The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday in Abuja said Christian Chukwu, a former captain of the old Green Eagles, has arrived in the UK for medical treatment.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement that the former Super Eagles Chief Coach arrived in London in company of his wife, Lilian Nkeiruka.
He said Chukwu travelled with his wife aboard a Virgin Atlantic Airline flight from Lagos.
The NFF spokesman said Amaju Pinnick, the Federation’s President, has arranged for an appointment for the Nigerian legend with a renowned cardiologist in London.
“I am very happy with the efforts of the NFF, through Amaju Pinnick. He (Pinnick) has proved that he is truly (a) father of Nigerian Football. I am also grateful for the support and prayers of other Nigerians,’’ he quoted Chukwu as saying on arrival.
Olajire further quoted the man who captained Nigeria to their first Africa Cup of Nations win in 1980 as saying he was hopeful about his treatment.
“It is waist pain and stomach upset that I keep feeling. The doctors in Nigeria have treated the stomach upset and it remains the waist pain, but I am confident that I will come back to Nigeria having regained sound health.”
Olajire said Chukwu and wife were seen off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos by Aisha Falode, a member of NFF Executive Committee, and some NFF protocol officials.
“Then, Pinnick had delegated Chidi Ofo-Okenwa, the Chairman of Enugu State Football Association and member of NFF Executive Committee, to pay Chukwu a visit.
“The Federation also sought financial support from philanthropic individuals, with Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Forte Oil, donating 50,000 dollars.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Chukwu captained the Green Eagles to Nigeria’s first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980.
He had received the then brand new Unity Cup from then President Shehu Shagari.
The man nicknamed “Chairman’’ also captained Rangers International Football Club to the Africa Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977.
Chukwu also served as assistant coach of the first team to win a FIFA World Cup trophy for Nigeria.
That was the Golden Eaglets team which triumphed at the FIFA Under-16 World Cup in China in 1985.
He was also assistant coach of the Super Eagles team which qualified for Nigeria’s first FIFA World Cup finals, appearing at the 1994 finals in the U.S.
The team had also earlier won the Africa Cup of Nations title same year and reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup.
Between 2002 and 2005, Chukwu was head coach of the Super Eagles, leading the team to win bronze medal at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)
NFF should not hurry to conclude league, Izilein advises
Izilein told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday, in Benin, that Nigeria could not afford to compare itself with some other countries that were trying to kickstart their leagues suspended over the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The former Golden Eaglets handler said that football authority must not only consider the issue of money, but also the health of the players.
Izilein said that the NFF must not be in a hurry to conclude the league, especially against the background of the daily increase in the number of persons affected by the disease.
“They can, however, gradually reintroduce the league when number of infection is reducing.
“We must not compare ourselves with other countries who are on the verge of kickstarting theirs, as they have good medicals to care for their players in terms of emergency,”he said.
On what should be the lesson from the pandemic, Izilein said, “This should rebuild the minds of those in authority to always do the right thing.”
He said that the lesson was a two-way thing.
“Either we learn from it or we sink with it; we must also consider what to do to take care of those with us and how to sustain the development of the game,” Izilein said.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
NFF places mothers of late 2 ex-internationals on N30,000 monthly stipend
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Thursday, announced a N30,000 monthly stipend each for mothers of its two ex-internationals, Rashidi Yekini and Samuel Okwaraji.
The NFF, through its verified twitter handle, said it was acting in furtherance to the placement of both matriarchs on monthly N10,000 by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development.
“In furtherance to and in appreciation of the recent pronouncement of the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, to put the mothers of the two late ex-internationals on a monthly stipend.
“The NFF has decided to support this noble initiative with a further monthly stipend of N30,000 to each of the two matriarchs.
“In addition, the NFF will henceforth review the situation of surviving mothers of our ex-internationals that died in active service for the country and resolve on what to do for them on monthly basis,’’ the NFF tweeted.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ministry had, on Wednesday, announced the decision when the minister donated Ramadan gifts and N50,000 to Yekini’s mother in Ijagbo, Kwara.
NAN also recalls that Yekini died eight years ago in Ibadan after retiring from football while Okwaraji collapsed and died of congestive heart failure in the 77th minute of a World Cup qualification match against Angola at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos in 1989.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
NFF mourns executive member, Chidi Okenwa
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has described the death of one of its Executive Committee members, Mr Chidi Okenwa, as shocking and devastating.
According to the statement, Okenwa was part of a meeting of the NFF Executive Committee held via video conferencing penultimate Friday.
