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Sports Titbits: June-July 2003 (Posted 27th July, 2003) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

Sports Titbits July 13th- July 19th

Indiscipline as Eagles Problems

Indiscipline has been attributed to the National team, Super Eagles strings the poor results performers in recent encounters on the parts of the players. These problems were x-ray by ex- players of Nigeria, the culture of indiscipline among the Super Eagles. The also x-ray the coach inability to stamp his authority on the team for optimum results. The ex- player stated that there were so much indiscipline among the ranks and files of the players in their epileptic display in recent matches. Some of the players earn more than their coaches, so they are becoming unruly and they don’t play with commitment and patriotism. A situation in which some players determine the matches they play for the national team doesn’t go well for the team. Also, the coach should be given free hands by the NFA, to perform and should to instill discipline on the players. Any player, who fails to play to tactical and technical instruction irrespective of this status, should be left out of the team. No player should be given an air of indispensability. Nigerian players should to take a cue from the Cameroonians who did Africa proud at the just concluded Confederation Cup in France, where they won silver. The Cameroonians team at the Confederation Cup played with so much Commitment and patriotism.

Experts Call For Sound Technical Department

A football technocrat as call for a good technical departs for the nation’s football towards an accelerated development of the game the Nigeria. He regretted the death of competent football technocrats in the present constitution of the nation’s football technical department. For decades, Nigeria has not been developing their football; all we have been doing is competition. To develop, we need a very sound technical unit.

Globacom Begins Funds Disbursement

Premier league sponsorship title holder, Globacom Telecommunication has begun funds disbursement. At the NFA, board meeting held at Abuja, the secretary general stated that every arrangement had been concluded for the funds disbursement. He explained that the delay in the disbursement was just to await the blessing of the FA board, which he was optimistic was going to grant at the meeting. It would be recall that Globacom was awarded the sponsorship deal in late May after a long drawn battle between it and another communication company, MTN. Since, the award no significant impact has been felt at the league match outside the name- Globacom Premier League at the league match venues.

CAF Sanctions Nine Players

The Confederation of African football (CAF), has imposed sanctions on nine players for attacking referees in recent African Nations Cup and Club Competition matches. Kevin Tamboulas of the Central African Republic was given a two ban for kicking the fourth official at the end the end of his country his defeat’s by Mozambique in Maputo in June. Ethiopian payer, Dawit Mebratu also received a two year ban. He attempted to attacked referee Crepin of Benin Republic during their Nation’s Cup qualifiers in Liberia. Also, Ethiopian Mamo Shanko and Anteneh Alamrew received a one year ban each for spitting at the match. Shako also pushed the referee after he was red carded in the Monrovia match in June, which the Ethiopians lost 1-0.

Sports Titbits July 6th - July 12th

IOC Prefers Wimbledon as Possible 2012 Venue

Internationally Olympic Committee, President Jacques Rogge will like to see Wimbledon used as the venue for the competition should London host 2012 Games. The IOC President said the use of the grass court venue will have to the prestige of the Games. If London wins the bid, International Tennis Federation (ITF) will be asked if the would like the event played on grass or another surface.

Esperance, ASEC, Top African Champions League Seeds

Tunisia club Esperance and ASEC Abidjan of Cote d’ Ivories were seeded as the two top clubs for the African champions League draws conducted in Cairo. The two clubs will head the two groups of the four drawn for the annual competition, which starts in August, released by CAF. Canon Yaoundé of Cameroon and Ismaila of Egypt are the secondary seeded and were placed in separate groups.
USM Algiers (Algeria), AS Aviacao (Angola), Enyimba (Nigeria) and Simba of Tanzania are other participating teams. The seeding was based on past results in the competition. The top two finishers in each group advance to the Champions League semi finals in November. The draws for the quarter finals of the African Cup Winners Cup and the CAF Cup were also made.

All Set for 2003 MTN Lagos Half Marathon

Following the successful debut of the MTN Lagos Half Marathon last year, the organizers of the Athletic meet, MTN, Nigeria and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), are set to make history once again as the conclude plans to hold the edition on November 26. The organizers said success of the last year marathon had inspired MTN, to continue sponsoring the events and help resuscitate the marathon culture in the country. According to the president of Athletic Federation of Nigeria, Mr. Dan Ngerem, this marathon will attract about 25,000 participants from various parts of the world. It is expected that winners will go home with various prizes, ranking from cars to cash to consolatory prizes.

No Nigerian emerge in the 10 positions of the maiden edition, the success recorded last year is expected to inspire more Nigerian not to only participate in the 2003 edition but also aspire to be among the winners.

Sports Titbits July 1st - July 5th, 2003.

Oceania Hits Outs at Blatter

The Oceania football community has reacted angrily to FIFA’s decision to strip of an automatic place in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The Oceania Confederation had won right to direct entry, instead of via a play off, to the next World Cup after FIFA President, made it one of his re-election pledges. But the decision was overturned when FIFA’s executive committee voted overwhelmingly 22-1 to give Oceania slot to the South America. According to Oceania Confederation President, Basil Scarsella, the decision is a disgrace and I think it is politically driven to accommodate the powerful South America. The South America federation, CONMEBOL, had lobbied strongly for the number of teams competing in the 2006 World Cup to be increase from 32 to36 teams.

Vancouver to Stage 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver has won the right to stage the 2010 Winter Olympics. The decision from announced by the International Olympics Committee (IOC), after two round of voting by (IOC) delegates. The Canadian city saw off challenges from Austrian bidder Salzburg and South Korea’s Pheongchang. Its success boosts London’s chances of winning the race to host the 2012 Summer Games. If Salzburg- had won, the chances of the 2012 Olympics coming to Europe would have been reduced. Vancouver staged an unsuccessful bid for the 1976 Winter Games and saw Calgary host the 1988 Winter Olympics. The city is situated in the British Columbia province in Western Canada.

