The Deputy National President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Umar Said, has advised Super Eagles to improve on their performance if they want to remain in the ongoing AFCON tournament.
Said gave the advice on Wednesday in Bauchi while reacting to Eagle’s 1-0 defeat of the Guinean national team.
He emphasized that the team must improve, especially on their scoring ability, if the team was to remain relevant.
“Situations prevailed where the defenders were coming to score goals because the attackers had fail to perform their duties.
” There were also situation whereby player like Iwobi fail to play within the team but prefer individual game.
“The team wasted a lot of scoring chances due to poor finishing, though it was a good game and the Eagles were able to carry the,” he observed.
He said that the match between Eagles and Guinea had shown the world that there was “no under-dog squad in the tournament.”
The deputy president urged the team to be careful during their next game which would be a knock-out stage.
“They should avoid unnecessary faults within the 18 yard box, but hold the opponents within their half field.
“I know our players will make it, except if they under-rate their subsequent opponentst,” he asserted.
LOC hails standard at Ebonyi veterans football competition
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the on-going Ebonyi Veterans Football competition has hailed the standard of play being displayed by participating teams.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the competition has two teams each from the three senatorial zones of the state and features players above 40 years.
“The fans can attest to it that such standard has eliminated the tag of ‘novelty’ which such competition is usually associated-with.
“People were expecting to see the players going against the sport’s rules and parrying the ball for instance instead of kicking it.
“We have instead seen encouraging levels of fitness, accurate and incisive passes, and cohesive play by the teams among other positive attributes.
“This can however be attributed to the parading of ex-footballers by the teams especially former players of the defunct Ebonyi Angels Football Club (FC) and clubs across the country and abroad,” he said.
Utobo who is the Director of Sports in the state, however expressed displeasure with the low-level of conduct exhibited by some of the participating teams.
“We expected high level of maturity from the teams even after softening on the rules to accommodate their conduct.
“We are however effectively managing the situation to ensure that the competition ends successfully,” he said.
“The match was to determine the competition’s best loser that could join the three already qualified teams for the semi finals.
He announced that the semi finals which were originally slated for Sunday, Dec. 8 had been postponed due to a religious programme at the Pa Ngele Oruta stadium, Abakaliki on that day.
“A new date will be announced for the semi finals and would be duly communicated to the affected teams,” he said.
Edited & Vetted By: Donald Ugwu
FCT set for maiden ECOWAS-Abuja Int’l Marathon
No fewer than 500 international and local athletes will participate in the maiden ECOWAS-Abuja International Half Marathon scheduled to hold on Dec. 14.
Mr Francis Njoaguani, Director, ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre, while addressing newsmen in Abuja on preparations, said the event is open to athletes outside West Africa.
Njoaguani said the race with the theme “Run for Unity and Integration” is being organised in partnership with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and would see athletes win cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
According to him, adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure a hitch free race expected to cover about 22km.
“As ECOWAS, we don’t believe that Abuja has a problem with security; we are convinced that the Federal Government is equal to the task.
“The Minister of FCT is part of the process and we believe that they will put in place all the necessary mechanisms to ensure safety of all the athletes.
“The proof that we have today is that International athletes have already registered because as at now, we have four athletes from Ethiopia and Kenya who have indicated interest to be part of the process.
“We have also got confirmation from some Cameroonian athletes that they will be part of the event and all these are evidences that Abuja is a good enough place for the race.
“There is no difference in security situation in Nigeria compared to any other part of the world; every day we hear incidence of attack but that doesn’t stop life from going on.
“So, security agents and authority in Nigeria are fully capable of ensuring not just the safety of athletes but all other people that will come out to cheer athletes to the finishing line,” Njoaguani.
On her part, Director of Sports, FCTA, Mrs Dilichukwu Onyedinma said although the competition would involve participants outside the shores of ECOWAS member States, the sole purpose is to foster unity among members of the sub African region.
“This event is going to involve international athletes; athletes from ECOWAS countries and four athletes from East Africa.
“We also have a theme; ECOWAS is for integration and Abuja is for unity, so we came up with a theme, Run for Unity and Integration and it is important we make people realise this,” she said.
Edited & Vetted By: Ismail Abdulaziz
UEFA president criticises VAR use, says football needs uncertainty
Nyon, Switzerland, Dec.5, 2019 Football needs uncertainty, the head of European soccer body UEFA said, as he criticised the way the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology had changed the character of football matches.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin during the press conference REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Aleksander Ceferin said that UEFA would propose soccer’s rulemaking IFAB make changes to the way the VAR system, officially introduced in 2018, was being implemented, though he did not want to give more details.
