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Nigeria Premier League

Stakeholders hail NBBF over Organisation of FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifiers

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The 2023 FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifiers tournament which was concluded Sunday in Lagos, would indeed, continue to evoke fond memories in the minds of every lover of the game, who witnessed the history made in Lagos, Nigeria.

The qualification tournament, which was planned to feature eight countries, eventually had six countries participating, as two countries withdrew a few hours before the tip-off. That, however, didn’t take away the keen and high-octane competitiveness of the games that were displayed throughout the tournament, played August 14-20, 2023, at the highbrow Eko Hotels Convention Centre, Lagos.

Not a few fans, officials and stakeholders of the fastly growing game have been waxing lyrically about the games and particularly, the organisation of the tournament.

For the record, the leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) have set an enviable benchmark for the organisation of a basketball event. As it took the tournament to an unconventional centre, away from the usual popular venues.

Staging a continental tournament at the high-brow Eko Hotels Convention Centre, expectedly, drew scepticism and disbelief. However, the ingenuity and administrative acumen of the NBBF, came to the fore, as it completely transformed the place into a secure, world-class and beautiful basketball arena.

Notwithstanding the early ouster of the Nigerian team, D’Tigers from the tournament, fans and enthusiasts took to the games and particularly, the beautiful ambience of the venue, like fish to water, as they sang, danced and cheered the teams throughout the tournament.

Speaking with journalists, the Chairman of the Cameroun Basketball Association, Sam Nduku, while congratulating all the teams that took part in the competition, expressed his satisfaction on the near-flawless of the tournament.

“Firstly, I’d like to congratulate the Nigeria Basketball Federation for taking up the challenge to host this tournament, at short notice. I must also commend all the countries that participated in this qualifier. Importantly, too, I give kudos to NBBF, for organising a world-class tournament, ” Nduku remarked.

For Ousmane Drame, a player of the Guinea team, that lost out in the semi-finals of the tournament, the organisation was top-notch, but it could get better.

“Frankly speaking, I’d say, it was a well-organised tournament. But it can get better, considering the fact that teams had to play back-to-back games, without enough rest. However, in view of the challenges of staging such a tournament, the organisers must be commended for putting in their best, he noted.

That fan favourites, Senegal lost to Cameroun in the final game, was not enough to dampen the morale and enthusiasm of former Senegalese basketball player, Madicke Sene.

According to Sene, who is the Chairman of the Senegalese community in Lagos, the organisation of the tournament was very good. And a big plus for the game in Nigeria and Africa.

“I’m a former basketball player before I relocated to Lagos, several years ago. I want to say a big thank you and congratulations to the Nigeria Basketball Federation for this wonderful organisation.

“I’ve never seen basketball played in such an environment. It’s totally a new and satisfying experience for everyone. Imagine, the players and officials just strolling to the basketball court from their hotel rooms. This is great,” Sene added.

Cameroon emerged as the best team at the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Lagos, Nigeria after they defeated Senegal 80-74 in the final on Sunday. With this result, Cameroon picked the sole ticket to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament beating reigning Afrobasket champions Tunisia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal.

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Nigeria Premier League

Ebi Egbe Lauds Elegbeleye, Aluo On Improved Fortunes Of Nigerian Football

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Renowned sports facility construction expert, Ebi Egbe, has expressed his satisfaction with the improved standards of the Nigerian football

Renowned sports facility construction expert, Ebi Egbe, has expressed his satisfaction with the improved standards of the Nigerian football league, particularly, the NPFL and the NNL, ably led by Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye and George Aluo respectively.

According to Egbe, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Monimitchelle Sports Facilities Company, Elegbeleye, has turned the NPFL to an attractive brand and with huge crowds coming back to watch the matches.

“I’m very impressed with what Hon. Elegbeleye is doing with the NPFL. Standards of matches have improved tremendously and importantly, the crowds are coming back to the stadium to watch their favourite teams.”

Egbe was equally effusive in praises for the Chairman of the NNL, George Aluo, who he commended for bringing vitality and improved organisation to the NNL.

“And without a doubt, George Aluo, has improved the organisation and standard of the league. The ongoing NNL Super 8 is a testament to the fact that the league can only get better,” Egbe said.

He went ahead to admonish well placed individuals and corporate organisations to give more supports to the Nigerian local football bodies.

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10th Nigeria Pitch Awards: Sanwo-Olu, Elegbeleye, Soname, Finidi in the spotlight as ceremony holds on Saturday

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There will be real pomp and pageantry in the city of Uyo on Saturday as the tenth edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards comes to town. The Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts is the venue.

There will be real pomp and pageantry in the city of Uyo on Saturday as the tenth edition of Nigeria Pitch Awards comes to town. The Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts is the venue.