It was that same day that Okenwa celebrated his 50th birthday.
“This is a huge shock. Each and everyone of us on the NFF Board is in absolute grief, because he was a loyal soldier of Nigeria Football and was a leading member of our intellectual wing. This is a terrible blow.
“He was one man you can always rely on to give candid advice. We bounced ideas off him regularly and picked his brain on many issues because of his wide knowledge and decades of experience in football administration. We will surely miss him,” Pinnick was quoted as saying.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that until his death, Okenwa was the Chairman of the Nigeria National League, and Chairman, Enugu State Football Association.
He died on Tuesday morning (May 5) at the age of 50.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
NFF to revise 2020 budget, cut down on competitions to attend
The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Friday met via video conferencing to deliberate on important issues in Nigerian football, according to a statement from the football body.
The NFF Executive Committee, according to the meeting’s eight-point communique, resolved that the Federation should revise its budget for the year, among other stringent measures.
“The Executive Committee mandated the General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, to within the next four weeks and armed with the realistic projections derivable from the meetings with the partners/sponsors and equipped with new figures from probable subvention from Government and expected grants from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and world governing body FIFA, submit to the Board a revised budget for the Federation for the year.’’
The communique made available to the News Agency of Nigeria stated that the revised budget would “form the new working document/financial estimate to be submitted to the NFF Congress for approval at a virtual meeting within the next five weeks’’.
“It will guide the operations of the NFF for the remaining part of the year. Extensive sensitisation and mobilisation of stakeholders in the football family will be done for everyone to understand, align with and ingest the new workplan.’’
The NFF Executive Committee also agreed that the Federation, in line with these new realities, would “prioritise programmes, activities and competitions in which to partake, with the engagement of the senior teams being the fulcrum’’.
The communique stated that the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, and Sanusi have been mandated to cut down expenses in the running of the Federation from all areas possible and enforce belt-tightening measures.
“This is to ensure the Federation operates only within the framework of guaranteed revenue.’’
The NFF Executive Committee further set up an ad-hoc committee headed by its President to interface with the Federation’s partners and sponsors in the next weeks.
“This is with a view to appraising, balancing and optimising the relationship each way with a model that will take care of the interest of all parties within the realities on ground.
“We took this decision in deep appreciation of the realities that are bound to unfold after the COVID-19 pandemic and the resumption of football activities, and the various scenarios possible in the circumstances.’’
According to the communique, the NFF Executive Committee also received and endorsed the report of a virtual meeting of the League Management Company (LMC) and the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the clubs’ meeting was held on Thursday.
Decisions taken included a commitment to conclude the League season after the COVID-19 and resumption of football activities, and consider the most plausible format for conclusion of the remaining games.
The meeting also agreed to continue to communicate with the clubs and ensure commitment by the clubs to continuous payment of the salaries of their players, coaches and backroom staff under the current circumstances.
They are to arrange testing for all players, coaches and backroom staff (about 1,200 persons in all) before the commencement of matches, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Also, they are to await realities thence to determine whether matches will be played with crowds or not immediately after the restart.
Furthermore, they are to give priority to privately-funded clubs for special funds if the LMC secures any exceptional support, and “ensure that the LMC and NPFL continue to cogitate on the best way forward for the game this season and coming seasons.’’
The NFF communique indicated also that Chairmen of the Nigeria National League (NNL), Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) and Nationwide League One (NLO) also presented their projections.
“All the three leagues are prepared to adjust their programmes to align with the six to eight weeks window agreed with at a virtual meeting of the NFF Executive Committee and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on April 16.’’
The NFF Executive Committee also mandated its President to meet with the Federation’s Official Optimum Partner, AITEO.
“This is specially to discuss matters involving the AITEO Cup 2020 competition and payment of coaches’ salaries.
“The NFF will create windows for the various stages of the AITEO Cup competition to run its full course in order for Nigeria to register her representatives for next season’s CAF Confederation Cup competition.’’
The NFF then assured that the enith Bank Future Eagles Championship, whose state competitions have already been concluded and some zones having also completed their competitions would run its full course.
It said this would be immediately after the COVID-19 and resumption of football activities.
The NFF Executive Committee further assessed a report by the General Secretary on the recent visit of the FIFA West Zone B Coordinator to Nigeria in respect of its FIFA Forward Project.
“The Committee approved the commencement of construction of new projects in Delta and Kebbi, renewed attention to the abandoned project in Bauchi and the renovation of the Goal Project inside the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Complex in Abuja, complete with a new pitch and pavillion.’’
