.

The Nigeria Football Federation re-engaged Mr Stephen Keshi as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles in April 2015. Keshi tutored the Eagles to a Nations’ Cup victory in 2013.

Keshi Signs New Contract As Super Eagles Coach

keshiThe Nigeria Football Federation has re-engaged Mr Stephen Keshi as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

At a contract signing ceremony in Abuja, the Acting President of the federation, Mr Seyi Akinwunmi, said that the federation remains committed to the development of football in Nigeria.

Mr Keshi who tutored the Eagles to a Nations Cup victory in 2013, however appealed to Nigerians to support the national team in order to achieve greater success.

Stephen Keshi had, earlier in the month, appealed to Nigerian football fans to forgive the technical crew and the team for failing to qualify for the 2015 Nations Cup.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja, Mr Keshi said that his second coming as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles would witness a total turn around for the team and the development of Nigerian football.

He further appealed to football loving fans to support the Super Eagles at all times, promising an improvement in the performance of the team.

There had been reports that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had agreed a new deal with Stephen Keshi, after a meeting between his representatives and the NFF in March.

Nigerians would be looking forward to the qualifiers for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) where Nigeria is pitched in group G along with 7-time African champions, Egypt, Tanzania and Chad.

Stephen Keshi has been managing the Nigerian National Team since 2011.

Keshi Apologizes to Nigerians

keshiThe Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi, has appealed to Nigerian football fans to forgive the technical crew and the team for failing to qualify for the last Nations Cup.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja, Mr Keshi said that his second coming as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles would witness a total turn around for the team and the development of Nigerian football.

He further appealed to football loving fans to support the Super Eagles at all times, promising an improvement in the performance of the team.

There had been reports that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had agreed a new deal with Stephen Keshi, after a meeting between his representatives and the NFF.

Sources said that the discussion between the two parties went well with a formal pronouncement still being expected.

Keshi’s apology comes as Nigerians look forward to the qualifiers for the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) where Nigeria is pitched in group G along with 7-time African champions, Egypt, Tanzania and Chad.

Stephen Keshi has been managing the Nigerian National Team since 2011.