OLATOYE OLAWALE

It is a week since the Ekiti state football league competition sponsored by foremost betting company, Bet9ja was concluded. Yet, the reverberating buzz and exciting vibes among football fans and concerned stakeholders in the state, have not abated.

Interestingly, the excitement have not been for nothing as statistics provided by the technical committee of the league indicated that the competition was a resounding success.

A special release by the board of Ekiti FA ably led by Bayo Olanlege, gave a comprehensive recap of the competition. According to the release, the football journey started May 30th, 2019, with 60 teams battling in the preliminaries for a place in the second round of 30 teams.

The second round matches which began June 17th, 2019, produced the eventual 18 teams that was pooled into four groups of four teams each. A total of 45 matches was played in two weeks of the 2 round play offs.

As part of its desires to stage a top class competition, the organizers on July 14, 2019, held a strategic meeting with representatives of clubs, including managers, coaches and club captains at AlexGrace Hotel, Adebayo, Ado Ekiti, where bet9ja customized kits were promised to the teams. Each team was to collect 25 pairs of jerseys for players and 5 T shirts each for officials.

The excitement in Ekiti football community moved some notches up as the draws and distribution of Bet9ja customized jersey to 18 teams was held 1st August, 2019, amidst fanfare at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti.

Action resumed on 6th August, 2019, across 8 different venues in state for the league group phase matches. The first stanza of the league proper ended on 27th. August, 2019, while second stanza began on 3rd, September, 2019, and  climaxed 22nd, September, 2019. In all, a total of 96 games was played at the group phase of the league.

On 9th October 2019, a press conference was held as a prelude to the semi- finals featuring the top four clubs namely, Ifaki United FC, Soccer Academy, Igede, Moyero FC and EKSU Galacticos.


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The games in the semi finals played at the Oluyemi Kayode stadium, Ado-Ekiti, on 11th October, 2019, truly lived up to its billings. What with Moyero FC ending the unbeaten runs of Ifaki United FC in a five goals thriller. The second semi final clash saw lesser fancied Soccer Academy, Igede defeating favourites Ekiti Galacticos on penalty shoot- out after a barren draw.

The grande finale played 13th October, at the same venue, saw Soccer Academy, Igede once again torn the pundits book as they claim another illustrious scalp by defeating Moyero fc 4-2 on penalties after playing 2-2 in regulation period to claim the N500, 000 first prize and the ticket to represent the state at the NLO 3 playoffs.

In his remarks after the final games, Hon. Michael Awopetu, Commissioner of Sports and Youth Development in Ekiti state said; 

"The success of this competition has vindicated our trust and believe in the capacities and capabilities of the Bayo Olanlege led Ekiti FA to take football in Ekiti state to greater heights.  And I say congratulations to the organizers."
Dr. Ayodele Isaac, a past Ekiti FA boss, applauded the organizers on a job well done. 

" I am not surprised with the near perfect organization and standard of this competition. It showed that Ekiti football is on the path of greatness, once again," he enthused.
The five months of non- stop football recorded a total of 100 matches played and 104 goals scored.


Written By Our Correspondent: AKEEM BUSARI 


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OLATOYE OLAWALE

It was a dream come true for 8 players of Chykap International Football Club Lagos who are currently undergoing trials with pro league clubs in Republic of Uzbekistan and Central Asia.

The moves was facilitated in collaboration with Nigeria Football Federation licensed Intermediary Mr. Darah king Jehoshephat.

This feat will bring the total number of talented footballer players exported by the club to various teams across Europe to 12 within the last 12 months.

FC Sherdor, Athletic Darje Sports Club and Andijon Football Club are pro league teams based in Uzbekistan who currently engage these highly talented Nigerians for trials in a bid to offer them a platform to leverage and move to the next level of their career.

The players are Oguzie Reward, Alao Rasak, Johncletus Ozougwu, Sunday Elue, Okiah Chukwuka, Ibrahim Gbadamosi, Ifeanyi Micheal and Ahmad Yusuf.

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They have continued to reaffirm their dedication to making sure they showcase their potentials and secure professional football contracts.

In his remark, the Chief Coach of Chykap International  Football Club, Mr Adefemi Dauda reassured stakeholders that the club will continue to deliver on its vision and mission by impacting and delivering the highest quality of trainings and coaching that can only be compared to European Standard.

Chykap International football club is a semi professional football club based in Lagos dedicated to scouting, Coaching, Training, Marketing and Career Management of exceptional players who live their core values of Discipline, Hardwork, Patience and Transparency.

The club is fully affiliated with Lagos State Football Association, Nigerian Football Federation and FIFA with full rights to transfer players to any Amateur or professional footbal club across the world.

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 OLATOYE OLAWALE (Editor-in-Chief)

Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr will hand future call ups to promising winger Viv-Efosa Solomon-Otabor.

The CSKA Sofia forward was given a debut Super Eagles call-up to replace injured Samuel Kalu for the friendly game against Brazil.