NAN reports that the NFF Executive Committee meeting involved Pinnick, the Federation’s two Vice-Presidents, Sanusi and eight other Committee members, with Yusuf Ahmed and Musa Duhu unavailable.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
NFF shouldn’t have made details of Rohr’s contract public, Akanni says
Wahidi Akanni, a former Chairman of Lagos State Football Association, on Monday in Lagos said the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been unfair to Gernot Rohr, the Super Eagles’ Head Coach.
Akanni told the News Agency of Nigeria that the public disclosure of terms and conditions of possible renewal of Rohr’s contract by the NFF was unnecessary.
NAN reports that NFF President Amaju Pinnick had recently said Rohr would be handed a new contract to sign if he agreed to the terms.
Akanni, an ex-international, however told NAN that making Rohr’s contract public as Pinnick did would only mean that the two parties had not been communicating effectively.
“I think, with the back and forth media correspondences between NFF and Rohr, it is obvious that both are not talking.
“A contract between an employee and his employer should not be in the public for that matter. Changing of terms in an employee contract also should not be a problem if it’s acceptable by the employee.
“But, while we hope this will be resolved quickly and amicably, one must acknowledge that NFF has no right to make the contract public because this will bring in a lot of negative sentiments against the coach,” he said.
NAN reports that Rohr has been spending most of his time in the French city of Bordeaux and only comes to Nigeria when he has an assignment.
The Franco-German has been severally criticised for not looking the way of players in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
He had always insisted that Nigeria’s best players are those who play in many of the league competitions in Europe.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam and Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
FG`s directives on COVID-19 alters NFF investigative panel’s work plan
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Tuesday said the work plan of its investigative panel on the death of Nasarawa United FC player, Chineme Martins had been altered.
The cancellation was as a result of the directives of the Federal Government on the raging coronavirus outbreak.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the panel constituted by the NFF was expected to look into the circumstances surrounding the death of Nasarawa United FC player, Martins during a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match in Lafia on March 8.
The committee was mandated to investigate the medical, security and administrative lapses which led to the untimely demise of the defender.
Dr Peter Singabele, a former member of the NFF Executive Committee and member of the Committee on Sports Medicine of the Confederation of African Football, is the Chairman of the 12-man panel.
The committee was expected to submit its final report on Thursday to the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare in Abuja.
However, a statement by Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said following the current trend of events arising from the Covid-19 scourge, the panel had temporarily suspended its activities including submission of its final report.
It noted that the change in work plan had also been approved by the NFF leadership.
The statement also quoted Singabele as saying that the members had been working tirelessly since the inauguration of the committee in Benin City on March 16.
“We have inspected facilities in Benin City and Lafia, and spoken to personalities who were involved one way or the other in the organisation of the match in which the player died.
“We have been able to extract useful information all round. Our plan was to submit the report to the minister on Thursday.
“We returned from Lafia on Tuesday morning, but have had to change our plans because of the trend of events and the pronouncement by Mr President himself, as well as other directives by the Federal Government,“ he said.
The chairman said that if the committee had a challenge in its job, it was the risk that members took to interact with people at this trying period in Nigeria.
“I won’t say strictly that there were challenges. If there was a challenge; it was that we took a big risk moving around at this time.
“We were bound to hold meetings and meet people and we could not tell who was infected at any time.
“We just have to observe preventive measures by returning to our homes and continuing to work from there,” he said.
The panel also assured members of the football family its findings and recommendations would be submitted as soon as the current health challenge is under control.
Other members of the committee include Amanze Uchegbulam, Chairman of the Imo State Football Association and former first Vice President of the NFF as well as respected technocrat Abba Abdullahi Yola.
Others are Dr Paul Onyeudo, head of sports medicine of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports; Otunba Tade Azeez, President of the Nigeria Referees Association and Mr Isaac Danladi, Chairman of NPFL club owners.
Alhaji Salihu Abubakar, Chief Operating Officer of the League Management Company, Commissioner of Police Umar Baba, Oladunni Oyekale, Francis Adejoh, Dr Ibrahim Gyaran and Miss Kisu Remi Sulola are the other members, with China Acheru as Secretary.
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Grace Yussuf
NFF calls for prayers against deaths, kidnappings of players
NFF calls for prayers against deaths, kidnappings of players: The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday called on all members of the country’s football family including stakeholders to pray hard against death and kidnapping of players.
This, it said, was in view of recent deaths and kidnappings of football players, which had caused serious concern in the sector.
