In a move that has been described as the journey into a new dawn for football in Ekiti state, the football association today unveiled its new logo and five gold trophies for this year's football activities.

The well attended event held at Benaiah Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, which had the crème de la crème of football in  Ekiti state in attendance was indeed, historic.

The Acting Chairman of EKSFA, Ariyo Amos Yomi in his speech enthused greatly about the new football calendar of the FA and particularly, the new competitions planned to help revive football in the state.

" We are set to move football in the state to greater heights. And we want to implore all stakeholders in our football to join hands with us in this journey," he remarked.

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He went on to advise football clubs and organisations to pay their affiliation fees in order to be part of what he called a journey to greatness.

According to him, NNL teams are expected to pay N100,000 as affiliation fee. Others are N50,000 for NLO division 1teams; NLO 2 and 3 teams to pay N30,000; Non league teams and organisations to pay 20,000 respectively.

Some of the dignitaries that graced the epochal event include Yemi Owoseni, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Sports; HRM Oba( Justice) Ademola Ajakaye, the Oluyin of Iyin- Ekiti; Barrister Churchill Oliseh; Dr. Isaac Ayodele, former Ekiti FA chairman; Prince Ademola Adetola; Deji Samo, General Manager, Ekiti Sports Council; Chief Ayo Agbebi and other notable stakeholders in Ekiti state football.

Written By: Akeem Busari

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Coach Alex Nwora
D’Tigers’ coach, Alex Nwora has announced that only the best hands will be selected for the 2019 FIBA World Cup for men.
Following the weekend’s draw that pitted Nigeria against Russia, Argentina and South Korea in Group B, Nwora said the World Cup is only deserving of the best materials that the country can boast of.
The Coach who led Nigeria to becoming the first country in the world to qualify for the World Cup to be hosted in China said it’s time to go back to the drawing board after the euphoria of qualification.
“You have to bring your best players to the World Cup. It is not a competition you attend with just any player.”
With interest being shown by many players eligible to play for Nigeria and positive discussions with some Nigerian players in the NBA, G league and across Europe, selecting the best will be a priority task for the coaching crew.
“There will be a try out. We have to go through our list, see each position and see who is going to be best for each position. There are so many young players in the US and the NBA that we want to integrate into the system.”

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He promised that every quality player will be given a fair chance to fight for a shirt during the camping exercise expected to start soon.
“Being in those camps, we will re-assess those players who played the different windows and that will give us a good chance to see those new players that we will be taking to the World Cup and hopefully those we will use in the future.”
According to the tournament schedule released by Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) on Monday, D’Tigers will start their campaign against Russia on Saturday, August 31 before taking on Argentina on September 2 in Wuhan.
Their final group game will be against South Korea on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

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FC Ifeanyi Ubah Players Celebrates a goal
Coach of Ifeanyi Ubah football club Uche Okagbue has described his team's 1-0 win over Kano Pillars played Sunday in Nnewi in the week 11 clash of the Nigeria Professional football league, as a hard earned victory.

Speaking after the game, Okagbue praised Kano Pillars for giving his boys a tough game. According to him, their opponents refused to lie low even after in- form striker Uche Ihuorua gave his team the lead in second half of the match.

" I want to praise our opponents for their performance and determination to get a result against us. However, I must also commend my boys for their tactical discipline and desire to win always," he stated.

He went ahead to attribute his team's top form to the financial and moral motivation the players have been receiving since the season began.

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FC Ifeanyi Ubah Coach Uche Okagbue
" The players and officials are well motivated and the welfare packages are also encouraging. The players get their winning bonuses immediately after each game. And you can call that, the magic behind our good runs so far," he remarked.

Okagbue, a former head coach of Remo Stars was however, quick to react to queries on the targets set for the technical crew by the management.

" The management of my team didn't give me any target for this season. However, it is our desire to do well in the ongoing matches and qualify for the super four, and eventually pick a continental ticket," he responded.

Ifeanyi Ubah presently tops group B of the NPFL with 21 points from eleven matches.

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MFM FC Defender Joshua Akpudje
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries FC youngster, Joshua Akpudje says he is excited after making the Under-23 Nigeria national team that will face Libya in a doubleheader in the Africa U23 Cup of Nations qualifying series scheduled to hold in March.

Libya will host the first leg, first round of the 3rd edition of the AFCON U23 at the Bengerdan Stadium in Bengerdan, Tunisia on Wednesday, 20th March while the Nigerian U23 team will host the return leg four days later at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.

Akpudje, 21 who was invited to the Under 23 camp after his impressive performances for the Olukoya Boys in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) expressed his excitement after making the final squad for the AFCON qualifier games.

