Abdul Maikaba, the Technical Adviser of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu, on Sunday blamed their 0-1 loss to hosts Gombe United on his players’ attitude.
Newsmen report that Gombe United won the Match Day 37 fixture of the 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the Pantami Stadium.
Speaking after the match, Maikaba said the hosts deserved their victory in view of his players’ attitude to the game, especially in the second half.
He said he expected his players to have controlled themselves no matter the nature of officiating in order to get the result which would have brightened their chances.
“My players lost their head, especially in the second half, and they were collecting cards anyhow.
“No matter how poor the officiating is, I don’t think we should be behaving as such. It is not good for football.
“I expected them to control themselves. That would have given us result if we had kept our heads down. I am not happy with their behaviour actually,” the coach said.
Maikaba said the game’s result meant they could no longer finish third in the league to qualify to represent Nigeria at a continental club competition.
“The chance is almost zero now. But it’s football. I think we will restrategise and move ahead.”
On his part, Aliyu Zubairu, the Technical Adviser of Gombe United, described the match as “good” and “tough” considering the pedigree of visiting Rangers and their coaching crew.
Zubairu however said losing away to Rangers during the competition’s first round gave them the idea that his side needed to prepare well at home.
“Because of this, I am a happy man today.”
He stated that his plan was to help his team finish well. “We will work hard to secure an away point in our last game of the season.
Also speaking, Abubakar Abubakar, the General Manager of Gombe United FC, said the season had been good for his team.
”I want to thank the players and coaching crew for this feat.’’
Abubakar added that winning the last home game was a gift to the club’s supporters and the entire people of Gombe State. “ We are all celebrating because it has not been easy.”
The only goal of the game was scored by Gombe United’s Ibrahim Yahaya in the 47th minute.
With the result, Gombe United now have 52 points from 37 matches played and sit in seventh place on the league table.
Rangers International FC have 53 points from 37 matches and now occupy the 5th position.
Gombe United’s last match of the season will be against champions Rivers United FC on Sunday, while Rangers will host Akwa United on the same day.(NAN)
Morocco, Five others across Three continents to host 2030 World Cup matches
Morocco, Spain and Portugal have been named hosts of the 2030 FIFA World Cup, while Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will host the opening matches to mark the tournament’s centenary.
World football body FIFA disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, even though they were due to announce the hosts next year.
The joint bid from Morocco, Portugal and Spain was the sole candidate to host the tournament.
The inaugural World Cup in 1930 was held in Uruguay and won by the hosts.
Wednesday’s decision by FIFA marks the first time the World Cup will be staged across three continents and by six countries.
This may mean the competition’s group matches will have to be held in different seasons based on the hemisphere.
“The FIFA Council unanimously agreed that the sole candidacy will be the combined bid of Morocco, Portugal, and Spain, which will host the event in 2030.
”The hosts will qualify automatically from the existing slot allocation,” FIFA said in a statement.
“Additionally, having taken into account the historical context of the first-ever FIFA World Cup which was held in Uruguay, the FIFA Council further unanimously agreed to host a unique centenary celebration ceremony.
”This will be in the country’s capital, Montevideo…
“This means three World Cup matches will hold in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.”
The 2022 World Cup was held in Qatar, and Argentina are the defending champions.
In a reaction, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) said their team “will play the first match of the 2030 group stage at home and with its people”.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino also said: “In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting.
“The FIFA Council… unanimously agreed to celebrate the centenary of the FIFA World Cup, whose first edition was played in Uruguay in 1930, in the most appropriate way.
“As a result, a celebration will take place in South America and three South American countries —- Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay —- will organise one match each of the FIFA World Cup 2030.”
Infantino said the first of these three matches would be played at Montevideo’s Estadio Centenario, where the first World Cup took place in 1930.
Robert Harrison, the president of the Paraguayan Football Association, said Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay would automatically qualify for the World Cup.
But he did not clarify what that would mean for the South American qualifiers.
While Portugal and Morocco have never hosted the World Cup, Spain last hosted the tournament in 1982.
Pedro Rocha, President of the Management Committee of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, said they were excited to bring it back to the country, who won the World Cup in 2010.
“I am sure that together with Morocco and Portugal we will organise the best World Cup in history,” he said.
Fernando Gomes, the president of the Portuguese Football Federation, said: “Each of our countries brings a vibrant footballing tradition, unrivalled organisational experience and a capacity for innovation that will undoubtedly leave its mark on the future of the competition.”
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on his part welcomed FIFA’s decision.
The African country had stunned the world in Qatar last year when they reached the semi-finals.