Nigeria News Agency reports that three footballers died in a horrendous auto crash along Benin-Agbor Road on Sunday, among them Rangers International FC star forward Ifeanyi George.
Also, Enyimba FC’s Dayo Ojo and Abia Comets’ Benjamin Iluyomade in Ondo State were kidnapped some hours later.
A statement by Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communication, on Monday quoted President of the Federation, Amaju Pinnick as saying that the deaths and kidnappings were huge causes for concern in Nigeria’s football firmament.
“These sorrowful incidents are becoming too much for us to bear. We must seek spiritual solace and seek help from Almighty God.
“I am short of words following these deaths and kidnappings. We must all get involved in prayers to stop this type of grief and sorrow in our football sector.
“I am heartbroken. Not long ago, we lost Tiamiyu Kazeem of Remo Stars Football Club and Chineme Martins of Nasarawa United in different circumstances.
“We need to call on God to show us mercy and stop these unfortunate happenings,” he said.
George, a former Home-based Eagles star who featured for Nigeria at the 5th African Nations Championship in Morocco early in 2018, died in a car crash alongside Emmanuel Ogbu, a player of Rangers International Feeder team and Eteka Gabriel, also a football player.
All were in a car that ran under a stationary trailer on the Benin-Agbor Road.
Some hours later, in Ondo State, Enyimba FC of Aba’s Dayo Ojo and Abia Comets’ player Benjamin Iluyomade were reported kidnapped in the Owo area of Ondo State.
Pinnick appealed for the release of the players by their captors, adding that the NFF was going through a lot of difficulties already.
“We also earnestly appeal to the kidnappers of Dayo and Benjamin to release them unhurt to their families.
“We need serious prayers from everyone in the football family,” Pinnick pleaded.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Felix Ajide
Nigeria Pitch Awards: Internationals deserve more recognition — NFF
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Saturday says players representing the country deserve more incentives aside the match bonuses and allowances such as due recognition for outstanding performance.
NFF Spokesman, Ademola Olajire, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on the sidelines of the 7th edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards held at Ibis Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos.
Olajire, who represented NFF Chairman, Amaju Pinnick, said players representing the country were great ambassadors carrying the image of the country, hence they should be accorded due recognition and awards.
“The award is a great innovation and laudable one for outstanding players who are representing our country because that is what they are doing in other climes as well.
“This reward that serves as a payback for excellence will surely spur the players to deliver more to the aspiration of the country to being the world respected football country.
“If the players knows that there is an award waiting out there different from their normal match bonuses and allowances, it will be an extra motivation for them.
“Such award as Pitch Awards will help our players to deliver more of their mandate and perform better, it will also increase their adrenaline to go faster,” he said.
“Olajire said that the Pitch Awards had a lot of credit for being an independent one devoid controversies in voting and selection process which is being handled be an independent body.
“It is expedient to say that this award is just one of the best in Nigeria because it is a transparent one, I must also commend the independence of the voters.
“The process of voting is being handled by an independent audit company SIAO. The audit company has said that the organisers of the award has never interfere with the process, and this is commendable.
“NFF has a great respect for this award and will continue to seek partnerships with them for contributing immensely to the growth of football in the country.
“We are glad with the independence and integrity of the awards and we hope it will continue to grow in such strength, he said.
NAN reports that Manchester United sensation, Odion Ighalo, Leicester City Midfield maestro, Wilfred Ndidi, 2019 CAF Female Football of the Year, Asisat Oshoala and others are the major contenders for the 7th edition Nigeria Pitch Awards.
The nominees are: “Goalkeeper of the Year Francis Uzoho,
Daniel Akpeyi and Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Defender of the Year: Kenneth Omeruo, Williams Troost – Ekong and Chidozie Awaziem.
Midfielder of the year: Oghenekaro Etebo, Wilfred Ndidi and Joe Aribo.
Striker of the Year: Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze.
Queen of the Pitch: Onome Ebi, Chiamaka Nnadozie and Assist Oshoala.
King of the pitch: Odion Ighalo, Victor Osimhen and Wilfred Ndidi.
Team of the year: Lobi Stars, Enyimba FC and Super Eagles.
Coach of the Year: Gernot Rohr, Usman Abdallah and Thomas Dennerby.
Samuel Okwaraji Award: Seyi Akinwunmi, Kunle Soname and Ahmed Musa.
State with the best grassroots Sports: Delta, Lagos State and Akwa Ibom State.
Football Friendly Governor of the Year: Nyesom Wike, Udom Emmanuel and Ifeanyi Okowa.