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Speaking in an interview shortly after the release of the 23-man team the central defender said: “I am very excited for this call up to the Under 23 national team. I want to say a big thank you to the national team head coach, coach Imama and my coach at MFM FC Fidelis Ilechukwu for believing in me and I believe we will come out in flying colours against Libya.

“I will keep on putting in my best to develop and the national team is an avenue for me as a young player to showcase my talent to the world and I believe by the special grace of God with hardwork everything will work out well for the team,” the FEMAK Football Academy product told MFM FC Media

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Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries FC forward Michael Ohanu has expressed unhappiness despite his team's 2-0 home win against Bendel Insurance at the Soccer Temple, Agege Stadium in Lagos.

MFM FC beat Insurance of Benin 2-0 in one of the fixtures of Matchday 11 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to maintain their perfect home record courtesy of goals from Abisoye Olawale and Ohanu.

The Olukoya Boys started the encounter poorly and failed to make good use of the ball to their advantage although they were able to keep the visitors who were not too impressive at bay for the larger part of the exchange.

MFM took the lead in the 40th minute of match through defender, Abisoye Olawale's header off a cross from Jonathan Zikiye and got the second goal after 13 minutes of play in the second half when Ohanu rose highest in the box to nod home a cross from a well-taken free kick by Zikiye.

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Ohanu disclosed in an interview to MFM FC Media after his team’s sixth home win of the season that he is not excited because his team played poorly but promised a better outing in MFM FC's subsequent league games.

“Honestly, I am not really happy because we didn’t play the way we wanted to play. The first half was not good but I think we played better in the second half.

“You know sometimes in football things don’t usually go as expected but at the same time we thank God for the three points which is more important and I believe we get better in our subsequent league matches,” he stated.

MFM are still sitting comfortably on the Group A table of the NPFL with 21 points from ten league games.

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Team Nigeria Customs started their campaign on a good start beating Burkina Faso’s USFA 3-0 in the opening match of the 2019 Africa women’s club championship in Cairo, Egypt.

The combination of Priscilla Agera (Captain), Tochi Nnoruga, Ladi Jalmet and Aisha Umar proved to be strong for the USFA girls as they were beaten 25-3 in the first set.

The Customs girls let their guards down a little in the second set as the game ended 25-9 in favour of the Nigeria team.

The third set was entertaining for both sides with USFA reducing the large margins of the first and second set to 25-17.

Reacting to the victory, the Secretary General, Nigeria Customs Service sports unit, Samuel Onikeku said the girls are playing at a different level.

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He noted that the girls are more coordinated and have court discipline.Onikeku said, “This is a good start for the Nigeria Customs female volleyball team. The first set was a record and we played better as we proceeded.

The girls are playing at a different level now because they are well motivated and it has translated to more coordination and court discipline. Before we left for Cairo, we played numerous friendlies while in camp and this helped us a lot”.

He said the customs girls will play better against their next opponent. Onikeku said, “The girls will play better in their next match because they have two free days to improve on their defence band and court discipline”.

Nigeria Customs will face Canon (RD Congo) on Tuesday by 3pm

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D’Tigers have been drawn alongside Argentina, Russia and Korea in Group B of the 2019 FIBA World Cup for men in China between the August 31 -September 15, 2019.
Nigeria currently 33rd on the FIBA ranking will once again be facing familiar foes and world number 6, Argentina for the third time since their last 2 previous meetings at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
It will be the first ever meeting against world number 10, Russia who are making a return to the world stage after missing out in 2014.
World number 32, South Korea will hope to put the ghost of their 2014 World cup behind them where they finished 23rd out of the 24 participating nations when both sides meet in the sprawling city of Wuhan.
Speaking immediately after the draws, NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida described the group as fair but tricky pointing out that early preparation holds the key to a successful World Cup campaign.
“Now that we have known the teams that we will face, we need to start preparations in earnest if we are to make an impact in China.
“We are going to the World Cup as the number 1 team in Africa and the first country to qualify for the world cup globally on the back of a 9 -game unbeaten streak, so we have definitely drawn some attention”, he said.

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The NBBF has already commenced preparations in earnest with the D’Tigers’ head coach, Alex Nwora in talks with some key players ahead of the world cup.
“In the coming days, we shall reel out our World Cup preparation plans which will also go side by side with the African Games. If we get our acts right and get the needed players we are targeting, we can achieve a result that all Nigerians will be proud of”.
Present at the event were FIBA President Horacio Muratore, new FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis and representatives of the 32 participating national teams.
Nigeria was represented by D’Tigers Team Manager Musa Adamu and Lawal Razaq Dayo (Nigerian high ranking embassy staff in China)
The event which heralds the first basketball World Cup with 32 teams was held in front of 8,000 spectators at Shenzhen Bay Arena.

