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World INTERPOL Week: Ex-Internationals Trade Tackle with INTERPOL Machine Team

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By Ben Nwachukwu, Abuja

Special Assistant to the NFF President on Security matters Chikelue Iloenyosi on Saturday 24th August 2019 lead the ex-international football players back to the pitch to confront INTERPOL Machine Team in a novelty match to mark the celebration of the global INTERPOL WEEK in Abuja.

Speaking with the media in his office in Abuja, the former national team defender said the match was organized to create awareness among football loving Nigerians adding that football is the major unifying tool in the country.

He disclosed that the officer in charge of INTERPOL in Nigeria Commissioner of Police Garba Baba Umar who will captain the host team is an active member of the football family .

According to him, “CP Umar can do anything for the development of the game which is the reason he opted to celebrate the week with a novelty match between his team and the ex-international to confirm that Nigeria is a safe country.”

The ex-international noted that Daniel “The Bull” Amokachi, wing wizard Tijani Babangida, Emma Okocha, Garba Lawal, Austin Popo and Imama Amakakpabio were in Abuja for the match.

Also were Kennedy Boboye, Ifeanyi Christopher, Precious Dede, Ann Chiejila, Obinna Ideh, Nathaniel Ayawale, Patrick Paschal, Clement Temile and Nasir “Milo” Jubril.

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The rest were Patrick Bassey, Eli Ayuba, Moses Ukoma, Bege Sunday and Ajuluchukwu Mezie and alternate players Shehu Dikko and Daniel.

On the side of the INTERPOL Machine Team were DCP Late Bankole, DCP Ude Stanley, ACP Uche Henry, CSP Sunny Ekazuli, SP  Agboni Jacob, SP Okechukwu Elegha, SP  Dahiru Ibrahim and SP  Danladi Aliyu.

Others were Inspector Usman Umar Bishop, Inspector Adelakun Ayodeji, Sgt Obinna Asomugha, Sgt Sarki Magaji, Daniel Kwaji, Paul Titus and Steven Garvey.

The match scheduled for Millennium Park football pitch was preceded by a walk from the Force headquarters to millennium Park.

SPORTS

We respect Nigeria, but names alone don’t Play Football, says Guinea Bissau Captain Nogueira

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Jorge Nogueira, Captain of Guinea Bissau, says his team had a lot of respect for Nigeria, but did not allow the ‘big names’ in the Super Eagles’ squad intimidate them on the pitch.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Wild Dogs of Guinea Bissau on Friday stunned the Super Eagles 1-0 in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier, played at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

Nogueira told newsmen during a post-match conference that in as much as his team respects the Super Eagles, they went into the game with the mentally that names don’t play football.

“First and foremost, I will like to dedicate this victory to the good people of Guinea Bissau.

“We respect all Nigerian players, but the truth is that names don’t play on the pitch.

“So, they (Super Eagles) tried to do everything to break the will and spirit of our team as they created a lot of scoring opportunities, but our defence was up to the task.

“We remained strong, resolute and were optimistic that we could cause an upset here in Abuja,” he said.

The captain added that the quality of the pitch complicated issues for his team as it was very tough to play on and curtail the incessant attacks from the Super Eagles.

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NAN reports that the Wild Dogs play hosts to the Super Eagles in the reverse fixture of the qualifiers in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday.

Guinea Bissau have Morocco as home venue for now as they do not have a Confederation of African Football (CAF)-approved playing turf.

They currently top Group A of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers, with seven points from three matches, while Nigeria with six points, drop to the second position.

The Leone Stars of Sierra Leone are in third position with two points, while Sao Tome and Principe, with one point, sit at the bottom of the log. (NAN)

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Amassiani Shows Promise, Qualifies for Two Semi-finals

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By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja

Abuja-based young tennis star, Chukwudubem Amassiani, has emerged a kid on the block, as he swept through his round-robin groups in the Boys 12 and 14s to qualify for two semi-finals in the ongoing CBN Junior Tennis Championship in Lagos.

Amassiani, the 12 and Under champion on the junior circuit was given a chance to play up one age group, a strategy used by the International Tennis Academy, organisers of the tournament, to fast-track the development of the top juniors.

Amassiani will have for his opponent in the Boys 14s semifinals Seyi Ogunsakin who was also given a slot in the 16s but could not make it through the group stage.

The winner of that match will play against the winner of the second semifinals between top seed David Edwards, just back from the African Junior Championships in Togo and Sulaimon Samod from the host club.

The Iorlumun sisters Eunice and Mary, who emerged top of their groups have been coincidentally drawn to meet in the semifinals of the Girls 16s. The other semifinal will feature Alice Paul from Ondo and Etioro Bassey from Akwa Ibom.

In the meantime, nine year-old Karina Opuene from Bayelsa has been the attraction of the Girls 12 event as she showed tremendous skill and determination to win two matches in her group – one of which was a decisive 6-0 thrashing of Barakat Ganiyu from Oyo State.

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The tournament taking place at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club is scheduled to end on Saturday.

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Iorlumun Sisters in Winning Start at CBN Junior Championships

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By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja

Iorlumun sisters, Eunice and Mary, from Benue State, yesterday recorded impressive victories in the opening round robin matches at the CBN Junior Tennis Championship taking place at the prestigious Lagos Lawn Tennis club.

Playing in the Girls 16 event, Eunice, the older of the two, defeated Oyin Samuel from Lagos 6-2 while Mary overcame Alice Paul from Ondo state in a long drawn out one set decider, 6-4.

In other group matches, Wisdom Effiong from Akwa Ibom beat Adepesi Paul from Ekiti 6-2 and Seyi Ogunsakin overpowered Joseph Daniel to ensure they are on track for semifinal places in the Boys 14 event.

Other players who made wining starts were Roseline Nana from Lagos, who defeated Mofunfu Atitola from the host club 6-3, and Barakat Ganiyu from Lagos, who edged Karina Opuene from Bayelsa 6-0 in the Girls 12 event.

The International Tennis Academy organisers of the tournament said the round robin format ensured that players who have come from far and near play a minimum of three matches to deepen their match experience and hasten their progress in the game.The tournament which is featuring singles matches in boys and girls 16s, 14s and 12s is scheduled to end on Saturday with a grand finale starting at 12 noon and open to all-comers.   

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