The emergency committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has declared that the much-troubled Super-8 promotion play-off of Nigeria National League (NNL) will begin today (Wednesday) in Aba.
With that target in view, it was gathered that the committee has directed all eight clubs expected to compete in the series to proceed to the Abia State commercial nerve centre.
The expected clubs are Gombe United, Remo Stars, Shooting Stars, Bendel Insurance, Delta Force, Kada Stars, Real Stars and Kogi United.
This comes after the emergency committee, chaired by NFF president, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, rose from a meeting to announce that the Super 8 play-off of the NNL should produce four teams to be promoted to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for the 2018/2019 season.
The committee stated that the directive follows what is enshrined in the NNL 2018 Rule Book and in line with propositions of the expanded meeting of chieftains of the NFF, LMC, NPFL Clubs, NNL and NNL Clubs.
It was acknowledged that the NNL should stage its statutory Super 8 to produce the four teams for NPFL.
The committee thus directed that the eight teams should arrive Aba on Wednesday, 19th December, and the tournament must be concluded by Sunday, 23rd December for the NNL to present four teams for the NPFL.
The committee also directed the NNL to proceed with any of the clubs that report to Aba while stating that disciplinary action would be taken against those who fail to honour their obligations and the NFF directive.
National Sports Festival: Edo gets 2020 hosting right
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has assured athletes and lovers of sports that the state is ready to organise a world-class National Sports Festival, come 2020.
Obaseki gave the assurance while addressing journalists on the side-lines of the closing ceremony of the just-concluded National Sports Festival in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, after Edo was given the right to host the 2020 edition of the sports fiesta.
“On behalf of the government and people of Edo State, I assure you that the confidence reposed in us would be justified. I make a solemn promise today that we will give it our all and at the end of the day, everyone would say of the 2020 Games, ‘this is our festival in which we are well pleased,’ the governor pledged.
He noted that “The sports community will have no cause to regret this momentous decision that has been taken for Edo State to host the next edition of the National Sports Festival.
“We will take every step necessary, make the needed sacrifice to deliver the best games in the annals of the sports festival.”
He maintained that though there would be challenges on the way, he stressed, “we are Edo people. We have the men who can do the job and the facilities that will raise the profile of the festival.”
According to him, “Whatever challenges there are, we will overcome because Edo people tread where even lions do not. Like our warriors of old, we will slay every foe and surmount every obstacle to succeed.
“The 2020 Sports Festival will be different from any previous edition and any that will come after it. Perhaps it can only be surpassed in splendour and organisation the next time Edo State hosts it afterwards.
He added that “The Edo 2020 Sports Festival will be a festival that will be grounded in “strategy, organisation, technical apparatus, science, mechanics, and morale”.
Yuletide: Tornadoes embarks on 2-week break
Niger Tornadoes management committee under the leadership of Mallam Abubakar Mustapha Gawu has granted the players and officials of the club a two-week break for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The decision was reached after the management weekly meeting with the technical department of the club and the players.
Mallam Gawu expressed gratitude to the players for their performance in the just concluded 2nd edition of Ahlan Cup Preseason Tournament in Kano where they were edged out by Wikki Tourists after winning three games without conceding any goal.
“I will like to commend the players for true sportsmanship and show of skill in the just concluded preseason tournament.
“You guys are truly the eleven Tornadoes and the entire citizens of Niger State are proud of you.”
“The Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello also send his congratulatory message to you all,” he concluded.
The team is expected to resume January 2nd, 2019, full training to commence January 3rd, 2019 for the 2018/19 Nigeria Professional Football League season.
CAF Champions League: Ogbeide plots Gor Mahia’s fall
Lobi Stars of Makurdi coach, Solomon Ogbeide has set in motion plans to ensure his side overturn the odds against Gor Mahia of Kenya in the second leg of their CAF Champions League first round tie this weekend.
Though Ogbiede blamed poor attitude and loss of concentration for his side’s 3-1 loss in the first leg away on Sunday, the veteran coach said the squad will put heads together to correct all their errors for the next tie.
Ogbeide scolded his lads for negligence on their part in the first leg and stressed that they must not repeat the errors of Nairobi when they host the former CAF Cup winners this Sunday in Enugu.
A brace from Samuel Onyango a Jacques Tuyisenge strike enabled the eighteen-time Kenyan champions look good ahead of the second leg.
A draw in the return leg, away in Nigeria, will be enough to push the Kenyan champions into the group stages of the competition, but Ogbeide has other plans on his mind.
Though he took a sweeping line in his apportioning of blames for the loss, the coach insists the second leg will be better for his side.
Ogbeide said: “A lapse of concentration by my defenders allowed quick goals. That’s football.
“We have to look where we went wrong and make corrections and we will make adjustments before the return match.
“We are hopeful for a good result in the return match. The main problem was not on coaching, but attitude, and we have to improve on that.”