The use of system, where match officials use video replays to check decisions by the referee on the pitch and flag possible mistakes, has been surrounded by controversy over the last few months.
Critics say the system goes far beyond its original remit and that decisions are taking too long.
“The game is changing and we are afraid that it is changing too much,” Ceferin told reporters following a UEFA executive committee meeting, adding that the search for refereeing perfection was futile.
“Football needs uncertainty because the players make mistakes and the referees on the pitch have to take responsibility, not some people hidden in a van or a building 500 kilometres from the venue,” he said.
“I can live with the fact that referees are human beings who make mistakes but now when technology makes a mistake, that is a problem,” he said.
Ceferin said he was not against VAR in principle but said that “we have to make it clearer, we have to make it faster, we have to make it less invasive — but it will stay.”
One of the biggest sources of controversy has involved offside decisions where VAR officials use gridlines superimposed on the screen, leading to goals being disallowed because a player’s toe or armpit was offside.
“The line is very thin and it’s drawn by the VAR so it’s the subjective line of an objective fact which is a bit strange,” said Ceferin.
Other sources of confusion include the new handball rule and how far back in a move VAR officials should go when checking for infringements.
“Do we check five minutes, do we check 15 minutes?” he said. “The referee never said in the past that we had to go back to a foul seven minutes ago.”
“We still don’t know which handball is handball, who is drawing the lines, how thick the lines are…..there are many questions ahead.”
Edited & Vetted By: Emmanuel Okara/Sadiya Hamza
Govt should encourage private sector participation in sports
Government at all levels should provide enabling environment and facilities to encourage private sector operators to go into sports for the much needed development to take place.
“It is the duty of government at the federal, state and local levels to offer incentives in the form of patronage, waiver, etc to individuals, corporate organisations that promote sporting activities.
“Government should as well build sports facilities such as stadia, indoor sports halls, swimming pools and others at catchment locations.
“Then, motivated sports philanthropists will move to schools, towns to attract participants that are numerous, but not knowing how to start, to showcase their talents,” he said.
Okeke said that the country was losing huge resources by not producing sportsmen and women that would win laurels for us.
“Go to our primary, secondary schools, you will see a lot of budding young talents that are growing with nobody wooing them into sports.
“There are lots of benefits to be derived from being a sports person which include monetary reward, fame, scholarships and expense-free international travels which will make the fellow a household name,” he said.
Edited & Vetted By: Tajudeen Atitebi
Rashford scores twice as United sink Mourinho’s Spurs
Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford ended in defeat with Marcus Rashford scoring twice for Manchester United in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Mourinho was sacked as United manager almost a year ago and this was his first defeat in four games since taking over from Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs last month.
United grabbed a seventh minute lead when Spurs defender Davinson Sanchez came off second best in a tussle with Jesse Lingard and the ball fell to Rashford, who confidently unleashed a low drive which rattled in off the post.
Rashford, in oustanding form, then had a dipping drive brilliantly tipped on to the bar by Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga and United created a series of good openings, playing some of their best football of the season so far.
But six minutes before the break, a Serge Aurier shot was saved by the legs of David De Gea.
The ball looped high in the air and Dele Alli produced a remarkable piece of skill to bring the ball down and twist past Fred and Ashley Young before finishing with aplomb.
It took only four minutes of the second half for United to regain their advantage.
Cutting in from the left, Rashford jinked past Aurier and burst into the box only to be tripped by Moussa Sissoko, earning a penalty.
He took the spot kick himself from a short run-up and slotted home.
(Edited & Vetted By: Mufutau Ojo)
Mbappe, Neymar on target as PSG sink Nantes
A superb Kylian Mbappe goal and a Neymar penalty helped Paris St Germain restore a five-point lead atop the Ligue 1 standings with a 2-0 home win over Nantes on Wednesday.
France striker Mbappe found the back of the net with a jaw-dropping backheel finish early in the second half and Neymar doubled the tally in the closing stages to put PSG on 36 points from 15 games.
Second-placed Marseille, who have played one game more, had narrowed the gap to two points with a 2-0 victory at Angers on Tuesday.
“It’s not easy to beat Nantes they are very compact. We tried to play fast but we lost too many balls,” said PSG midfielder Marquinhos.
Nantes dropped to ninth in the table on 23 points from 16 games.
At the Parc des Princes, Coach Thomas Tuchel left Mauro Icardi on the substitutes’ bench with Mbappe starting up front alongside Angel Di Maria and Neymar.
