BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE


The Football Intermediaries Association of Nigeria (FIAN) has revealed plans to help the development of Nigerian football. This newly found zeal came on the background of its participation at the European Football Agents Association's (EFAA) Congress held 13th February,2020, at Zurich, Switzerland.

The EFAA congress was a gathering of elite European football agents, including top executives of national associations of major football powers of England, Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and other affiliate associations representing the interests of over 2000 professional agents from 18 countries, across the world.

The congress deliberated and adopted motions on enhancing the economic viability and professional conducts of associate intermediaries. And with special emphasis of the congress on resisting recent FIFA's policy direction at restricting the role and financial rights of intermediaries at the local and international football sectors.

Reviewing some of the proposed FIFA regulatory laws on the conference floor, the FIAN delegation which comprised of Jideofor Obidike, Hilary Elezie, Michael China and Oyeyemi Taiwo Joshua, spoke in unison with other international participants to unanimously resist the proposed capping of Intermediaries' Commission at 3% by the apex football authority; stopping of dual representation, and recertification of all Intermediaries registered after 2015.

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According to the Public Relations Officer of FIAN, Kelvin Irikefe, the body is buoyed by renewed collaborations and synergy with EFAA President, Ron Jansen and the executives, as well as other affiliate associations.

Irikefe remarked that FIAN will be deploying the experience garnered from the conference to bear on its vision aimed at improving and sanitizing the football intermediary sector from rogue operators soiling the body's image. 

He went on  to restate the desires of FIAN to continue to work in  harmony with Nigeria Football Federation and other concerned stakeholders to develop the Nigerian football industry.
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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 

Nasarawa United Football Club of Lafia confirmed their one hundred percent superiority at home this season over oriental teams following their 2-1 victory against seven times' league winners, Rangers of Enugu in a rescheduled matchday 14 clash today to move out of the drop zone.

After home wins against Eastern teams including Heartland FC(Imo), Ifeanyi Ubah FC(Anambra), Abia Warriors FC(Abia) and Enyimba International FC(Abia), Nasarawa United went into today's game against Rangers(Enugu) condemned to fulfill Barrister Isaac Danladi's promise upon his return to the Club as Chairman to move the team out of the murky waters.

Rangers' striker, Israel Abia, had put them in front through a 4th minute freekick from close range.

Three minutes later, Chinedu Ohanachom was hurled down in the box, and Abubakar Lawal who was making his return to the squad for the first time in two matches converted the spot kick to draw United level, his sixth goal for the Solid Miners this season.

United doubled the lead in the 52nd minute as defender, Abubakar Abdullahi's solo effort earned him his first goal of the season.

The result stood at 2-1 until regulation time as Nasarawa United won their third consecutive home games to catapult them to the 13th position on the league log with 25 points which they share with their next opponents, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi from 21 matches.


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In his post-match presser, Abubakar Lawal said he was happy with the result and intends to score more goals for Nasarawa United in subsequent games.

"I feel very excited to score my sixth goal in the league.  The most important thing is the three points we got today. It is good we are out of the relegation zone and I hope we keep the momentum on.

"My aim is to score up to fifteen goals for my team before the end of this season", he told Nasarawa United Media

However, Chairman of Nasarawa United, Barrister Isaac Danladi, said the result shouldn't call for any celebration yet as the team has more hurdles ahead.

"There is a lot to be done. We are temporarily out of the relegation zone, but by the grace of God, we shall be completely out of it in the next two weeks.

"We were very conscious because Rangers play good football and we had to psyche ourselves and bring strategies that worked in our favour today.

"We intend to approach our next match against Wikki Tourists with great expectations, because if you recall, we lost our league opener against them at home and we want to take our own pound of flesh from them in Bauchi on Sunday and consolidate that result with the game against Katsina United at home a week later", he pointed out.

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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Players of the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C have assured their teaming supporters of a very positive outing in the rescheduled match day 14 NPFL encounter against host’ Nasarawa United F.C at the Lafia city stadium, Wednesday, February 26, 2020.

With a moral boosting draw in a match day 21 fixture in Akure over the weekend, the coach Salisu Yusuf tutored side is confident of grabbing the maximum points in the rescheduled fixture against a resurgent, Nasarawa United who seem to have found their range with the return of long-time club chairman, Barrister Isaac Danladi.

Two straight wins against Jigawa Golden Stars and Enyimba International in Lafia will no doubt make the Lafia faithful wish for a third win on the bounce but the Tope Olusesi captained side from the Coal city is in no mood to lay low and be consumed.

Coach Yusuf will be having a full compliment of players on the two games trip as attacking sensation, Israel Abia is expected to be unleashed on the ‘Solid Miners’ while Isaac Loute hope to make a return as the irrepressible Ibrahim Olawoyin, Chinonso Eziekwe and Ifeanyi George look good to help the Enugu side to another win on the road.

