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Ex-internationals move to rescue Oruma

By EmmanueL Onminyi with Agency report,

Former Super Eagles stars, including Austin Eguavoen, Taribo West and Nwankwo Kanu, have agreed to take part in a charity football game to raise funds to aid their former colleague, Wilson Oruma.

Oruma has made the headlines due to recent mental disorder following his huge financial loss.

The former Golden Eaglets captain allegedly lost most of his money after he was swindled six years ago in a failed business deal, thereby leading to depression, and deterioration in health.

The Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association, Waidi Akanni, revealed that the planned Charity game to help Oruma has been proposed to hold in Lagos in February.

He said he is confident more ex-internationals will make themselves available to help one of their own.

The 41-year-old Oruma had an illustrious career playing most of his club football in France where he represented many top clubs including Lens, Marseille, and Sochaux as well as a handful of other European teams.

Aside from his successes in club football, Oruma also had it good playing for Nigeria right from the Under 17 side to the national team- the Super Eagles.

He was allegedly defrauded by a clergyman and some fake oil businessmen to the tune of N1.2 billion in December 2012; a development that has seen his life take a serious turn for the worse.

“Aside from playing the Charity match to help Oruma, we will are also intending to use the medium to share our experiences to the current players on how well to manage their finances and prepare well for life after football,” the Lagos FA boss declared.

In the mean time, the General Secretary, National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers, Austin Popo, hinted that steps are being taken to quicken Oruma’s rehabilitation.

“We have had series of close door meetings to see how we can address the issue. I discussed with Sam Sodje who confirmed to me that he had put a call to Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission.”

Kwara United declares readiness for league opener despite accident

By Emmanuel Onminyi with Agency report,

Kwara United’s goalkeeper, Chidiebere Eze, has confirmed that they are fine and ready for their first league game of the season against Niger Tornadoes in Ilorin, after the team was involved in an accident on Wednesday, January 10, along the Lagos/Ibadan expressway.

The Afonja Warriors took part in the Nigeria National League Super Four which ended on Tuesday, January 9, before their vehicle was involved in autocrash with players sustaining minor injuries while the team’s cameraman and welfare officer left with a head injury and fractured hand respectively.

He revealed to reporters that apart from the minor bruises they had and the mental torture of the unfortunate incident, they are in top shape for the encounter slated for the Ilorin Township stadium, Kwara state.

“I want to thank God for our lives because the accident was more than the eyes could see. We had just left Lagos and we were in high spirits of returning home to have the final preparation of our game with Niger Tornadoes before the unfortunate incident,” Eze said.

It could have been worse but we are grateful to God that he interceded in our behalf. We were involved in an accident with a trailer and the players sustained minor injuries but our cameraman and welfare officer had a head injury and hand fracture.

“The vehicle was damaged to the extent that it was another one they arranged for us that took us to Ilorin. We arrived safely and are in high spirits.

“The league tie with Tornadoes will go ahead. It was the reason we opted to return home and even though we suffered this road mishap we still believe that since we do not suffer any major fatality that the game should go ahead.

“We have returned home to prepare for the match and we are determined to start the season on a winning note so that we can dedicate it to those that are still having injuries on the account of the accident.”

Three sustain injuries in Kwara United autocrash

By Emmanuel Onminyi with Agency report,

Kwara United Football Club president, Prince Oladimeji Ladi Thompson, has expressed gratitude to God for sparing the lives of the club’s players and officials involved in a motor accident on Wednesday, January 10, in Ibadan.

According to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the club president expressed his gratitude to God that despite the degree of the accident, God saved all the lives involved.

He further expressed satisfaction that three members of the team who sustained injuries were in stable condition and responding to treatment.

The reports revealed that a player and two officials of the club were injured when a bus conveying the team got involved in an accident at Moniya, Ibadan while returning from Lagos where they participated in the just-concluded Nigeria National League, NNL, Super 4.

The Afonja Warriors lost their game 4-2 on penalties to eventual winners of the competition, Go Round FC, after playing a barren draw in regulation time.

The team’s media officer, Abdul Waheed Bibire, also confirmed the incident: “Kwara United players and officials in the early hours of today were involved in a motor accident in Ibadan.

“The coaster bus conveying the “Harmony boys who were on their way from Lagos from the NNL Super 4 tournament ran into a parked trailer.

“The bus rammed into the stationary trailer in an attempt to avoid a speeding vehicle from the other end of the road.

“Three out of the people on board sustained varying degrees of injuries and have since been taken to hospital for medical attention.