Shina Phillips, chief organizer of the awards, said on Thursday that all is set for a ceremony that will be full of panache, glitz and glamour.

“As I said a couple of weeks ago, we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure a memorable tenth edition of the awards. All is set, and we are in Uyo not only to put up a super-show, but to mobilize resources within our capacity to support the Super Eagles to victory in tomorrow’s match. As an organization, we will continue to genuinely appreciate the NFF, the Super Eagles, all our friends, enablers, affiliates and commercial partners, for their support over the past 10 years, and to promise that the values of transparency, integrity and credibility will never depart from the Nigeria Pitch Awards.”

Nominees have been picked in all 18 award categories, with the winners to be unveiled on Saturday. The award categories include Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year, Midfielder of the Year, Striker of the Year, Queen of the Pitch, King of the Pitch, Sam Okwaraji Award, Football Pitch, Football-Friendly Governor, Corporate Sponsor, alongside several honours for media representatives.

Goalkeeper of the Year: Kayode Bankole (Remo Stars); Amas Obasogie (Bendel Insurance); Ojo Olorunleke (Enyimba FC)

Defender of the Year: Calvin Bassey (Fulham FC); Ola Aina (Nottingham Forest); Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbahce SK)

Midfielder of the Year: Alhassan Yusuf (Royal Antwerp); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City); Alex Iwobi (Fulham FC)

Striker of the Year: Robert Mizo (Bayelsa United); Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Queen of the Pitch: Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico de Madrid Femenino); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC)

King of the Pitch: Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Emeka Obioma (Enyimba FC); Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)

Team of the Year: Super Falcons; Enyimba FC; Remo Stars

Coach of the Year: Daniel Ogunmodede (Remo Stars); Finidi George (Enyimba FC); Randy Waldrum (Super Falcons)

Sam Okwaraji Award: Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Ahmed Musa; Kunle Soname (Proprietor, Remo Stars)

State With The Best Grassroots Football Development Programme: Edo State; Delta State; Lagos State

Football Pitch of the Year: Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos; Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo

Football-Friendly Governor of the Year: His Excellency Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom State); His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos State); His Excellency Godwin Obaseki (Edo State)

Corporate Sponsor of Football: Bet9ja (Sport Betting); GTI (Financial Services); MTN (Telecom)

Sportsmanship Award: Hon. Kunle Soname (Proprietor, Remo Stars); Victor Osimhen (Napoli SC); Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye (Chairman, NPFL Board)

Football Journalist of the Year (Print): Christian Okpara (The Guardian); Charles Diya (New Telegraph); Johnny Edward (Punch Newspapers)

Football Journalist of the Year (TV): Miyen Akiri (TVC); Mozez Praiz (SuperSport); Cecilia Omorogbe (Channels TV)

Football Journalist of the Year (Radio): Olawale Adigun (Mainland FM); Yinka Oyedele (Brila 88.9 FM); Anthony Bekederemo (Brila 88.9 FM)

Football Journalist of the Year (Online): Samuel Ahmadu (Savid News); Tobi Adepoju (Oganla Media); Kunle Solaja (sportsvillagesquare.com)

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Eyimba FC International on expansionist mission- Ekwueme

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Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the

Nigerian professional football league and continental soccer record holders, Eyimba football club fc of Aba has commenced the implementation of an expansionist idea that would spread the club franchise, further past its current torrents, the club Sporting Director, ex intetnational , Ifeanyi Ekwueme has disclosed.

Ekwueme speaking in Kano last Tuesday,.further revealed that the club management under the pilot of Atlanta 96, Olympics football gold medalist, Kanu Nwankwo has embarked on the implementation of a newly designed development template that would stampede the influence of the club franchise on Nigerian, African and international football climes.

He said, Eyimba fc is a trademark that has excelled over time, Kanu Nwankwo regime currently at the helms of affairs at the club is building on the heroic achievements of the club by resorting to building bridges across Nigeria and beyond.

Ekwueme said ” we have signed partnership that involves exchange programmes, we are committed to coaches development mini and major projects

He further said ” we now have the requisite development structures, with our now in place youth football and semi professional talent development programmes , this is vital and critical.

” Eyimba is not a stagnant or zero football brand, we are a broad football brand, that is why, we are committed to partnerships that are results oriented and have them spread across Nigeria and extend same to the continent and beyond.

He averred that though there are challenges, the current leadership of the club is focused and committed towards surmounting the hurdles and posed to take the club to the zenith of club side football, where Eyimba fc is rightly believed to belong to.

Ekwueme appealed to the fans and their partners to keep faith with the Eyimba fc brand , stating that the club has witnessed enviable improvements in the area of football coorporate administration that he said is now yielding dividends and would continue to help the Aba football warlords to improve in the delivery of mandated club football services and business divdends expected by all stakeholders.

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