Corporate Sponsors of Football: Aiteo Group, Zenith Bank and Bet9ja.
Football Journalist of the year (TV): Cecilia Omoreghe (Channels TV), Austin Okon – Akpan (Channels TV) and Mozez Praiz (Supersports).
Football Journalist of the year (Radio): Emmanuel Etim (Naija Info), Tony Bekederemo (Brilla FM) and Olawale Adigun, (Top Radio).
Football Journalist of the year (Online): Fisayo Dairo (ACL Sports), Sam Ahmedu (Goal.com) and Kunle Solaja (SportsVillage).
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
NFF suspension of Football Activities: Bauchi FA despatches officials to enforce order
Bashir Idris, Secretary of Bauchi State Football Association (FA), on Friday said the association has despatched officials to stadia in the state to enforce suspension of football activities by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Idris disclosed this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency , in Bauchi.
NAN recalled that Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had on March 18, postponed all football activities until April 15, due Conora Virus ravaging some countries of the world.
According to him, the officials have been posted to the 20 Local Government Areas in the state to ensure full compliance with NFF’s directive.
“The FA in the state had received a letter from NFF to postpone all Football activities in the country for one month and we have communicated same to soccer clubs and organisations in the state.
“We have equally informed managers, referees association and security agencies that are stakeholders.
“We therefore urge club administrators and fans to bear with the temporary situation as it is not only limited to Nigeria, but worldwide,” he said.
The secretary said the posting of officials to stadia had become necessary to ensure that there was no breach of the NFF directive.
He said normal Football activities would resume as from April 16, 2020.
COVID-19: NFF shuts down all football activities for 4 weeks, including street football
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) late Wednesday in Abuja announced the cessation of all forms of football activities in the country for the next four weeks.
He said the shutdown affected all on-field activities involving the various national teams, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the other leagues, youth football programmes and “even street football’’.
Olajire quoted the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, as saying “the cessation will be for four weeks, after which the situation will be reviewed in line with events and trends worldwide’’.
The NFF president was also quoted as advising all members of the football family to observe the various safety precautions and conduct as advised.
“They should observe the precautions as advised by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), such as hand-washing, the use of sanitisers and social distancing.’’
Pinnick was further quoted as saying the only football activity that would be permitted was the work of the NFF investigation committee into the death of Chineme Martins.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the committee was inaugurated on Tuesday in Benin City and is expected to submit its report within the next 10 days.
“The decision is to conform with the guidelines for containment of the spread of the global pandemic,’’ the LMC, who are the organisers of NPFL, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The LMC, in suspending the league’s remaining matches, said it would review the decision after consulting the nation’s health authorities, such as the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC.
NAN reports that Match Day 25 fixtures in the 2019/2020 NPFL were concluded on Wednesday.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and Olawale Alabi)
Niger FA awaits formal directives from NFF on medical facilities and personnel requirements at match venues
The Niger State Football Association (FA) Vice-Chairman, Baba Yabagi, on Saturday said the FA was waiting for written directives from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on provision of medical facilities and personnel.
Yabagi told the Nigeria News Agency in Minna that such formal directives would enable the Niger FA act accordingly.
“We heard in the news that the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, and the NFF gave directives to state FAs on medical facilities and personnel.
NAN reports that the directive was for host FAs and home clubs to ensure necessary medical facilities and personnel as provided in the NFF Club Licensing Regulations were in place before matches.
They are to put these in place before the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches can go on henceforth.
He said however that the state FA had before now sensitised match officials and players to the need to be fit and healthy before and during matches.
The Niger FA vice-chairman said medical personnel were always deployed to the state-owned Bako Kontagora Memorial Stadium in Minna during matches.
“The medical facilities available in the stadium during matches include medical room with essential drugs, other health consumables and ambulance.’’
He also said the General Hospital and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida Specialist Hospital, both in Minna, were always put on notice during matches in case of critical health issues.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
Kwara Utd, FA working on NFF medical directive for NPFL games
The Chairman of the Kwara Football Association, Malam Idris Musa, says the body is working with Kwara United and relevant stakeholders to ensure that required medical facilities are in place for any football match in the state.
Musa told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Ilorin that the association is working with Kwara United to ensure medical personnel and facilities are in place for Sunday’s match against Wikki Tourists of Bauchi.
NAN recalls that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had directed the League Management Company (LMC) to ensure that teams in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) comply with the maximum medical requirements for any football match in the league.