The Brazilian thought he had opened the scoring shortly before halftime but his effort was ruled out by the VAR because of a Julian Draxler foul in the area.
Mbappe went close four minutes into the second half but Alban Lafont parried away the France international’s powerful angled shot.
Mbappe, however, put the hosts ahead in the 52nd minute with a gorgeous backheel from Di Maria’s whipped pass after the Argentine had been played through on the right flank by Neymar.
Neymar converted a penalty six minutes from fulltime after Lafont had brought down Icardi in the area following a poor header back from defender Nicolas Pallois.
Keylor Navas made a key save to deny Pallois in stoppage time, helping secure a ninth clean sheet in nine league victories for PSG at home this season.
Elsewhere, St Etienne bounced back from their first defeat under Claude Puel with a 4-1 home victory against Nice, thanks to a Denis Bouanga double.
The win lifted Les Verts, who were second from bottom when Puel was appointed two months ago, up to fifth on 25 points.
“It was a perfect game which should boost our confidence,” said Puel, who has secured 14 points in seven games for St Etienne.
Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder scored an early penalty and set up Gelson Martins for the winner as they won 2-1 at bottom side Toulouse.
(Edited & Vetted By: Mufutau Ojo)
- Aluminum fabricator docked for allegedly stealing generators
- Osun Assembly puts on hold budget consideration of 2 ministries till…
- Erosion: Establish Soil Remediation Fund, Soil Society tells FG
- 29 people die as South Sudan clans clash over Nile Island
- Lagos APPEALS trains 350 women, youth agro-entrepreneurs
- Lagos Govt inaugurates reform to end sales of unwholesome red meat
- Zamfara Assembly confirms 19 commissioner-nominees
- Crowds hit streets as French pension strike stalls transport
- Expert advises Nigerians on right diet to prevent communicable diseases
- Court remands man pending sentence for stealing 2 phones
- We need more investments, not fashion weeks, says Nigerian Designer
- Adamawa Govt. to pay WAEC, NECO exam fees
- Commission cautions against use of uncertified skin products
- Outgoing LCCI boss seeks closing of nation’s infrastructure gap
- Indian rape victim set on fire on her way to court
- Body of Japanese doctor Tetsu Nakamura given to embassy in Kabul
- LOC hails standard at Ebonyi veterans football competition
- Akeredolu promises continued patronage of surveyors in Ondo
- NPHCDA donates equipment, essential drugs to Kano hospital
- Lagos govt. releases N250m to boost science, technology research
- Indonesia sacks airline CEO over smuggling allegation
- Kano State Assembly approves creation of 4 additional emirates
- Man, 40, docked for allegedly assaulting police officer
- 2019 budget: N15.2 bn has been so far released to fund NHIS- Ehanire
- CPAN seeks financial opportunities for members, digital entrepreneurs
- Son accused of strangling father to death remanded in correctional centre
- Mixed reactions trail Kalu’s conviction over N7.65 bn fraud
- Surety docked, forfeits N200, 000 for failure to produce defendant
- Nigeria’s higher education sector over populated –Atiku
- Benue House approves six months extension for tenure of LG caretaker chairmen
- Minister tasks research institutes on agric. sector development
- NSCDC arrests 10 suspected illegal LPG operators in Akwa Ibom
- Reps pass 2020 budget, increase to ₦10.59trn
- Why fight against rape is difficult – Mrs Fayemi
- FCE Okene appeals for financial support from FG
- STDs: Emir urges health stakeholders to build synergy with local communities in Kebbi
- UN says floods kill 280, affect 2.8m others in East Africa
- Traffic decongestion: Oyo begins enforcement of relocation order at Ojoo interchange
- Lawyer seeks collaboration with monarchs to end open defecation
- CISLAC task MDAs on adherence to FOI act for effective service delivery
- YouTube celebrates top trending videos in Nigeria
- Banker in court over alleged N320,400 theft
- NSCDC arrest 2 for selling gas in Calabar carnival village
- Woman allegedly stabs neighbour over payment of electricity bills
- MDCAN conducts free medical screening, inaugurates lounge/secretariat in Nasarawa
- Kaduna Govt. tasks youth on innovative ideas to accelerate SDGs
- Benue varsity graduates 22 first class in 5 years–VC
- FCT set for maiden ECOWAS-Abuja Int’l Marathon
- Youths are cardinal to achieving SDGs — Envoy
- Red Cross donates N39.4 million to 1,150 flood victims in Kogi