He was very impressive during the few days in training with the Super Eagles team before the warm up against Samba Boys at the Singapore National Stadium.

Despite not getting a run out in the game that ended 1-1, Super Eagles gaffer Gernot Rohr will reportedly invite the explosive winger for the upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Benin Republic and Lesotho.

"Like you know, I don't judge my players individually in the media," Rohr said.

"The only thing I can say is that everybody {Ramon Azeez, Solomon-Otabor, Peter Olayinka, Emmanuel Dennis} including the new goal keeper Maduka, gave us satisfaction.

"We will continue to follow them in their clubs and invite the best ones.

"We also hope that injured players like Ahmed Musa, Etebo, Samuel Kalu, Ola Aina, Kenneth Omeruo will be back from various degree of injured.


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Viv Solomon-Otabor started his career in England with Birmingham City.

Born in London to Nigerian parents, the 23-year-old started his career at Birmingham City and played for the likes of Oxford City, Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool and Portsmouth on loan before he joined CSKA Sofia in the summer of 2019.

An athletic and physical forward, Solomon-Otabor was named as Birmingham City Young Player of the 2015/2016 season.

He is also the nephew of former Nigeria international Thompson Oliha while his father Victor-Banks Otabor played in Nigeria for Bendel Insurance, NNPC and Eagles Oil.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Delta Force slumped to their first defeat at the ongoing Zenith Bank Women Basketball League National Final 8 with a 42-67pts loss to First Bank.

Delta Force tried all they could against First Bank but their offensive prowess was put under check from the determined First Bank players who had a total of 25 defensive rebounds.

Okoro Ifunanya with 14 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds and Regina Iornumbe with 14 points provided the platform on which the Elephant Girls built their success.

In the second game of the day which was a local derby between two Abuja based sides- Air Warriors defeated  Black Gold Queens  87-58points.

The  scoreline did not reflect the stiff competition between the 2 sides due to the wastefulness of Black Gold ladies inside their opponnent's paint.

Experienced Blessing Kasham was the highest scorer for the Warriors with 31 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists.

As expected, the game between MFM and Dolphins went down to the wire which was decided in the last few seconds of the game.

At the end of the third game of match day two at the ongoing 2019 Zenith Bank Women Basketball League National Final 8, Dolphins won 56-51 points in what seems to be a revenge following their bitter 1point loss at the conference phase in Ibadan.

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With the victory, Dolphins have won their 2nd game on the trot as MFM continue the search for their first win of the 2019 Zenith Bank Women Basketball League National Final 8

Gbihi Cynthia once again came through for Dolphins with 17points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists.

Odiowei Susan managed 10points and 1 rebound for MFM which was not enough to secure a win.

It was a blow out for Custom as they recorded 69-34 points victory over Plateau Rocks in the last match of the day at the ongoing Zenith Bank Women Basketball League National Final 8

Joseth Anaswem was the man of the match with 15 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. 

In group A, Plateau Rocks will come up against First Bank who are yet to lose a game while Customs face  Delta Force. 

In group B, Black Gold and MFM Queens will clash as both teams search for their first win of the competition while Dolphins will play Air Warriors in a match that will decide the group leader.

Last group games will be decided on Sunday starting by 12noon.

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OLATOYE OLAWALE (Editor-in-Chief)

Kanu International Football Academy has been described as the future of Nigerian football. This  remark was made by renowned German football expert, Babak Afshar, during his visit to the just concluded national camp of KIFA in Ilaji, Ibadan.

Speaking with the media at the Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, Ibadan, where over 160 young players selected from 40 centres spread across Nigeria went through intensive but quality training programme under the academy's coterie of top quality technical team.

" I want to say I am very impressed by the techniques, power, stamina, speed, skills, and passion displayed by these lads during this programme," Afshar, former club president of Tammeha Tartu in Estonia, remarked.


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Let me also add that with some few technical inputs, these players discovered by KIFA, are the future of Nigerian football. 

"I am confident also that in some few years, they would dominate world football," he enthused confidently.

Afshar, who presently works with 1860 Munich in Germany commended the efforts of the management of academy, headed by Nwankwo Kanu and the former boss of Sunshine Stars and Ondo State Football Agency, Prince Dapo Ajibade for establishing the academy, which he described as uniquely different and life - changing.

Written By: Akeem Busari

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

The Golden Eaglets squad numbers for the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup have been revealed ahead of the tournament which begins in Brazil on October 26.

If the jersey numbers are anything to go by, Football College Academy starlet Sunday Stephen would definitely be ahead of Joseph Oluwabusola and Daniel Jinadu in Manu Garba’s choice of goalkeepers as he has been handed the number one shirt.

Sporting Dreams’ Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi and Blessed Stars Academy left-back Charles Etim will wear the number two and three jersey respectively; Ferdinand Ikenna and Usman Ibrahim have been given the number 5 and 6 respectively.
Regular players, the likes of Samson Tijani, Olakunle Olusegun, Wisdom Ubani and Akinkunmi Amoo all maintained their favourite jersey numbers 4, 7, 9 and 13 respectively.

