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Aisha Buhari Cup: Dare Urges Super Falcons to Keep Heads up in Defeat

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Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, on Tuesday urged the Super Falcons to raise their heads up in spite of the 2-4 defeat by the Banyana Banyana of South Africa at the just-concluded Aisha Buhari Cup.

Dare stated this when he visited the subdued Randy Waldrum ladies in the dressing room after a disappointing result against their arch rival, the South African team.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Banyana Bayana emerged the winners of the Aisha Buhari Cup after they clipped the Super Falcons wings.

The highly entertaining match was played at the newly renovated Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly Onikan Stadium.

Dare urged the Super Falcons to put their pieces together for the next challenge ahead of them.

“You have the potentials, but there are some lessons to be learnt here and l’m sure it has been learnt.

“l’m glad that you did not sustain any injury so that you can continue to play for your club and your country.

“Raise your heads up, you have proven yourselves and you will have more opportunities and give yourself a challenge for the next matches,” he said.

The President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, also said that the defeat should not be seen as a setback, but a proof that the Super Falcons were no more invincible.

He also assured the team of the NFF support: “No matter what happens, NFF will always support you as a team, you have played with a purpose.

“The take home is that we are no more invincible and we need to up our games.

“With the NFF support, you have the necessary trainings scheduled, the one in Turkey, the U.S., and Australia. Government will do everything in its power to support you.

“You need to give yourselves the challenge, beat Ghana home and away, also beat Cote d’Ivoire home and away, clean yourself up and forget about today’s match,” Pinnick said.

NAN reports that the Super Falcons conceded thrice in the first half of the match before they came back with a brace in the second half, only for the Banyana Banyana to put icing on the cake.

The South Africans took the lead courtesy of an own goal by Nigeria’s Alozie Chidi in the first five minutes of the game.

The Hugo Broos-tutored team surprisingly were two goals up in the 17th minutes after a foul in the box 18-yard by Nigeria’s Onome Ebi resulted in a penalty.

The pressure on the Nigerian side resulted in the third goal in the first half of the game as Salgado Gabriel pounced on a loose ball just before the half time whistle.

The Super Falcons, however, came stronger in the second half to reduce the score line through the efforts of the substitute Vivian Ikechukwu in the 47th minutes.

Ikechukwu made it a brace in the 52nd minutes to rekindle her team’s hope of a comeback.

The Banyana Banyana confidence were rewarded with the second penalty of the day when Motlhalo was brought down inside the box for Mamello Makhabane to send the ball into the far corner of the Nigerian goal.

The goal put the South Africans back in full throttle as they went ahead to lift the Aisha Buhari Cup and silence the boisterous Lagos fans.

The Special guest of honour and Chief host, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, the Minister of Sports and NFF President presented the trophy to the Banyana Banyana. (NAN)

SPORTS

Return Super Eagles to Indigenous Coaches – Yachi

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi

Former General Manager of Professional League side, Babanawa FC, Harry Yachi has called on football administrators in the country to appoint the quartet of former Super Eagles Stars of Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Amuneke Finidi George and Vincent Enyeama to take over the management of the national team following the departure of the Technical Adviser, Peseiro.

The football administrator and former Referee said the decision has become imperative to give the national team a new lease of life.

Yachi urged the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to give the a quartet a five- year contract to handle the super eagles,

“We don’t need to bring in a foreign Coach, the coaches I have mentioned here have what it takes to start where Peseiro stopped.

I believe if they agree to work together with one mind, Nigeria football will be better,” Yachi advised.

He anchored his proposal on the experience of the former players adding that they all have what it takes for the Super Eagles to regain its glory and move to higher heights.

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SPORTS

Sunday Dare, Obaseki, Runsewe, Others Get Recognition at 4th Sportsville Awards

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Mr Godwin Obaseki
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The Immediate past Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, and Sen. Orji Kalu, on Friday got  awarded for their contributions to sports development in Nigeria.

Reports says that the awardees were honoured at the fourth Sportsville Special Recognition Awards,  at the Eko Club, Surulere, Lagos.

Other eminent sports personalities were also rewarded for their various contributions to the growth of sports in the country.

Dare got awarded as ‘Sports Administrator of the Year’, while Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo was honoured for providing a state-of-the-art sporting complex, Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, in Benin City.

Kalu and Olusegun Runsewe, President of Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), got special recognition awards respectively.

Others are Chairman of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), Mr Gbenga Elegbeleye; Victor Ochei, former Delta commissioner for sports;  Chief Solomon Ogba, and Igoche Mark.

