President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday congratulated former Technical Adviser of the Super Eagles, Adegboye Onigbinde, on his 80th birthday.
The ex-super eagles coach will clock 80 on Monday, March 5.
President Buhari in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity said Onigbinde is a highly respected football coach and administrator,
The President lauded him on the landmark of turning an octogenarian, with all the retinue of awards, recognitions and achievements to celebrate at national, continental and global levels.
“Onigbinde’s feat as a coach, which includes leading the national team to the FIFA World Cup in 2002, and his strides at taking teams to continental tournaments like the African Nations Cup and the African Clubs Champions Cup, will always be cherished and remembered as milestone attainments for the nation,” the statement read in part.
Buhari affirms that the wealth of experience garnered over the years by the former national team adviser, the leadership skills acquired, will be most useful in inspiring the national team, upcoming footballers and the local league in the country to greater heights.
The Chief Executive Officer of the firm handling the renovation of the Samson Siasia Stadium project, Ebi Egbe has applauded the Bayelsa State Governor for his dedication and commitment towards the timely completion of the stadium ahead of the 2017 football season.
Ebi Egbe then disclosed that his firm is working round the clock to ensure that the stadium is ready for Bayelsa teams to use early next year.
Egbe, whose firm Monimichelle has Italy-based Limota franchise to build Geo-technology pitches in Africa, said Dickson deserves commendation for taking steps to see Bayelsa teams return home.
“As we speak, I am 100% sure Bayelsa teams won’t continue to play outside Yenagoa from next season. The Samson Siasia Stadium turf is 90% ready.
“Governor Dickson wants to see the place ready even this December. He (the Governor) deserves plaudits for all that he is doing to turn things around in Bayelsa sports.
“The beauty of what Dickson is doing is that he wants to put sports facilities in place in every nook and cranny of the state,” he said.
Over the years, Bayelsa-based clubs have been playing football outside their base due to the non-availability of a suitable football turf.
Egbe then reassured Bayelsans that the Samson Siasia Stadium turf would be one of the best pitches in Africa when completed.
“What we are doing in Yenagoa is world class. It would be one of the best turfs in Africa when completed. Anybody who has seen the soft base and the amount of work that has gone into it, would agree that we are on course,” Egbe assured.
According to him, former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia has expressed delight over the quality of work at the arena and expressed pleasure as the stadium is named in his honour.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Club Owners, Mr Alloy Chukwuemeka, says about eight corporate bodies are currently jostling to sponsor the Nigeria Premiership League for the next season.
Mr Chukwuemeka hinted reporters of the development on Wednesday during an interactive session with journalists in Osogbo, at the monthly Sport Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) stakeholders forum tagged “SWAN Platform”.
He said the NPFL Club Owners had received a proposal from the League Management Company (LMC) that the league would begin by first week of December tentatively.
The NPFL Club Owners Executive Secretary further explained that the proposal would be considered at the Annual General Meeting of the Club Owners.
The General Manager, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Football Club, Ilorin commended the LMC for turning the league around, saying “it is now attractive with many firms lobbying to be part of it.
“The LMC has turned around the league in Nigeria. The league is now attractive, and there are eight firms lobbying to be part of LMC. The LMC has set a standard and that is why lots of firms want to be part of the Nigeria Professional Football League”.
The football administrator while responding to questions on moving football and sports generally forward in the state, insisted that a return to school sports was the only way to identify exceptional talents.
He revealed that the Kwara Football Academy gave ABS FC 10 of its best players every season through a partnership between the two clubs.
The ABS FC Director of Football also recommended community ownership of football clubs, as practiced in other climes based on what he learnt from the LMC organised LaLiga Tour in Spain earlier in the year.
He said: “Immediately I came back from Spain, I went to my village (Ehime Mbano) and I met with my Local Government Chairman and we formed Mbano United. I bought jerseys and balls for the team, because in Spain their clubs are built on their culture. Football community ownership is very important.”
“I will recommend that for us to develop the sporting sector, it is imperative that we re-introduce sports in our schools. This way, new talents can be encouraged and assisted to get to higher heights in this profession”
On the controversy trailing the final Nigeria National League (NNL) match between ABS FC and Gateway FC, Mr Chukwuemeka countered claims that there were few security men at the stadium, maintaining that there were about 78 policemen at the stadium that day.
He condemned the action of the Ogun State Commissioner of Sports who he said ordered Gateway FC players not to play the match, stressing that it contravened the rules guiding the game and operations of the NNL.