Sure, the host, who are with a full compliment of their technical staff with the return of coach Bala Nikyu will be looking towards the trio of Ikenna Offor, Chinedu Ohanachom and Chidi Solomon to deliver the goods upfront while expecting good coverage for Danlami Umar from the back four of Abubakar Abdullahi, Ebuka Anaekwe, Moses Tsehuan and Chineme Martins.


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Rangers currently occupying the 15th position on the log with 24 points from eighteen matches played will climb as far as the 12th position with a win while Nasarawa United who are on 19th position with 22 points from twenty matches played will be on the 13th position with a home win.

Captain of Rangers, Tope Olusesi said ahead of the encounter, “We understand the position we are and it is not good. So, we have talked to ourselves to give our all to ensure we leave Lafia with our heads held high. It is very possible as management have gone a long way to motivate us while the coaches have been playing the fatherly roles. Sure, it will be a tough match but we fear no foe.”

Ibrahim Olawoyin, who is already on four goals with a handful of assists this season, said, “It is always our wish to do well in all matches and we shall approach the match in Lafia with one thing in our minds which is to climb higher on the log.”

The midweek encounter is expected to kickoff by 4.00pm at the Lafia city stadium, Lafia, Nasarawa state.


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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 

Chairman of Niger State football association, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf (Fresh), has taken out time to appreciate the Executive Governor of Niger State, His Excellency, Abubakar Sani Bello on the backdrop of this year's Niger state governors cup.

" I am truly grateful for the support of our amiable Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, who has continued to provide for Niger state football association enabling environments for which future football stars can be discovered in the power state.

Since he came on board as pilot of Niger state and its people, he has been part of our major trajectories in the area of football development and sports in general, this is why sporting associations in Niger state have always been part of reckonings in Nigeria " he hinged

" Sani Bello is a father of football in Niger state and has never hidden his quest for developing the people of Niger state, regardless of any sector; on this note, I make bold to say, without him we wouldn't have successfully organized this year's Niger state governors cup; and that might have damped the morale of hidden football talents in our state who are eager to be announced beyond their circuits.

" Niger state football association and football stakeholders at large understand the trusts you have to reposed in them, and we would continue to providing endless opportunities for football talents in our state. It's not hyperbole nor platitude to state that, you are writing your names in Gold, in virtually all aspects of your projects since you assumed office as the Executive Governor of Niger state as we pray Almighty Allah guard and guide you always " Fresh extolled Bello

Ahmed Fresh, chairman Nigeria football federation technical and development committee extends his gratitude to Honorable commissioner for Youths and Sports development in Niger state, Mr Emmanuel Umar with regards this year's tournament.

" Our indefatigable commissioner's remarkable roles can't be erased in this year's governors cup. He's a man of valor, who has been very supportive of sports and football business, and other areas of youth development in Niger.

" I can categorically says you are a grassroots man, who understands the significance of having chain of programs that would keep our youths away from social vices and other uncouth things in the society. We are extremely honoured for your involvements in the success of 2019/ 2020 Niger state governors cup, and we opened to working, cooperating with you at any point in time.


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You have been the herald of good news since your appointment, your aura is edifying our youths - as seen by the unmatched testimonies  of indigenous  people, of power state " fresh affirmed enthusiastically

The vice chairman of Nigeria's football federation referees appointment committee eulogises his colleagues in football politics and all the participants of this year's event.

" I'm lost of words due to your presence at this year's final. It gladdens my heart seeing the enviable turn out from the high profile personalities who are in charge of football administration at the apex level in Nigeria,  I appreciate you all for having our backs in Niger state, we would reciprocate this huge gesture where and when it matters most" he promised

" We are happy with the comportment and strict adherence to the rules of football by all the teams that participated. They held the tenets of morality and life's etiquette during the tournament, as we did not have any harrowing testimonies or unenvieable records" ecstatic fresh said

Present at the grand finale of 2019/2020 Governors cup in Kontagora, the home town of Niger state Executive Governor on Saturday, 22nd, 2020 are;

Barrister Abdumalik Sarkin Daji, Representative of the Governor (Hon. Commissioner for local government & Chieftaincy affairs in Niger state), Baba Sheshi Katcha (Director of sports, Niger state ministry of youth & sports development), Honourable Yayaha Suleiman Kwande (Executive member Nigeria football federation and representative of NFF President) and Mohammed Alkali (Nigeria nationwide league one chairman)

Others are all Local government chairmen in Niger state, Nigeria football federation board members and football stakeholders at large.