The directive came as a result of the unfortunate incident at the Lafia Township Stadium on Sunday, which led to the death of Nasarawa United’s defender, Chineme Martins, who slumped and died during the NPFL match day 23 with Katsina United.
A source at Kwara United, who pleaded anynomity, told NAN that the club is working with the state Ministry of Health to provide it with a well equipped ambulance service on every match days for the club.
The source informed NAN that the club has always complied with providing medical facilities during their games only to redouble their efforts toward ensuring improved service delivery.
Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola
Medical facilities: Plateau United, state FA, others meet over NFF, LMC directive
The management of Plateau United Football Club of Jos, the Plateau State Football Association (PFA) leadership and other stakeholders on Friday in Jos held a crucial meeting.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that they all met over the directive by both the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the League Management Company (LMC) on medical facilities.
NAN reports that NFF and LMC had directed that henceforth no Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match should be played without the full presence of medical personnel and availability of facilities.
The directive was in the wake of the demise of Chineme Martins, the 23-year-old defender of Nasarawa United FC of Lafia, who slumped and died during their week 23 fixture.
The club’s match was played at home at the Lafia Township Stadium on Sunday and against Katsina United, with the hosts winning 3-0.
Speaking at the meeting, which was at the instance of the home FA, PFA chairman, Sunday Longbap, said the meeting was aimed at ensuring compliance with the directive.
He said this was necessary as compliance must be immediate, in view of this Sunday’s NPFL encounter between hosts Plateau United FC of Jos and visiting Nasarawa United.
NAN reports that the week 24 match will be played at the New Jos Stadium.
Represented by the association’s Secretary, Sunday Adi, Longbap said the meeting was called to enable stakeholders rub minds.
“It will also help us to fashion out ways to provide the required health facilities before Sunday’s match,’’ he said.
Speaking at the meeting, the Plateau State Red Cross Branch’s Training Officer, Nurudeen Magaji, said they have a vehicle fully-kitted with life-support equipment to take care of any emergency during matches
Magaji explained that, in view of the latest development, the Red Cross in the state would conduct refresher training for the Plateau United FC medical team.
“This is in order to deal with issues that have to do with first aid during matches.’’
He assured that his organisation, which has always been at the stadium during Plateau United’s home matches, would continue to ensure strict compliance with the directive in order to avoid issues.
On his part, the Secretary of Plateau United FC, Audu Yusuf, assured that every requirement as directed by the NFF and LMC would be made available.
“We must do this, so as to ensure a hitch-free match come Sunday,’’ Yusuf, who led a four-man delegation of his club to the meeting, said.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
NFF sets up committee to investigate Nasarawa United player’s death, one week after
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Friday said it has constituted a panel to look into the circumstances surrounding the death of a player of Nasarawa United Football Club, Chineme Martins.
The player had died during a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match in Lafia on Sunday.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement that the committee has been mandated to investigate the medical, security and administrative lapses which led to the player’s untimely demise.
The defender had slumped during the match between his Lafia-based club and Katsina United at the Lafia Township Stadium.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Martins gave up the ghost before he was taken to hospital.
“Peter Singabele, a former member of the NFF Executive Committee and member of the Committee on Sports Medicine of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), is chairman of the 12-man panel.
“There are also Amanze Uchegbulam, Chairman of Imo State Football Association and a former NFF First Vice-President, retired civil servant Abba Yola, and Paul Onyeudo who is Head of Sports Medicine of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“The committee also has Tade Azeez, President of Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Isaac Danladi, Chairman of Nasarawa United FC, and Salihu Abubakar, the Chief Operating Officer of the League Management Company (LMC).
“The committee’s other members are Umar Baba, a Commissioner of Police, ex-international Oladunni Oyekale, Francis Adejoh, Ibrahim Gyaran and Remi Sulola, while China Acheru is the secretary,’’ Olajire said.
NAN reports that paramedics at the Lafia Township Stadium were unsuccessful in all attempts to revive the former FC IfeanyiUbah defender as he slumped during the game.
Olajire disclosed that the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, has confirmed that the committee would be inaugurated in Benin on Tuesday.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
NFF calls up 40 for Falconets’ clash with Burkina Faso
NNN: The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Monday in Abuja said it has invited to the national female under-20 team’s camp 40 players to begin preparations for Nigeria’s clash with Burkina Faso.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, disclosed in a statement that the players comprised six goalkeepers, 10 defenders, 10 midfielders and 14 strikers.