Sports Titbits June 19th- June 21st, 2003.

All African Games Success Tickets Out in July

Efforts to enhance wide and larger participation of people within the sub-region in the forthcoming 8th All African Games received a boost with the conclusion of an arrangement between COJA and a Nigeria project management a consultancy outfit, Firm Base International Limited (FBIL) to out success tickets and stickers.
Between July and October 2003, citizens from all participating countries will have an opportunity to go home with fabulous prizes ranking from brand new cars, electronic gadgets, and other consolation prizes.

Sports Ministry Targets 84 Gold

Nigeria’s in this year’s edition of the Games are expected to win not less than 84 gold medals from some specific games as the Federal Ministry of Sports and Social Development finally made its strategy for the country successful participation in the continent’s most prestigious sporting forum. Director, Sports development in the sports ministry, Patrick Ekeji made this known at the launch of the Team Nigeria Project, a programme designed by the sports ministry to find a lasting solution to inadequate funding for Nigerian teams taking part in major international sports competitions. Patrick Ekeji, revealed that the sports ministry, which has the responsibility of overseeing preparation of athletes ahead of the 8th All Africa Games has narrowed down Nigeria’s medal winning prospect to eleven games. These include special sports, weightlifting, wrestling, table tennis and combat sports

I Have No Preference for Any African Country, CAF President

Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Issa Hayatou has denied allegations that he favoured South Africa’s 2010 World Cup bid to that of Nigeria, adding that it was his desire that the country with the best bid wins. He pointed out that even if it is only one country that bided for the event at the end of submission day provided the country meets the requirement, it would be granted the hosting rights. The CAF, President further explained that, it is his joy that an African country is hosting the event. It does not matter which country in African as long as we are hosting it, he disclosed.

Sports Titbits, June 9th – June 14th

Cameroun Wins Africa Youth Champion U-17 Trophy

Cameroun defeated Sierra Leone 1-0 after 120 minutes of action to emerge as the new Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) U - 17 in champion in Swaziland.
The winning goal was scored by Eyinga Nna Jackson in the sixth extra was all the champion needed to win their first trophy in the age category. The two finalists and Nigeria will represent Africa in the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Finland later in the year.

Ahead All Africa Games, Govt Approves N2.5b for Athletes

THE Federal Government has approved the sum of N2.5 billion for the Ministry of Sports and Social Development for the preparation of the Nigerian contingent ahead of the 8th All African Games. Director of Sports Development in the Ministry, Mr. Patrick Ekeji confirmed the amount approved by the Federal Government. He further disclosed that the Ministry was waiting for the Ministry of Finance to make the money available. Only recently, the permanent secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Robert Audu had made it public that the Federal Government had approved funds for the immediate camping of athletes.

International Friendly, Brazil Beats Nigeria 3- 0.

Pre-match commentaries: Super Eagles coach, Christian Chukwu knew the match against the Samba Boys of Brazil will be a tough one though he believes his boys were up to the task to take on the Brazilians. According to Chukwu, the match will remind the Brazilians of the sad memories during the Atlanta ’96 Olympic. After-match result: Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was the worst culprit as the Brazil made it 32 goals against the African oppositions, beating the Super Eagles 3-0 in a friendly international at Abuja National Stadium. Nigeria started very well with Nwankwo Kanu missing narrowly from a long shot in the 20th minutes before Austin Okocha forced a save by the Brazilian keeper, Dida from 25th yards. But by the time the world champion caught the Eagles on the counter and scored through Ricardinho in the 33rd minutes, the tide of the game changed. Those who believed the Super Eagles would bounce back as usual and level were disappointed as the goalkeeper poorly timed a cross leaving a Brazilian player with a gift of a goal in the 37th minutes. The goalkeeper’s poor timing of a cross once more led to the third goal by Adriano in the 80th minutes.

U -17 World Championships, Nigeria Draws Argentina, Australia.

The U -17 world tournament draws held in Finland pitted the Nigerian Golden Eaglets against Argentina, Costa Rica and Australia. The tournament will start on August 13th in Finland. In the same vein, reigning African Under 17 champion, Cameroun will file out against Brazil, Portugal and Asian debutant Yemen. Sierra Leone is drawn in the same group with Spain, United States, and South Korea.
Host Finland will meet China in the opening match with Mexico and Colombia completing the group. Nigeria had played against all her oppositions in the past finals of the tournament. The baby Eagles as the team was then known lashed Costa Rica 3-1 at China ‘85, while the Nwankwo Kanu inspired Eaglets beat Argentina at the Japan ‘93 tournament. Australia fell 1 to 5 to Nigeria at Trinidad and Tobago in 2001.

Chukwu, Okocha Beg Nigerians

Super Eagles chief coach, Christian Chukwu, and the team’s captain, Austin Okocha, apologized to Nigerians for the Super Eagles dismal performance at the friendly encounter between the team and the Samba boys of Brazil. At a post-match briefing held at the press center of the National Stadium, Abuja, Coach Christian Chukwu told journalists that the Eagles lost the match because the defense was porous. He however took full responsibility for the lapses. The defense lost concentration and the Brazilian capitalized on the chances to score. We have learnt enough from the match and we will keep improving. In the same vein, the captain of the team who was also the man of the match explained that the Super Eagles lost the match because of extra quality of the Brazilians possessed which was lacking in the inexperienced Nigerian players. He appealed to Nigerians to be patient with them as they will ultimately improve with time.

This materials have been mostly culled from The Guardian Newspaper

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