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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

In line with its resolve to encourage public private partnership as a means of turning Sports into a viable business, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has entered an agreement with Nilayo Sports Management limited for the official marketing right of team Nigeria toTokyo  Olympics 2020.

The Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in a brief ceremony in the office of the Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, had in  attendance the Permanent Secretary of Ministry Mr. Gabriel Aduda and other officials of the Ministry.

In a brief speech, the Minister said, "We gave them the marketing right having considered the profiles and track records of several other marketing companies. We feel that Nilayo has what it takes to market team Nigeria going to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics."


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In his response, Hon. Bukola Olopade who led the Company's marketing team, extolled the Ministry under the leadership of  Mr. Sunday Dare, saying that the arrival of Mr Dare remains the best time for sports entrepreneurs. He promised that the the target given to the  Minister would be met and surpassed.

He also applauded the Minister for his Adoption initiative which he said is gaining ground with each day, adding that he would work round the clock to ensure  that enough funds are raised for Team Nigeria in line with the agreements reached.


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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 

Suleja local government have emerged champions of 2019/ 2020 Niger state governors' cup, after edging Chanchaga local government 5-3 on penalty shoots out, as normal duration ended 0-0 at Sani bello football complex- Kontagora Niger state.

The 39 edition of power state annual competition was historic in nature, as the finalists displayed good football artistry which rivet the attention of over 5,000 bystanders and other top dignitaries who thronged Sani bello football field in their large numbers; Suleja FC and Chanchaga FC had to stretched out themselves to penalties after normal duration ended nil all draw.

The highlights of this year's final were centred around reigning champ (Suleja local government), as they continued to show brilliance in all their displays on that day. Although, the nearness of Sani bello football complex, was advantageous to Chanchaga FC football fans seeing them  everywhere at the stadium - cheering their team passionately but the eventual winners were not technically and tactically pressured by the fans antics  throughout the encounter.

Based on facts, match odds did not really favor Suleja as book makers and punters believed Chanchaga FC would coast home to victory hinging it on the motivation by its local government chairman who had promised to compensate them handsomely, if they win this year's Niger state governors cup final.

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Meanwhile, host city, Kontagora walked over Katcha local government in the third place match -prior to the finals. The third place match was scheduled for 8am, however, Katcha FC came about 9am, after giving grace of 20 minutes by the local organising committee. The organizers felt Katcha were nonchalant to the rules of football thus, they activated the section of football statutes which frowns at such scenario in a football competition.

En route the final match, Chanchaga local government and Kontagora played 3-2 on penalties whilst Suleja FC defeated Katcha local government 4-3 on penalties.

Historically, Suleja local government have now hoists Niger state governors cup 11 times, trailing  this year's runners up -Chanchaga local government, who has won lifted the diadem 13 good times since inception of the tournament in 1980.

This year's outstanding performers :

Highest goals scorer; Emmanuel John, from Kontagora FC - clinched the golden ball award with 7 goals.

Most valuable player; Chanchaga FC midfielder -Mohammed Ajayi was adjudged as MVP.

Best goalkeeper;

Suleja FC's Junior Kolo went home with the golden gloves.

Moreover, the 2019/2020 Niger state governors cup was kneeling contested between 24 teams from 25 local governments in the state, which obviously is one the memorable takeaways from this year's 2 weeks marathon of - epic football showpiece in Niger state.


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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

As Nigerians count down to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Engr. Musa Kida is optimistic that the senior men and women basketball teams can end up on the medals table.
Answering questions from journalists recently, the NBBF President said that their going to the Olympics is not just to add to the numbers of participating teams but to shock the world and be amongst the best.
With the current synergy and talents in the teams (D’Tigers and D’Tigress), he is not doubtful that they can compete with the best around the world and fly Nigeria’s flag high in Tokyo.
“D’Tigers and D’Tigresses are teams that have the true spirit of Nigerians in them which is the spirit to win and perform optimally. They are going to perform extremely well and may go ahead to shock the world again and this will be an excellent outing”.

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Being the only team sport to have so far qualified for the Games in Nigeria and the first time both teams will be featuring during the same summer Olympics (also first in Africa), expectations are high for the team to perform.
Ranked number one in Africa and 14th in the world, D’Tigress will be making a return to the games after their last outing in 2004 in Athens, Greece while the men ranked first in Africa and 23rd in the world are making return after the Rio 2016 Games.
The NBBF president also recognizes this and said the federation with the help of the Federal Ministry of Sports will leave no stone unturned to prepare the team well for the Olympics.
“The prospects are brighter with the Technical crew of D’Tigers that we have right now. The players we intend to invite include our players in the domestic league. We are going to have an array of a formidable team and we will shock the world.”
The 2020 Summer Games will hold from Friday, 24th of July to Sunday, 9th of August


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