“His Majesty King Mohammed VI… has the great pleasure of announcing to the Moroccan people that the FIFA Council has unanimously selected the Morocco-Spain-Portugal bid as the sole candidate to organise the 2030 football World Cup,” Morocco’s Royal Office said in a statement.
FIFA also said that the 2034 World Cup would be held in the Asia or Oceania region, with member-associations from those territories invited to bid to host the tournament.
Chess Foundation inducts former Chief of Naval Staff Ayinla into hall of fame
Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) on Monday honoured one of the pioneers of the game in Nigeria, former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Jubril Ayinla rtd.
The award, which held in Lekki, Lagos State, was part of activities marking the 2023 Nigeria National Chess Championships.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ayinla was inducted alongside other chess greats such as Mr Emmanuel Omuku, Mrs Etokowo Ime, Mr Obafunmilayo Agusto, Mr Tajudeen Oyeneyin and the founder of Chess Federation in Nigeria, Dr Sylvanus Ebigwe.
Responding, Ayinla, former Minister of Health and former Minister of Commerce Trade and Tourism described chess as his life.
“Chess is my life, and I still played chess before coming to the ceremony today. We started playing chess from a basement where there was no light. Chess is a passion and part of life.
“I left chess sometimes because my boss, the then Head of State, thought I was paying more attention to chess than my military assignments. Otherwise, I couldn’t have become a Chief of Naval Staff (CNS).
“I know of my colleague who spent eight years in the university instead of four. I also taught all my children chess but my wife stopped them from playing because of me,” he said.
Ayinla said playing chess had contributed much to his progress and endeavours in life, and advised that chess should be made a compulsory subject in schools.
“Chess has been my life and has affected everything I do in life. So, kudos to those that have chess clubs in their schools.
“Chess is maths, science and art all rolled into one. So, what we learnt in chess, no one can teach. The aspect of life chess introduces is much to be desired.
“Some of the successes in my career were due to the fact that I played chess, it shows in the way I used to plan my war games and other aspects of military life.
“I will recommend chess to all parents, infact, chess should be taught in all schools especially primary and secondary schools. I will continue to give part of my life to chess sponsorships,” he said.
NAN reports that the event also had in attendance former champions such as Mr Fola Akintola, Arc Theophilus Caiafas, Mr Rotimi Dasaolu, Mrs Bunmi Olape and Odion Aikhoje.
The dignitaries at the event included the President of NCF, DIG Sani Usman rtd, Vice President, Prince Adeyinka Adewole, Secretary, Mrs Olabowale Alebiosu and Technical Director, Mr Bode Durotoye.
NAN also reports that the 2023 Nigeria National Chess Championships will feature 12 players. (NAN)
Match fixing: NFF to withdraw club licencse
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) said it would withdraw the license of any football club involved in match fixing in the country.
The NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau gave stated this at the opening of the Nigeria National League (NNL) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Jos on Friday.
Gusau was represented by Margaret Icheen, a member of the NFF Executive Board.
He said that anyone who dents the image of the game would be decisively dealt with according to the laws guiding the game.
The president said that he would do everything possible, to project activities of NNL and indeed football in Nigeria.
He said that NNL being the bedrock of football in the country, its standards must not be compromised for anything.
“And once the foundation is laid very well, we’ll have a quality premier league in Nigeria.
“It is not going to be business as usual where clubs buy matches for their clubs to be promoted.
“The referees have been trained on what to do, the coaches have been trained, the match commissioners also have been trained, anyone who does anything wrong will lose his licence.
“If you have enough resources to buy matches, you better make your players comfortable so that they can produce a better result for your club.
“NFF is ready to do that which will bring back the good name of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) and the NNL for the good of the country,’’ he added.
Gusau wished the delegates a wonderful deliberation that would yield positive results that would impact positively on the nation’s football.
The NNL Chairman, George Aluo said that the present board of the league was constituted to make the league more viable, more competitive, more attractive to sponsors and professionally driven.
Aluo said that the onerous task requires the cooperation of all football stakeholders particularly the management of NNL clubs.
The chairman stated that the board was committed to ensuring that clubs get value for their investment, adding that for such to come to fruition, a symbiotic relationship was required.
“The present leadership of the NNL under my leadership hereby states our resolve to work with all stakeholders to move the game of football forward.
“We are open to constructive criticisms and advice that will come for the fountain of your indispensable knowledge of football administration.
“No football league world-wide can strive without huge financial investment. Collectively we shall work to secure reputable sponsors/partners for the NNL,’’ he added.
He said that the date and format of the league would be made public at the end of the AGM.
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