“The Falconets will set up camp in Abuja as from Tuesday, ahead of their 2020 FIFA Undere-20 Women’s World Cup qualifying fixture against Burkina Faso, billed for this month,’’ he said.
Olajire said the first leg of the second round qualifying fixture would take place at the August 4 Stadium in Ouagadougou on March 21.
“The return leg will hold a week later at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.’’
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Burkinabes had edged out Gambia 3-2 on aggregate in the first round of the campaign.
Two-time World Cup runners-up Nigeria have participated at every edition of the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup since it was launched as an Under-19 tournament in Canada 18 years ago.
This year’s finals will be co-hosted by Costa Rica and Panama.
The NFF had approved for the team the appointment of Moses Adukwu as the First Assistant Coach, with Bilikisu Tijani as the Second Assistant and Audu Yahaya as Goalkeepers’ Trainer.
Adukwu will hold forth as head of the technical crew pending the appointment of a Head Coach.
LIST OF INVITED PLAYERS
Goalkeepers: Rita Akarekor (Bayelsa Queens); Christiana Obia (Osun Babes); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Omini Oyono (Confluence Queens); Christy Obis (Osun Babes); Nelly Ekeh (Bayelsa Queens)
Defenders: Omowunmi Oshobukola (Sunshine Queens); Chdinma Okeke (Madrid CFF, Spain); Esther Momoh (Confuence Queens); Ifeoma Ikenokwalu (Rivers Angels); Sarah Oloduba (Osun Babes)
Margaret Etim (Rivers Angels); Akudo Ogbonna (Sunshine Queens); Ifeoma Paulinus (Rivers Angels); Rebecca Ajimuda (Edo Queens); Tosin Dameline (Sunshine Queens)
Midfielders: Mary Saiki (Nasarawa Amazons); Basirat Amoo (Confluence Queens); Folasade Ijamilusi (FC Robo); Adebisi Saheed (Bayelsa Queens); Esther Onyenezide (FC Robo)
Rose Ekong (Sunshine Queens); Mary Adeyemi (Osun Babes); Suliat Abideen (Sunshine Queens); Celine Ottah (Bayelsa Queens); Patricia Innocent (Sunshine Queens)
Forwards: Dooshima Tarnum (Nasarawa Amazons); Grace Igboamalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Precious Christopher; Rafiat Sule; Gift Monday (FC Robo); Mary Anjor (Bayelsa Queens)
Esther Adeboye; Blessing Okpe (Rivers Angels); Augusta Nwamaka (Confluence Queens); Marian Ezenagu (Rivers Angels); Mary Alfred (Confluence Queens); Precious Vincent (Sunshine Queens); Joy Omewa (Confluence Queens); Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens)
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
NFF relocates to Dankaro House, six years after
NNN: The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has relocated to it’s new secretariat, six years after the office was completed.
The new secretariat named ‘Sunday Dankaro House’ is located in the Moshood Abiola national stadium, Abuja.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the office, constructed at the cost of N337 million, was inaugurated in July 2013 by former Vice- President, Namadi Sambo, but had remained abandoned until recent moves by Sports Minister, Sunday Dare to get it fully utilised.
Dare had visited the Dankaro House in January to assess the renovation work and mandated the NFF to fast track relocation there.
NAN observed the presence of members of staff and NFF officials at the Dankaro House, which now wears a new look.
NFF General Secretary, Dr Sanusi Mohammed had confirmed the federation’s gradual relocation from its popular “Glass House” in Zone 7 to the Dankaro House.
The Sunday Dankaro House comprises of 27 offices with six board rooms, a penthouse and a 120-car parking space.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
NFF denies appointing Amokachi head, technical crew
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has denied rumours making rounds in the media of the appointment of former Super Eagles Captain and Coach, Daniel Amokachi as Head of its Technical Department.
In a statement on Wednesday, Ademola Olajire, NFF Director of Communications, said Mr Bitrus Bewarang still remained the federation’s Technical Director.
Olajire quoted Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Alhaji Yusuf Fresh, as saying that at no time did the body call for applications from candidates for that position, not to talk of appointing anyone.
“This clarification becomes necessary against the background of wide-circulating, but totally misleading reports of the appointment of Amokachi, a former Super Eagles captain and coach, as head of NFF technical department.”
“’The NFF has been bemused by this unfounded story, which no doubt must have embarrassed Mr. Amokachi himself,” Fresh said.
Olajire added in the statement that though the NFF would not foreclose the possibility of a major role for Amokachi in the NFF in future, however, no such an appointment had been made currently.