Also on the award list is Eddington Kuejubola, a one time coordinator of the Super Eagles; as well as  ace sports journalist and FIFA recognised World Cup attendee, Mr Kunle Solaja, who both got special recognition awards.

Sam Ochebo, President of Handball Federation, got an award for his landmark achievements in development of handball in Nigeria.

The long list of awardees also has Hajiya Zainab Saleh, for pioneering the promotion of women in Karate in Nigeria, while Mrs Hauwa-Kulu Akinyemi, a retired director, got recognised for her prowess in sports administration at the Federal Ministry of Sports.

Uyi Akpata, President of Nigeria Cricket Federation, got  an award for championing the growth of Cricket in Nigeria, while Francis Orbih, President of Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Jenkins Alumona and  Chikelue Iloenyosi also got rewarded for  efforts in their various fields.

Oladimeji Oshode was awarded ‘Media Officer of the Year’.

A post humous award was given to Late Sebastian Brodricks.

Speaking on the event, it’s Chairman and Head of Local Organising Committee, Segun Odegbami, said that the award has made significant development in recognising those that have made sports great in Nigeria.

“This is an opportunity today to recall bits and pieces of our history, particularly the most successful sides.

“Those that received the honours are the ones who have made significant contributions to sports development in Nigeria either in corporate organisations or individual.

“This is a good opportunity for us to recall that history, those who have performed excellently, so I am delighted to be part of this history.

“The award that I also received was a big surprise for me, though not as a footballer, or journalist, but as a chairman of the event,” he said.

In his response, Dare said that he foresees a great future for Nigerian sports given the foundation he had laid while he was the minister.

Also, Akpata said that he would continue to lay solid foundation for cricket in Nigeria. (NAN)

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SPORTS

NFF Seeks Increased Corporate Organisations  Funding of Nigerian Football

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has called on corporate organisations to increase support to the federation to help develop football in the country.

The NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau made the call when MTN Nigeria hosted the Super Eagles on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that Super Eagles finished as runner up to the host country, Ivory Coast at the just concluded 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d`Ivoire.

Gusau said without finance the team would not have achieved what it achieved in the tournament.

“All of us today would have loved to be celebrating here with the trophy but unfortunately God knows why.

“We thank God at least as we heard from the captain this is the beginning of the new dawn as far as Nigerian football is concerned.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank MTN for their support and I hope that other corporate organisations will come up to see how they can support us the most.

“Without finances we cannot achieve what we have been able to achieve, so we need more corporate organisations to support us to build on what we have so far built,” he said.

The Chairman MTN Board of Directors, Prof. Ernest Ndukwe, said that  MTN’s support for  the Eagles was  its own way of giving back to the society.

“This is because MTN is a sport loving organisation. Over the years, we have always wanted to support the Super Eagles in various ways. MTN is fully committed to continuing the Super Eagles.

“We are building a nation where sports have a great role to play as a unifying force. So if we support sports, we are actually promoting unity among Nigerians,” he said.

The MTN’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Karl Toriola on his part appreciated the emotional commitment of the players to succeed.

“What I liked about this team which we haven’t seen in other teams of other nations was the visible emotional commitment to succeed.

“Unfortunately we didn’t bring the cup home but that is always going to be difficult when you are playing against your host country.

“You guys have shown your complete commitment through your leadership, and we are extremely proud of you supporting the Nigerian football federation and the super eagles,” he said

Head Coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, thanked everyone that supported the team all through their preparations and the tournament proper.

“To the NFF I thank you, MTN I thank you, Nigerians I thank you for all the support,”he said

The Assistant Captain of the Super Eagles, Troost Ekong who spoke on behalf of the team, said this was the beginning of a new era.

“Thank you NFF, thank you MTN, thank you Nigerians, thank you our fans. We have given everything we have and have made everyone proud.

“We will be better in the future. Because this is not the end but the beginning of something new and we are hoping for the best,”he said.

Mrs Ifueko Okauru, Board Member, MTN Nigeria and former Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said MTN supported all gender, age brackets, abled and disabled persons in the society.

“MTN supports all genders and all of us able and disabled, young and old. Whatever is needed to support MTN is here to support.

“Sports development is more than just what corporate organisations do; it needs significant funding and it also needs passion to ensure that this is done and done excellently.

“I must say though we all love sports, the fans are a major part of sports development.

“The economic condition of the fans is very important to ensure that as a corporate organization, we drive sports development by encouraging fans development and developing businesses around sports to grow sports,” he said. (NAN)

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