A fans club consisting of professionals in different fields of human endeavour, committed to supporting Plateau United Football Club of Jos have launched a website to promote the team.

The website which will be operated by the fans club in collaboration with the office of the Media Officer of the Club, will serve as a window between the club and the outside world.

Coordinator of the fans club, Isaac Sanda while launching the website explained that it will also serve as an avenue for marketing the club players to the outside world.

Sanda noted that the fans club decided to establish the website as a way of complementing the efforts of management of the club in making the club a household name in Nigerian Football.

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The Coordinator of the fans club regretted that despite not doing well in the outgone Nigeria Professional Football League season, he is optimistic the team will do well next by winning laurels.

He urged the players and technical crew to brace up for the challenges ahead by winning the ongoing National Aiteo cup competition in order to represent Nigeria again in the Continent.

Hallmark of the event was the official launch of the website to the delight of the players, coaches, management and members of the fans club who came out in their numbers.

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It was a celebration of exploits of Nigerian Basketball on the global stage at the 17th FIBA Africa Congress in Mali on Saturday.
The meeting presided over by Hamane Niang (outgoing President of FIBA Africa) and supported by FIBA World President, Horacio Marotore praised the Nigeria Basketball Federation for its new found status under Engr. Musa Kida led board.
According to most delegates, the 8th finish of D'Tigress in Tenerife, Spain at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup was an achievement that will be celebrated for a long time to come by the whole continent as it was the highest finish by any country from Africa in the history of the World Cup.
Kida and his board were also congratulated for masterminding a successful qualification for the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China by D’Tigers at the Congress also witnessed by FIBA Secretary General, Andreas Zagklis.
It will be recalled that with 8 straight wins, Nigeria became the first country in the world to qualify for the biggest basketball event.
In his reaction, North East representative on the board, Alhaji Abba Kaka said that the recognition was a deserved one which will motivate the NBBF to do more.

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Kaka said, “The achievements of this board in the last two years has continued to confound critics while reinforcing the belief that Nigeria can become a world power in basketball if well-funded.
“What we have done in the last two years is not magic but a direct result of an exemplary leadership quality of our President, Engr. Musa Kida.”
Kaka also said the presence of Kida and his Vice President, Babatunde Ogunade as NBBF duly recognized delegates has put paid to the recent social media debates over who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria.
He advised all stakeholders to join hands with the board to make basketball “great again” as genuine stakeholders rather than engaging in tactics capable of discouraging investors.

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The Nigeria Football Federation has flatly denied owing players and officials of the senior women national team, Super Falcons any money, in the wake of reports earlier on Sunday that the Falcons were refusing to leave their hotel at the World Cup in France over pay dispute with the Federation.

“We have paid the players and officials the entitlements due them for the tournament and other outstanding bonuses and allowances were settled before the team arrived at the World Cup finals,” Shehu Dikko, NFF 2nd Vice President, told gentlemen of the press.

The Federation went further to clarify in detail as follows:

The monies for the Super Falcons’ preparation and participation at the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France (and indeed the Super Eagles’ preparation and participation in the AFCON 2019in Egypt) were recently approved by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR). But the release of the funds is still being processing by the Federal Ministry of Finance and will be concluded soonest.

Inspite of the delay in release of funds, the NFF made huge sacrifices including borrowing to ensure it gave the Falcons the very best of preparation for the World Cup in France with about 15 test games, with camps/games held in China, Cyprus, Spain, CIV, and Austria (a fact that even the team duly appreciated and agreed it was the best-ever for any Nigerian team going to the Women’s World Cup and even wrote to thank the NFF). The NFF is indeed encouraged by results achieved by the Super Falcons in France, being the first time the team qualified to the knockout rounds in the last 20 years with credible performance against some of the world’s best teams.

The NFF duly ensured it addressed all the issues raised by the team captain Desire Oparanozie via an email prior to the team resuming in camp in Austria and used it best efforts, to settle all the players’ claims and bonuses to so as to provide an enabling platform for the players to perform without any distractions in France for the World Cup.