Kwara United will face Niger Tornadoes of Minna in the opening day of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, on Sunday, January 14, in Ilorin.

D’Tigers to face Australia, New Zealand, Canada in Commonwealth Games

By Emmanuel Onminyi with Agency report,

Nigeria’s male basketball team, D’Tigers, have been grouped alongside Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the basketball event of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Australia who finished 4th at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is ranked 10th in the world. Set to make her debut at the Commonwealth, Canada is ranked 25th in the world and has participated in nine Olympic Games and won a silver medal at the 1936 Games in Berlin.

Despite being ranked number 1 in Africa and 32nd in the world, Nigeria is still the lowest ranked team in the group.

New Zealand will be taking part in her 21st Commonwealth Games, having competed at every games since inception in 1930. The group has been dubbed by many as the ‘Group of Death’.

The fixtures released by the organisers recently will see D’Tigers start their campaign against New Zealand on Friday 6th April 2018 before facing Canada, a day later. On Monday, 10th of April, however, the Nigerian side will battle host, Australia.

Reacting to the draws, Vice President of the NBBF, Babatunde Ogunade, described it as a ‘Group of death’. The former Nigerian captain said the team’s performance will be hinged on the preparation for the games and the decision of the players to step up and prove a point.

“We want to use it as preparation for the World Cup qualifier in which case we bring in foreign-based players to join their home grown counterparts for a longer period, get more practice and bonding time for the team.

“We will use the opportunity of the Commonwealth camping to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers too.”

The Commonwealth Games holds from April 4 to 15, 2018.

Celebrities Five-Aside football event holds in Ibadan

By Emmanuel Onminyi with Agency report

In a bid to promote business, interaction and social togetherness among celebrities in Oyo State, a Celebrity Five-Aside football challenge was held, bringing together the creme de la creme of the society.

Among the personalities that took part in the one day championship include member of the House of Representatives, Mr Dapo Lam Adesina, Mr Abimbola Adekanmbi, Nollywood actor, Saheed Balogun, Special Adviser on Information and Communications Technology to the Oyo State Governor, Isiaka Ajimobi.

Others are Special Assistant on Youth and Sports, Mr Afeez Bolaji, Mr Niyi Ajao, actor, Muyiwa Ademola, and comedians, Peteru, Demo Pumpin, and MC Rain.

According to one of the organisers, Adeoye Adejare: “The event was organised because we feel there is a need to promote business interaction and social togetherness among celebrities in Oyo State, that was why we brought in prominent people from different fields of human endeavour.”

While promising a better outing next time, with more celebrities participating in the next edition, Adeoye said: “We will meet soon to chart a way forward so that Ibadan can have a bigger celebrity Five-Aside event than the one organised in Lagos.”

Former Flying Eagles goalkeeper, King, dies

By Emmanuel Onminyi and Agency report,

Amidst the festivity and celebration that engulfed the whole world, former Flying Eagles goalkeeper, Raymond King, has died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, after suffering stroke.

King, who also had a distinguished club football career with the defunct Abiola Babes FC of Abeokuta, died on New Year’s day at the age of 52.

Tajudeen Disu, King’s former teammate at Abiola Babes broke the news of the passage of the goalkeeper few minutes after he gave up the struggle.

Before his move to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on New Year’s eve, he was admitted at the Ikorodu General Hospital but had to be moved when his condition deteriorated.

Disu who began on a sober note stated: “Raymond King has just passed on at the LASUTH

“He was transferred from the State Hospital, Abeokuta to Ikorodu General Hospital on New Year’s eve when his condition was not improving.”

Reports on THISDAY suggested that when SOS messages were passed to individuals to support the former Shooting Stars  goalkeeper, First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi, Director General of Lagos Sports Commission, Dr Kweku Tandoh, and a host of other sports administrators and personalities joined efforts to ensure that King got the best treatment, following his transfer to LASUTH.

“When the news got to Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Olajide Idris, he directed that he (King) should be taken to LASUTH for better treatment and it was this evening (Monday) he got there and LASUTH told us initially they didn’t have electricity to commence treatment or fuel to run their generator.

“But when they eventually started to set up their equipment to treat him he was already gasping for air and he passed on,” a broken Disu recalled.

But a source at LASUTH disclosed that King may have survived if only there was a scanning machine at the Ikorodu General Hospital to detect what to treat. All efforts to move him to Clinix in Ilupeju for MRI scan became too late.

