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Nigerians Celebrate Super Eagles Round of 16 Qualifications



Super Eagles pip Burundi 1 0 in Afcon Opener …Re-enacts Confidence in Fans

… ‘It’s a Step to Becoming Champions

By Ben Nwachukwu, Abuja

Football loving Nigerians have continued to celebrate the emergence of the senior national team; Super Eagles to become the first to make it to the knockout rounds of the on-going 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt on Wednesday evening, as highly improved central defender Kenneth Omeruo’s well-tucked in header from a Moses Simon’s corner kick earned the maximum three points against Guinea at the Alexandria Stadium.

The fans who claimed that the Super Eagles below average first half almost caused them heart attack noted that it gave way to a lively second half, during which enterprising Odion Ighalo, who earned all the three points for Nigeria in the opening game after coming on as a substitute against Burundi on Saturday, had an ample opportunity to score thwarted by Guinean defenders that checkmated Ahmed Musa’s pass from an instantaneous counter-attack.

They lamented that though the Super Eagles have made history by becoming the first country to zoom into the Round of 16, the team’s attack with Alex Iwobi, Odion Ighalo, Chukwueze, Simon, Ahmed Musa et al still have more work to do if they must return with the prized trophy next month.

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The Super Eagles played 27 minutes without a shot either on target or off target while the Syli Nationale had three shots on target to their credit before Iwobi’s forced clever one was saved by Guinea’s goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone after Moses Simon had shot wide.

With this result it is the first time since the AFCON finals (also staged in Egypt), Nigeria won their two matches of the finals.

At the beginning, the Syli Nationale were more business-like, working hard in search of early goal which eventually eluded them even with three shots on target including one that distressed Daniel Akpeyi.

Coach Gernot Rohr benched Captain Mikel Obi and William Ekong and Chukwueze for Simon while Ighalo started in place of Paul Onuachu however the Super Eagles did not look penetratingly creative in the first half hour and it was principally the union of Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun, Chidozie Awaziem and Ola Aina at the rear that guaranteed a barren score line at the break.

 Iwobi who was described by the commentator as the most enterprising player on Nigeria’s side had movement and venture but gave the ball away in turn and Ighalo lamented after side-netting with Musa waiting eagerly to raze the net from close range in the 32nd minute that he did not look up. Earlier, he had, with a poor first touch, rummaged a good pass from wing wizard Musa after the deputy Captain’s run down the left, and Iwobi also wasted another excellent pass by the quick winger.

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Only a draw from their last match of the group phase against Madagascar on Sunday will see the Super Eagles to finish top of the group and remain in Alexandria for their Round of 16 fixture.

Foreign News

Husband of Slain Kenyan Runner Tirop Seeks Plea Bargain




The husband of slain Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop is seeking a plea bargain after initially denying a charge of murder, his lawyer said yesterday.

Tirop, a rising star in the world of athletics, was killed last October in her home in Iten, a high-altitude training hub in western Kenya for top runners.

Emmanuel Ibrahim Rotich was arrested after a dramatic late-night chase the day after Tirop’s body was found with stab wounds, and has been in custody ever since.

The 41-year-old denied a charge of murder at a November court appearance.

But in the latest twist in the legal saga, his lawyer Ngigi Mbugua told the Eldoret High Court that Rotich was willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of attracting a more lenient sentence.

The prosecution said it was not against the idea of a plea bargain but wanted Tirop’s family to be involved in the process.

A hearing on Rotich’s request will take place on 22 September.

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Ganduje Appoints Galadima Acting Kano Pillars Chair




Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has appointed Ibrahim Galadima as acting Chairman of Kano Pillars Football Club.

The appointment is with immediate effect, the governor said.

Surajo Shuaibu Yahaya who had chaired the club was relieved of the job.

The appointment of Galadima who is Chairman of Kano State Sports Commission to oversee activities of Kano Pillars is part of routine exercise in sports administration of Ganduje, a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Abba Anwar said yesterday.

“As Kano Pillars is facing more competition in National Premier League (NPL) it will be good to have a leadership that will perfectly lead the Club.

“Ibrahim Galadima, Chairman of Kano State Sports Commission, will now replace the current Chairman of Kano Pillars FC, Surajo Shu’aibu Yahaya.

“Galadima will serve in acting capacity, before the appointment of a substantive Chairman,” Ganduje said.

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FIFA Emerges Best Global Sports Federation on Governance Standards



International Federation of Association Football (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)

By Eze Okechukwu, Abuja

FIFA has been rated among the international sporting federations with the best standards of governance following a review conducted by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.

FIFA was among seven out of 33 international federations who achieved a score of 175 points or more out of 200 and were placed in the top group, A1, which the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations described as “an exclusive group”.

The federations were divided into five groups according to their score, with the target score, regarded as satisfactory, set at 130 for full members of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.

It was the fourth such review conducted by by the association, with FIFA also placed among the leading international federations and the previous was in the year 2020.

The aim of the project, led by ASOIF’s Governance Task Force, is to promote and ensure a culture of good governance within the international federations and help drive continuous progress.

The review looked at five aspects of governance – transparency, integrity, democracy, development and control mechanisms – and these were further divided into ten sub-sections, with a score of zero to four awarded for each.
The review began with a self assessment in January and February this year where international federations were asked to complete a questionnaire and determine a score for each question, providing explanatory evidence for their decision. These assessments were then independently moderated by an external sports governance consultancy.

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The assessment took place in the context of the ongoing global pandemic, which has severely affected sport, but was conducted before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused more uncertainty in the sporting world.

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