To this end, payments made to the players at the pre-World Cup camp in Austria and France (World Cup proper) are set out below:

a) 2016 Women Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier: Nigeria Vs Senegal (Home Match) played in Abuja – Win bonus of N500,000 paid to each player.

b) 2018 Women Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier: Nigeria Vs Gambia (Home Match) played in Lagos – Win bonus of N500,000 paid to each player.

c) Camp and Friendly matches played in Spain – 7 days’ daily allowance of $700 paid to each player.

c) WAFU Cup Tournament (staged in Cote d’Ivoire): Allowance of $500 paid to each player.

d) Pre-World Cup camp in Austria: 14 days’ daily allowance $1,400 paid to each player.

e) Refund made to players on visa procurement, train, bus and airport taxi from their different bases in Europe to the camp in Austria.

f) $4,400 paid to each player, being win bonus for the World Cup match against Korea Republic ($3,000) and 14 days’ daily allowance for the World Cup ($1,400). This was paid direct to each of the players’ domiciliary accounts by NFF fund managers, Financial Derivatives Company and by Friday most of the players had started receiving alerts depending on their banks.

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Therefore, based on the foregoing facts, as at the time the Super Falcons set out to play Germany on Saturday 22nd June, the NFF had in spite of the challenges, ensured it met all its obligations to the players. After the team’s exit from the tournament due to defeat by Germany, the only money the NFF has to pay the players is the extra 5 days’ daily allowance of $500 to each player for the days spent from the end of group stage to the day they played Germany in Grenoble. Daily allowance is usually paid only when the days are known, as we could have defeated Germany and thus stayed more days in the tournament. Accordingly, these payments will be resolved within the next business days upon return of the team to Nigeria.

After the loss to Germany, the players raised the issue of their share of the prize money expected from FIFA. For qualifying to the Round of 16, the NFF is entitled to receive $1million from FIFA (being $750k qualification bonus and $250k for exiting at Round of 16.) The NFF duly reconfirmed to the team that they would be entitled to get 30% share of the fund from FIFA just like the men’s teams get (Super Eagles for World Cup/AFCON and Eagles B for CHAN) and were informed that these funds would only be available to NFF post-World Cup. The issue of sharing formula with the team was as clarified and the matter was closed.

Amazingly, the players later came to inform the NFF officials with the team that they heard that Cameroon and England teams have already been paid their share of participation fees by their Federations, and thus demand NFF paid them. They were informed that, if indeed Cameroon and England paid their players it was certainly not from FIFA money but other sources and there are 22 other countries that have not paid as well. The NFF further reminded the players that, during the AWCON 2018 in Ghana the NFF decided to double their match bonuses as a motivation for them to win the trophy and other countries didn’t use that as benchmark to demand the same from their Federations.

The entire issue was conclusively resolved throughout the night and the team duly left their hotel by morning enroute to Nigeria or to different holiday destinations.

In truth, the NFF is very much bewildered as to why the Super Falcons chose to embark on this route. His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari took time out of his busy schedule on Saturday to call the team prior to the match against Germany to wish them luck and assure them of Government support at all times. It is our view that whatever issues they had, they should have respected the President as a person and Nigeria as an entity and resolve to have their issues, if any, settled back home.

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Odion Ighalo stepped off the bench to score the only goal as Nigeria broke off the resilience of debutants Burundi to beat them 1-0 at the Alexandria Stadium on Saturday night. 

Ighalo replaced Paul Ebere Onuachu on 72 minutes and has only spent 4 mins on the pitch before China - based forward calmly beat Burundi keeper Jonathan Nahimana on a one-on-one after running through to a back heel through pass assist from Ola Aina.
Even as debutants, Les Hirondelles showed they were not afraid of taking on the continent’s big giants as they had the best chances to break the deadlock in the first 13 minutes.
In the 14th minute, a well weighted ball from Gael Bigirimana in midfield landed perfectly on Cedric Amissi’s racing feet inside the box with the winger setting himself up with the first touch, but his effort was too close to the Nigerian keeper Daniel Akpeyi.
Bigirimana had another brilliant opportunity when he struck a stinging freekick from range in the 28th minute with Akpeyi being forced to fist it away as it came with pace and power.
Samuel Chukwueze was the most exciting player off the left wing as his pace and trickery on the ball often proved to be too much to bear for the Burundian defenders.
Nigeria were forced to make a change six minutes to the break when Abdullahi Shehu was stretchered off and his place taken by Chidozie Awaziem on the right side of defence.