“Amokachi no doubt deserves all the regard and respect befitting his new role as an ambassador; he should not be dragged into needless controversies such as this.
“’The NFF, once more, enjoins the generality of the media to retain the important work ethic of fact-checking and verification, and beware of empty wildfires lit by obscure online cells that lack any iota of credibility,” Olajire said.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
Super Eagles, Leone Stars to clash in Asaba in 2021 AFCON qualifier, NFF says
The Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba will host next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone.
Ademola Olajire, the Director of Communications, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), announced this in a statement on Sunday, quoting the federation’s General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi.
“We have finally settled for the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba for the qualifying match against Sierra Leone and it will be played on March 27,’’ Sanusi was quoted as saying.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the venue, named after former Nigeria captain and coach Stephen Keshi of blessed memory, has hosted several international matches since 2018.
Since it was opened two years ago, it has hosted matches involving the Super Eagles and the Nigeria under-23 male squad.
Uganda were the first opposition entertained at the 15,400-capacity venue by the Super Eagles, in a friendly match which ended scoreless.
This came days after Nigeria sealed a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ticket in South Africa in November 2018.
The Eagles have since beaten Seychelles 3-1 (2019 AFCON qualifier) and seven-times African champions Egypt 1-0 (a friendly) at the same venue.
They also had a scoreless draw with Zimbabwe in a pre- 2019 AFCON friendly in June last year.
The under-23 team on their part beat Libya and Sudan in 2019 Under-23 AFCON qualifying matches at the same venue.
Olajire disclosed that with NFF now having picked March 27 for the first match, the Sierra Leone Football Association is now likely to opt for March 31 for the return leg.
“That day is the final day in the FIFAwindow, and it is expected as the last possible date for the return leg scheduled for the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.’’
NAN reports that victory in next month’s Match Day 3 fixture against the Leone Stars will take the Super Eagles closer to the 2021 AFCON finals.
They currently perch at the top of their pool with the maximum six points from their first two matches and a goals difference of plus three.
A 2-1 win over Benin Republic in Uyo on Nov. 13 was followed by a 4-2 whiplash of Lesotho in Maseru four days later.
The Super Eagles have further dates against the Squirrels of Benin Republic in Cotonou in June and the Crocodiles of Lesotho in Nigeria in September.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
NFF appoints Yobo as Super Eagles’ Assistant Coach
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has appointed former Super Eagles’ defender and Captain, Joseph Yobo as assistant coach.
Yobo replaces Imama Amapakabo in the technical crew, according to a statement issued by NFF Director of Communications, Ademola Olajirein Ilorin on Wednesday.
The Nigeria News Agency, reports that Yobo, who played for Nigeria’s Flying Eagles in 1999, won his first cap for the the senior team in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match with Zambia in April 2001.
He also played in three FIFA World Cup finals in 2002, 2010 and 2014.
The attack–minded defender also played in six Africa Cup of Nations finals in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013, capping it with leading the Super Eagles to their third continental title in South Africa in 2013.
He played a total of 100 matches for Nigeria at senior level.
A thoroughbred and dedicated professional, Yobo played his club football in five countries, including sterling appearances for Olympique Marseille in the French top flight, Fenerbahce in Turkey and Everton FC in the English Premiership.
He scored several crucial goals for the Super Eagles in important qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations.
Yobo was also among the scorers when the Eagles thrashed South Africa’s Bafana Bafana 4-0 in a group phase match in Tunisia 16 years ago.
Yobo was born on Sept. 6, 1980, and the flamboyant stopper also played club football in Belgium with Standard Liege, Tenerife in Spain and Norwich City in England, having started out with Michellin-Harcourt in Rivers State in 1996.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Maharazu Ahmed
NFF appoints Yobo to replace Amapakabo as Super Eagles assistant coach
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday in Abuja said it has appointed former Super Eagles defender Joseph Yobo as an assistant coach with the team.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, disclosed in a statement that the former Super Eagles captain was replacing Imama Amapakabo in the team’s technical crew.
Yobo had played for the Flying Eagles, Nigeria under-20 national team, during the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship (now known as FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
He won his first cap for the senior team in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match away to Zambia in Chingola in April 2001.
The defender then went on to play in three FIFA World Cup finals in 2002, 2010 and 2014 and six AFCON finals in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013.
He capped a meritorious career with leading the Super Eagles to their third continental title in South Africa in 2013.
Yobo, who started out with Michellin FC of Harcourt in 1996, played a total of 100 matches for Nigeria at senior level and played his foreign club football in five countries.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)