NIS Win 2014 Beach Volleyball Championship

Beach VolleyballThe Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Volleyball Team have won the 2014 Beach Volleyball Open Championship played in Kaduna, North West Nigeria.

The tournament which played at the sports arena of Murtala Mohammed Square in the state capital, was organized by the Nigeria Volleyball Federation.

Before reaching the final stage, the NIS team had defeated their counterparts from Ondo State by 2-0 in the semi final and later beat Benue 2-0 to emerge champions.

Team Ondo won the third position of the competition by defeating team Niger 3-2 in a pulsating encounter that dragged into five sets after both side lost to the two finalists 2-0 in the semi-final played earlier in the day.

Speaking after the presentation of trophies, Chairman of the Nigeria Beach Volleyball Association, Musa Nimrod, said that the competition has identified new players and also provided other experienced players the avenue to put their skills in shape.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria would go far in Beach Volleyball, stressing the Federation would not want to waste their first place ranking and one of the best ways of doing so is by organising this competition.

He, however, called on the private sector for more support for Beach Volleyball, which he said has a lot of potentials to take away the youths from the streets and bring glory to the country.

Stephen Keshi To Resume As Eagles Coach – NFF

KeshiThe Executive Committee of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), says that it expects Stephen Keshi to resume as the Head Coach of the Nigerian Super Eagles next week.

The Executive Committee mandated the secretariat to reach out to the 2013 African Nations Cup winner and conclude the details of his contract.

NFF Spokesperson, Emeka Iyama, said that a three-man committee was set up by the NFF and they were having talks with Keshi’s lawyer to ensure that the processes are concluded in time to resume work.

“We expect that the signing would be next week so that he can resume work ahead of the fast-approaching 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifying series,” he said.

Stephen Keshi’s immediate task would be a 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifier on September 7 between Nigeria and Rwanda.

South Africa and Sudan are also in the group, with the top two qualifying for the finals in Morocco in January.

Stephen Keshi, whose initial contract expired with the World Cup in Brazil, expressed his willingness to continue after leading the Super Eagles to the 2013 African Cup of Nations title and a place in the round of 16 in Brazil.

FIFA Bans Suarez For Four Months After Biting Chiellini

suarezWorld football governing body, FIFA, have suspended Uruguay star, Luis Suarez, from all football-related activity for four months for biting Italy defender, Giorgio Chiellini, and have also being expelled from the World Cup.

Suarez flew back to Montevideo in disgrace last night after being told his participation in the ongoing 2014 World Cup was over following an unprecedented FIFA punishment.

The Liverpool striker was evicted from Uruguay’s team hotel on Thursday as part of his immediate four-month ban, which would see him miss the opening 13 games for Liverpool next season as well as the next nine competitive Uruguayan international matches

The independent FIFA disciplinary committee, chaired by Claudio Sulser of Switzerland, reached the decision to hand Suarez a World Cup record ban after 10 hours of talks spread over Wednesday night and Thursday morning before it was announced at FIFA’s daily briefing at the Maracana.

The committee took into account that this was the third time Suarez had bitten an opponent, the first, PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in 2010, for which he received a seven-match ban, and then Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanovic in 2013, which he got a 10-game ban.

Sulser said: “Such behaviour cannot be tolerated and in particular not at a World Cup when the eyes of millions are on the stars on the field. The disciplinary committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code.”

The player and the Uruguay FA had been informed minutes beforehand and the suspension starts with immediate effect.

The Uruguayan Football Association are preparing an appeal against the severity of the sentence, which they describe as an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence” and also includes a £64,000 fine. But there is no chance of Suarez appearing at Brazil 2014 again and his future at Liverpool is also plunged into uncertainty through the length of the suspension.

Uruguay FA President, Wilmar Valdez, said: “We are preparing our appeal to present to FIFA in the next few hours. It’s an extremely excessive punishment, there was not enough evidence and I have seen more aggressive incidents.

“It feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup. We all know what Suarez means to Uruguay and to football around the world. Luis will travel home to recover with his family.”

FIFA’s strict regulations,  barring him from any involvement in football means he cannot even watch Liverpool or Uruguay in action as he is banned from football stadiums and must train alone away from Liverpool’s Melwood training ground.