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The Captain of the Super Eagles John Obi Mikel has once again be ignored by the Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has he decided to extend invitation to stand-in captain Ahmed Musa and 22 other players for this month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Pirates of Seychelles and the friendly against Egypt’s Pharaohs, both taking place in Asaba, Delta State.
In –form CD Leganes of Spain defender Kenneth Omeruo is called alongside usual suspects Leon Balogun, Abdullahi Shehu and William Ekong, as well as midfielders Oghenekaro Etebo and Wilfred Ndidi and forwards Odion Ighalo, Alex Iwobi and Moses Simon.
Rohr has also named Flying Eagles’ defender Valentine Ozornwafor, as well as well as former U17 World Cup winner, Victor Osimhen and Denmark –based Paul Onuachu.
The three –time African champions confront Seychelles in a largely –ceremonial session at the Stephen Keshi Stadium on Friday, 22nd March, starting from 4pm, and then tackle the Pharaohs of Egypt at the same venue in a prestige international friendly four days later.  

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All invited players, alongside technical and backroom crew, are to report in the Delta State capital on Monday, 18thMarch 2019.

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)
 Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba FC); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)
 Midfielders: Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
 Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark)

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Ahead the kick-off of the new Nigeria Nation-Wide League One (NLO) season, Magate FC is set to sign 30 players after it concluded a 3-day screening programme in Lagos on Monday.

No fewer than 120 grass-root players took part in the  scouting programme which began last week Saturday at the Alade Stadium, Command-Ipaja, Lagos.

According to the new Coach Yema "It's been a tough three days for me, the turn out has been fantastic as each an every player that took part in the screening, gave a good account of themselves. 

"The quality and skills from many of them is quite commendable but I can only do with 26 or 30 players. This I  have got after the exercise. 

"Without bias to anyone, the players we have selected were purely on merit as they met with the standard we have set.

"Now that the screening is over, the second phase will be working with the 30 players on tactics and pattern of football  we want to play this season.

"I should use from now till next two weeks to drill the players, with a view of getting ready to take on any team in tune-up games."

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The Head Coach of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN Selected) gave kudos to the management of Magate FC for the role it played during the screening exercise.  

"Am very impressed with my employers as they acted professionally during the screening programme as I was given a free hand to select the 30 players."

For Magate FC General Manager, Owolabi Aleshinloye, "I was impressed with the turn-out and quality from the players.

"The third day of screening was most exciting for me as I saw the best from many of these youngsters.   

"From what I saw today and what I think the team would look like in the next two weeks, Magate FC will be ready to compete well in the NLO this season."

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Nine-time African champions, Super Falcons of Nigeria will depart Abuja on Sunday to take part in the annual Cyprus Women’s Cup tournament which begins on Wednesday in Larnaca.
Head Coach Thomas Dennerby has selected 24 players for the tournament, which will also welcome another of Africa’s three flag-bearers at this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France – South Africa – as well as Mexico, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Slovakia, Korea DPR, Czech Republic, Thailand, Hungary and Austria.
The Super Falcons’ first match of the tournament is against Austria, on the evening of Wednesday, 27th February, before further games against Slovakia (Friday, 1st March) and Belgium (Monday, 4th March) in the group phase.
Wednesday, 6th March has been fixed for the final match of the competition, as well as other classification matches (from 3rd – 12th).
Players and officials are scheduled to arrive in Abuja on Friday, with training sessions on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday morning, before departure by Egypt Air on Sunday evening.
The delegation will sleep in Cairo on Sunday and arrive in Larnaca on Monday.
Former African Woman Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala and fellow striker Desire Oparanozie, who both missed the China Women’s Tournament in January, have been included in the 24 –member squad this time.

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There are also goalkeepers Tochukwu Oluehi and Chiamaka Nnadozie, defenders Onome Ebi, Osinachi Ohale, Glory Ogbonna and Faith Michael, midfielders Rita Chikwelu, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Ngozi Okobi and Halimatu Ayinde, and forwards Chinwendu Ihezuo, Ini-Abasi Umotong, Rasheedat Ajibade and Francisca Ordega. Former junior international Uchenna Kanu, now a student in the United States of America, is also called.
In China, the Falcons lost 0-3 to the host nation before bouncing back to whiplash Romania 4-1 in Meizhou.
Tochukwu Oluehi; Christy Ohiaeriaku; Chiamaka Nnadozie
Glory Ogbonna; Faith Michael; Onome Ebi; Osinachi Ohale; Josephine Chukwunonye; Ngozi Ebere
Amarachi Okoronkwo; Ngozi Okobi; Rita Chikwelu; Halimatu Ayinde; Cecilia Nku
Anam Imo; Asisat Oshoala; Rasheedat Ajibade; Francisca Ordega; Chinaza Uchendu; Chinwendu Ihezuo; Alice Ogebe; Ini-Abasi Umotong; Alice Ogebe; Uchenna Kanu

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