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Super Eagles resumed more hungrier in the second half and played with sense of urgency.
Six minutes after the restart, Kenneth Omeruo’s header at the back post off a Peter Etebo freekick went inches wide. In the 70th minute, Chukweuze had a chance with a dinking effort as he raced though on goal from the left but the effort was over.
Burundi almost got an equalizer when Akpeyi made an error handling a cross, but Fiston could not take advantage, his shot at goal blocked.
Midfield Marshal Wilfred Ndidi was voted Total Man of the Match and presented the award immediately after the game. 
Burundi’s next game will be against fellow debutants Madagascar who drew 2-2 against Guinea on Wednesday while Nigeria will face Guinea in a must win encounter on thursday to secure their place in the second round of the tournament.

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Ahead of Sunday's Aiteo Cup round of 16 encounter against Smart City of Lagos, General Manager of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, Rasheed Balogun, has charged the players to remain united.

Addressing the players after training on Friday, the 3SC helmsman, who praised the players for their dedication and commitment so far, warned them against any internal imbroglio.

"We have been doing well so far. I want to particularly appreciate you all for your wonderful performance against Bayelsa United in Yenagoa and Katsina United in Abuja.

" Now that we have made it to the round of 16 of the Aiteo Cup, we need to do everything possible to get past Smart City and book our place in the quarter final".

The former Julius Berger, Sunshine Stars and Dolphins chieftain, urged the players to remain focus as they confront the Lagos based side at the Dipo Dina Stadium on Sunday.

"Gradually, you are moving closer to making names for yourselves by winning the Aiteo Cup. Those who have been winning it are human beings like you," added Balogun.

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Earlier, the Team Manager, Dimeji Lawal praised the players for their doggedbess, which saw them pull good results in the ties against Bayelsa United and Katsina United.

"Everybody is proud of you. Even when we never knew that we will go to Abuja from Yenagoa, you still showed the stuff you are made off.

" It was great and we want you to keep it up until the desired results are achieved," said Kabongo.

The Oluyole Warriors are expected to depart Ibadan for Ijebu-Ode on Saturday morning for the Aiteo Cup round of 16 match.

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The Nigeria Basketball Federation has identified grassroots development through secondary school basketball as a key ingredient for sustainable development and growth of basketball in Nigeria to build a sustainable structure.
Following its last board meeting held on Monday 17th, 2019 the NBBF board noted that without a solid foundation where talents can be discovered and groomed, all the recent achievements of the men and women national teams will not be sustainable.
With the successes recorded last season in the Total Division 2 league where over 200 teams participated at the state level, the federation believes the same energy can be channelled into basketball development in schools.

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According to NBBF President Engr. Musa Kida, the Total Division 2 league format can be replicated for underage competitions.
“It shows that we can even go lower and talk about secondary school sports and underage competitions”.
He said partnering with the various state basketball associations to take basketball to the grassroots and secondary schools is a project that the federation must pursue vigorously.
“We are going to emphasis on the u-16, u-12 and the youths that need revival, knowing fully well that the successes we had in Division 2 last year is a good signal from the federation and by the state associations.”

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The La Planet Sport Academia played out a goalless draw against Olasile Football Academy of Osogbo at the Kwara State Stadium in Ilorin after losing the first leg in Osogbo, the capital city of Osun State by 1-0.

The game which was evenly contested saw Planet's boys keeping possession in the early minutes of the contest and creating scoring chances but couldn’t convert them, with the visitors growing into the game at the latter stage of the opening half but every move being nullified.

The LA Planet boys continued from where they stopped in the opening half, with captain of the side, Bolu Sofoluwe presented with first opportunity of the second half with a free kick from the edge of the box but couldn’t hit the target as his effort went over the crossbar.