Even in football exile, Suarez can be sold, which pundits thinks is a strong possibility, but cannot personally join in negotiations in mooted moves to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

The news was greeted with dismay by the Liverpool owners in Boston and the club are taking specialist legal advice before deciding what to do about Suarez.

Given the length of his ban, the Merseyside club, who have not been contacted by FIFA or the Uruguay FA, feel they are being punished for an offence they had no part in.

Chief Executive, Ian Ayre, said: “Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA disciplinary committee report before making any further comment.”

Uruguay face Colombia in the last 16 on Saturday and Central defender, Jose Maria Gimenez, said that the team were “more united than ever”, while the country’s Sports Minister, Liliam Kechichian, commented: “We are hurt by this excessive sanction. Now let’s see how we can help this human being and whether the group can show its class and its love for La Celeste.”

Britain’s FIFA Vice-President, Jim Boyce, said: “The punishment is fully justified. Hopefully he will realise now that behaviour of this type will not be tolerated.”

Under the terms of the ban, Suarez cannot train with Liverpool and is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of his suspension.

But Liverpool would not be prevented from selling the former Ajax player this summer should they decide to offload him to another club.



Jonathan to induct Super Eagles into ‘Hall of Fame’

The Federal Government has said it was ready to make the present set of Super Eagles players become the first beneficiaries of the National Sports Hall of Fame, that was recently given approval by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Sports Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdulahi, said this on Thursday night while addressing players and officials of the Super Eagles at the Garden Court Hotel abode in Milpark, South Africa.

According to the team’s Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, Abdullahi said that the government had also mapped out a heroic ‘welcome’ for the team by Monday next week.

The Minister noted that the government was proud of the achievement of the team so far but added that the team must complete the job by winning the trophy.

‘“Victory is not everything but victory is the only thing”’, Mr Alaiya quoted him as saying.

He admonished the team to go all out for victory in the final against the Stallions of Burkina Faso at the Soccer City in Soweto on Sunday.

Tuface, WizKid, others to perform at EKO 2012 closing

Top Nigeria singers including King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal (KWAM 1), Wande Cole, Tuface, WizKid and many others will entertain the audience on Sunday at the closing ceremony of the ongoing 18th National Sport Festival, Eko 2012.

A statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Aderemi Ibirogba said the event will hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, from 2pm and that the gate fee is free.

Mr Ibirogba also said the event will feature memorable programmes like march past, decoration of winners and presentation of awards to athletes who have distinguished themselves during the two-week fiesta.

He urged all residents of the state to come out on Sunday and make the day groovy for the athletes who have come from all nooks and crannies of the country to participate fully in the 14-day sports event.

The commissioner expressed his appreciation to the people and residents of the state and Nigerians in general for their cooperation and support to the successful hosting of the game, adding that the total support of all Lagosians had largely contributed to the overwhelming success recorded at the duration of the event.

“Let me tell you frankly that the Lagos State Government greatly appreciates the overwhelming support of all the people and residents of the state, hence the reason for the eventful success recorded”, Mr Ibirogba said.

Mikel, Osaze turn down invitation from Keshi

The Super Eagle Coach, Stephen Keshi on Wednesday said that the duo of Mikel John Obi and Osaze Odewingie have refused to make themselves available for the national team.

Keshi, who disclosed this while, speaking with journalists during a press briefing at the Bolton White Hotel in Abuja, said that the Osaze refused to pick his calls as he tried to inform him of the direction of the team and the role he would be required to play.

“People say I have problems with my players but that is not true. Mikel and I always talk. Osaze is the one I have not spoken to in a while, three weeks now or so”.

“Osaze, I called, he didn’t pick …called again, he didn’t pick. I sent a text and he replied the text promising that he will call me the next day. But he didn’t call. So, I guess he’s not in the mood to play for Nigeria and I’m not ready to push.”

“Mikel and I spoke and I told him, listen I want you to come but you will have to give me hundred percent.”

But he said after consulting his doctors in Chelsea, Mikel declined his invitation with the excuse that he wouldn’t play on an artificial turf.

“Three days later, he said ‘coach I’m not sure I can make it because of the turf.”

Keshi however, said he already have a good team in place that can produce result for the country.

He expressed confidence in the home-based players while also noting that the invited foreign-based stars improve the team.