Mr Chukwuemeka also expressed the belief that the Nigeria Football Federation would put in everything to ensure that the Super Eagles qualify for the World Cup.
He said not qualifying for Nations Cup back-to-back was still painful and applauded the efforts and impact of Super Eagles coach, Genart Rohr.
Mr Chukwuemeka, who is also a National Officer of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, thereafter commended Osun SWAN for the Monthly Stakeholders Forum and promised to take the programme to other states across the federation.
The Super Eagles Coach, Mr Gernot Rohr, has assured Nigerians that the team is more than ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification encounter against the Chipolopolo of Zambia on Sunday.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Friday, the Coach said the Zambians were a good side with aging players while the Super Eagles had a lot of young players who knew the importance of playing in a World Cup.
On the chances of the Super eagles winning the qualifier match, He said: ” I think this game will be a focus and an important game against the good team.
“They want to win. They missed AFCON. The same motivation with our motivation but our motivation can be bigger because I feel that the team wants absolutely to win the game.” coach Rohr stated.
We Must Be Careful
He believes that the target of the team is to be at the World Cup in Zambia and is confident that the poor nature of the pitch in Zambia will not be a hindrance to achieving this dream.
The coach, however, stressed the need for players to avoid costly mistakes that could give Zambia an upper hand.
“We must be careful. When you want to win the game away. Sometimes you forget to defend well.
“We must be careful and don’t make this mistake,” he emphasised.
The Super Eagles are due to travel to Zambia on Saturday ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Chipolopolo.
Also at the press conference was the captain of the team, Mikel Obi.
He says the team is ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in Ndola.
But stressed the need for the team to play with one heart.
Nigeria has won six of 16 previous matches with Zambia at international level, drawing five and losing five.
And captain of the side, Mikel says they are committed to improving Nigeria’s superior record against Zambia at senior international level.
Nigeria play Zambia away on Sunday and host Algeria on November 12 before four more games in 2017.
Meanwhile, Zambia are leaving nothing to chance to record their first win over Nigeria since 1985 after they appointed experienced David Kabwe as consultant to coach Wedson Nyirenda.
New Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, began his stint in charge with a win, as Nigeria beat Tanzania 1-0 in their last 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The game was played at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
Kelechi Iheanacho saved the day for Nigeria, scoring the only goal as the Super Eagles in the 78th minute to seal victory for the Super Eagles.
Victor Moses and Odion Ighalo had come close in the first half, but could not find the breakthrough for Nigeria. Saturday’s win was the only one recorded by Nigeria in the AFCON 2017 Qualifiers as they finish with five points in four games.
Nigeria finished second in Group G behind the Pharoahs of Egypt, who clinched the sole ticket.
Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has described the death of former Super Eagles Coach, Shuaibu Amodu, as a great loss to the football community.
Governor Oshiomhole said this in Okpella Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State in southern Nigeria, where the remains of the four–time coach of the Super Eagles was being laid to rest.
He said that the demise of Shuaibu Amodu was indeed a big loss, especially when Nigeria was still mourning the demise of another former player and coach of the senior national team, Stephen Keshi.
At the burial rites in his hometown, officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and well-wishers joined members of his immediate family to pay the former tactician of BCC Loins of Gboko his last respect.
Coach Samson Siasia has barred defender Segun Oduduwa and midfielders Stanley Dimgba and Usman Mohammed from showing up at the Bolton White Apartments camp of the Super Eagles.
This is coming after the players reported late to the camp of the U-23 team without an earlier permission from the Coach.
“We cannot have those three in camp anymore. This is very serious business, and only serious-minded persons can be involved. They reported late to the camp of the Under-23 team, so they cannot be tolerated in the camp of the senior team.
“I have said it over the past few days that the right mentality would count big among the traits we are looking for in the players to feature against Egypt,” he said.
Oduduwa and Mohammed were in the Under-23 squad that won the Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations in Senegal in December 2015, while Dimgba has trained with the team and the Eagles B previously.
The Super Eagles’ new boss, who is known to be a disciplinarian, threw out star midfielder Kingsley Sokari, and talented forward Daniel Etor from his squad to the Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations, after the duo opted to play for their club, Enyimba FC, in a final NPFL season game in Lagos in November 2015, against his instructions.
The exclusion of the trio means only 40 players are now in contention for shirts in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations double date against Egypt, with 19 home boys to train for two weeks before the arrival of 21 overseas-based players on the week of the first game in Kaduna.