Minutes later, Nathaniel Charles was presented with his chance, but failed to convert forcing the keeper into making a save after nodding the ball wide of goal range from inside the six yard box.

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With twelve minutes to the end of the game, Coach Paul Mohammed introduces Bashir Aroonu who scored two goals in the defeat to Kwara Football Academy on Monday for Abandoning Provost, but could not influence the game and was substituted three minutes to the end of the encounter.

The boys made a late push for the much needed goal but Abdulsalam Ibrahim’s effort from the right hand side went over the crossbar and the Osogbo boys held on to avoid defeat.

Following the resumption of the team from few days' break, LA Planet lost their opening game to Kwara Football Academy at the Academy pitch by 5-3.

The boys were punished in the second 45 minutes of that encounter after drawing the opening in a four goal thriller.

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25 teams will begin campaign for league glory and a continental ticket when the Nigeria Basketball Federation organized Men’s Premier League tip off on 8th of July.

The teams divided into the traditional Savannah and Atlantic Conferences will see the return of Dodan Warriors, Lagos Islanders and Union Bank Basketball Clubs into the elite Division after having their bans lifted by the NBBF.

The league which will serve as qualifiers for the newly introduced and money spinning NBA sponsored Basketball Africa League (BAL) will run between 8th of July and 9th of November.

The Savannah Conference made up of teams in the North Central, North East and North West geopolitical zones consist of Kano Pillars, Kada Stars (Kaduna), Bauchi Nets, Nigeria Immigration (Zaria), Niger Potters (Minna) and City Chiefs of Gboko.

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Defenders of Abuja who got to the knock out stage of the 2019 FIBA Afro League will hope to build on their achievements when they compete against city rival, Mark Mentors, Plateau Peaks of Jos, Gombe Bulls, Benue Braves and Nigeria Army in the Savannah Conference.

In the Atlantic Conference, all eyes will be on Dodan Warriors, Islanders and Union Bank as they rekindle their city rivalry for the control of Lagos.

For newly promoted Invaders of Ado Ekiti, Raptors of Lagos and Enugu Coal, their mission will be to stay afloat against Kwara Falcons of Ilorin, Nigeria Customs of Lagos, Oluyole Warriors of Ibadan, Hoops and Read and Delta Force of Asaba.

One of Nigeria’s 2019 season continental representatives, Rivers Hoopers of Port Harcourt will hope for another taste of continental action in the newly introduced Basketball Africa League (BAL)

All completed forms (Players Registration and Club Entry) must get to the NBBF Secretariat on or before 30thof June.

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Ibrahim Sunusi of Nasarawa United
and Mfom Udoh of Akwa United
Eunisell announced on Monday that a decision has been made to award the Eunisell Boot to the duo, Sanusi Ibrahim and Mfon Udoh, top scorers in the 2018/2019 professional football league in Nigeria.

In a dramatic move, the prize money will not be shared, but rather, both will be presented with a cheque for N2 million for the ten goals they scored.

The Eunisell Boot values at N200,000 per goal scored.

Eunisell Group Managing Director, Mr. Chika Ikenga said, “Our logic is simple; both players deserve to be rewarded for their performances.

"The eligibility to be awarded the Eunisell Boot, is based on the most goals scored. This past season saw Ibrahim and Udoh each scoring 10 goals.

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We look no further than that; there are no technical considerations that we factor in. We are delighted for these two players at the top of their game.”

Ikenga continued; “The rationale behind Eunisell introducing the award in 2018 was three-fold: First, we set out to help increase the standard of professional football in Nigeria through incentive and awareness. Second, demonstrate to the youth that playing football in the professional league in Nigeria, is a viable career and third, increase spectator interest and support for local teams and players.”

The inaugural Eunisell Boot winner was Kano Pillars striker, Junior Lokosa, now playing for Tunisian and African champions, Esperance Sportif.

Lokosa commented, “I wish Ibrahim and Udoh well, winning the Eunisell Boot had a dramatic and positive impact on my career. Congratulations to them both!”

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