Fitness trainer declares home-based Eagles unfit

By Emmanuel Onminyi,

Ahead of the January 13 kickoff date of the CAF Africa Nations Championship, CHAN 2018, Super Eagles fitness trainer, Okechukwu Akas, has claimed that the players expected represent Nigeria in Morocco are not fit enough for the tournament.

Akas who began work with the team on December 27 stated that there is more work to be done to raise the level of the team’s mental and physical preparedness for the tournament.

“They are a little bit rusty, but in the coming days we can do a lot,” he told ScoreNigeria.

However, coach Salisu Yusuf assured that the team would be ready for the tournament which will see Nigeria slugging it out in Group C alongside Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda and defending champions, Libya.

“We have done the needful; we train as expected of every hard working team to blend for good results.

“The team is up and doing and I am confident that they are in form and on top of their game to play matches satisfactorily in CHAN,” Yusuf said.

The Eagles recently emerged winners of the NPFL Super Six Invitational tournament in a hard-fought 3-2 victory over CAF Champions League representatives, MFM FC of Lagos.

Nigeria will open their CHAN campaign on January 15 against Rwanda at the Grand Stade de Tanger.

Team Nigeria intensifies preparation for Commonwealth Games

By Emmanuel Onminyi,

Ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Team Nigeria athletes are intensifying preparations towards the Games billed for April 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia, as various camps have been opened across the country.

The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports began its first phase of camping on December 17, 2018 in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.

In Lagos, boxers, table tennis and para able tennis players are camping in Lagos, while the weightlifters are in Abuja. Port Harcourt is playing host to Athletics and Para Athletics.

Speaking on activities at the Brai Ayonote Boxing Gymnasium where the boxers are currently training, the Camp Commandant, Segun Akinlotan, said that a total of 32 boxers and four coaches led by Tony Konyegwachie will be camped till January 16, 2018 for the first phase.

According to Akinlotan, the boxers are in high spirit. He stated: “The boxers and officials are in high spirit. Training kit including track suits, T-shirts, slippers and knickers have been supplied to the boxers. Feeding is okay and the atmosphere is generally conducive.

Meanwhile, at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research Yaba, Lagos, 16 players including eight para-table tennis players, eight able players and 14 officials are also carrying out training at the camp.

Camp Commandant, Ms Mbora Ikana Mbora said the players train twice daily at the Knock-up hall of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos and are well kitted for training.

In Abuja, however, a total of 12 Weightlifters comprising 7 female and 5 male are camping at Package B of the Abuja National Stadium.

 

In the meantime, the IAAF High Performance Center at the University of Port Harcourt is hosting 40 track and field athletes and nine Para athletes.

Meanwhile, the athletes are report to be in good state as their need are being met by officials at each of the camping sites.

 

Ahead 2018 World Cup, Super Eagles to play four friendlies- Pinnick

By Emmanuel Onminyi,

As part of Nigeria’s build up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has confirmed that four international friendlies have been lined up for the Super Eagles.

Speaking at the final of the recently concluded Under-15 Football Tournament at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick, confirmed that Eagles would take on the Three Lions of England at the Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2018.

He also revealed that another international friendly match has been fixed for May 27 for Eagles but did not confirm the country.

The NFF chief further hinted what would have been a fifth friendly fixed on June 6 was cancelled because of its closeness to June 16, the day Nigeria will play her opening group game against Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Russia.

Pinnick stressed: “The fear of injuries also necessitated the cancellation of the June 6 date. The game will ordinarily have come up two days after the final 23-player squad lists would have been submitted. We cannot afford to take that risk,”

Nigerian wonderkid, Tosin, close to United debut

Emmanuel Onminyi,

Promising Lagos-born Nigerian midfielder, Tosin Kehinde, is edging closer to his first team debut for Manchester United, three years after he officially joined the Old Trafford outfit.

The 19-year-old was chosen by manager, Jose Mourinho, to train with the Red Devil’s first-team ahead of their visit to The Hawthorns, where they face West Brom in the English Premier League on December 17.

United were short of personnel in midfield before their trip, with Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick out due to fitness issues, and Paul Pogba not eligible to be fielded as a result of the red card he was shown against Arsenal.

Tosin Kehinde has been one of the shining lights of Manchester United’s Under 23 side this season, and has started their last ten matches in all competitions.

His super strike against Chelsea in the Premier League 2 on September 18 was nominated for Manchester United Goal of the Month across all levels in the month of September.

Last season, another talented Nigerian player in the ranks of Manchester United, Matthew Olosunde, was named to their provisional roster for Premier League games against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur but failed to make the match day squad.