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Talented and newly discovered Abba Yusuf Bichi of Talentbase Sport FC will wear the number 19 shirt.

Golden Eaglets Squad Numbers In Full

1) Sunday Stephen
2) Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi
3) Charles Etim
4) Samson Tijani
5) Ferdinard Ikenna
6) Usman Ibrahim
7) Olakunle Olusegun
8) Hamzat Ojediran
9) Wisdom Ubani
10) Peter Agba
11) Quadri Edun
12) Peter Olawale
13) Akinkunmi Amoo
14) Daniel Francis
15) Monsuru Opeyemi
16) Daniel Jinadu
17) Divine Nwachukwu
18) Ibraheem Jabaar
19) Abba Bichi
20) Ibrahim Said
21) Joseph Oluwabusola
Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


The 2019 All Nigeria Soccer Tournament was held at Chittick field in Long Beach on Saturday, Oct 12 and Sunday, Oct 13 to honor Nigerian Independence Day and also raise some money for charity. 
Twenty teams from across the United States, consisting of Nigerian players, competed while spectators sat at the stands eating traditional African foods and listening to live music.
The two teams who made it into the finals were the Stores Inter FC team from College Park, Maryland and the Super Green FC Eagles Athletics team from Montgomery City, Maryland with the Super Green FC Eagles emerging victorious for the second time in history of the tournaments. 
It was bundle of Joy for the entire team of Super Green FC as they were able to add another to their trophy cabinet, they really gave good account of themselves, becoming champions of the 11th Edition of All Nigeria Soccer Tournaments among the 20 teams that competed for the prestigious trophy on Saturday in Los Angeles, California. 

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Speaking after the game, The winning Coach Richard Opanuga express satisfaction with his boys performance "I must tell you, i am very excited at the moment and with the entire team performance, we have our game plan and it worked for us perfectly. 
" I would say our opponents were quick going forward, we are able to close down all space in the midfield, we have fast wingers which really helped us to create more chances in the second half of the game.
"My boys absolutely interpreted the tactics perfectly, the style of play today is similar to what we are use to, during our participation in America Soccer League, he concluded 
Meanwhile, the event also raised a total amount of $2,500 for the nonprofit organization Africkicks, which collects and redistributes new and lightly used soccer shoes and other footwear to underprivileged people in African countries such as Niger and Nigeria. 

Written By: OLATOYE OLAWALE

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Delta Force started their 2019 Zenith Bank Women’s League National Final 8 campaign on a winning note after defeating Delta Force 56-44 points.

Despite starting behind schedule, the group A game lived up to expectations as the Asaba based team sealed their win 11-10, 23-12-12, 12-21, 9-13 on the back of the man of the match performance from Ruth Okafor who recorded a double double, scoring  20pts, 10 rebounds and 2 assists.

Plateau Rocks won the first quarter 23-22 but it was not enough as Delta Force roared back in the second half to win.

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The second game of the day between BlackGold Queens of Abuja and Dolphins of Lagos in Group B was a one sided contest as Dolphins decimated the Abuja based team, 84-35.

Gbihi Cynthia scored 13pts, 2 assists and 2 rebounds to hand her team a perfect start to the 2019 Zenith Bank Women League National Final 8 campaign.

The 18 points and 4 rebounds by Wandoo Hembem were  not enough to give Black Gold the desired win.

More group games will be decided on Saturday 

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Coach Manu Garba has sensationally dropped four more players from the U17 AFCON in Tanzania – Fawaz, Abdullahi, Shedrack Tanko, Mayowa Abayomi  and Ogaga Oduko – to name his final 21-man squad for the U17 World Cup.

Six players from the tournament in Tanzania, where Nigeria placed a disappointing fourth, had already been dropped before the trip to Brazil.

They were David Ishaya, Adrian Akande, Mubaraq Adeshina, Shuaibu Abdulrazaq, Suleman Shuaibu and Olatomi Olaniyan.

However, there was also a surprise place for Abba Bichi, whose inclusion in the team came as a big surprise, his outstanding and amazing football skills caught the attention of the technical crew during the screening process at the FIFA Goal project, Abuja.


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FC Hearts star Francis Daniel, a highly promising defensive midfielder who featured at this year’s Bayern Munich World Youth Cup in Germany, was a late inclusion on the squad.

Nigeria Final Squad to the 2019 U17 World Cup

Goalkeepers: Sunday Stephen, Joseph Oluwabusola, Daniel Jinadu

Defenders: Usman Ibrahim, Clement Ikenna, Charles Etim, Quadri Edun, Oluwatimilehen Adeniyi

Midfielders: Samson Tijani (Captain), Francis Daniel, Akinkunmi Amoo, Peter Agba, Ibraheem Jabaar, Monsuru Opeyemi, Ojederan Hamzat, Sa’id Ibrahim

Strikers: Wisdom Ubani, Olakunle Olusegun, Devine Nwachukwu, Olawale Peter, Abba Bichi

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