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Nigerian Football

Foreign jerseys outlawed for Nigerian league players

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The management of the Nigerian Nationwide League One (NLO) has frowned at clubs whose players wears foreign clubs’ Jerseys to snap passport photograph at the on – going registration for the 2016/17 season.

Speaking to the sporting media in Abuja on Monday,  Shola  Ogunnowo, the scribe of the league disclosed that it is very downgrading for the Nationwide League when clubs in the league allows their players to wear foreign jerseys  of some clubs while snapping passport photograph for registration for the league season, revealing further that some players even wear traditional attires like agbada and babaringa to snap passport photograph, which does not really depict the league well in line with football branding.

“We have written to all the clubs in the Nationwide League that their players must wear their club’s jerseys, be it the one for home or away to snap passport photograph. The Nationwide League will not accept any registration forms that the players of the club puts on Chelsea , Manchester United or Real Madrid jerseys in the passport photograph submitted for registration” Ogunnowo declared.

He added: “Imagine some players wearing agbada or is it babaringa to snap passport photograph for registration. Some coaches on the technical bench are also guilty of this. You will see a coach wearing babaringa or even wearing Manchester United jersey in a Nationwide League game when he is not Jose Mourinho of Man U. So, we have written to all the clubs and I am glad to inform that the registration forms we have received so far from some clubs are in compliance with the directive from the League body.”

Ogunnowo also informed that the Nationwide League is set to sanction any club that flouts this order with a heavy fine, as he noted that clubs must adhere strictly to rules governing the league and efforts have been put in place to ensure that the league is well packaged and branded to attract more fans and sponsorship ahead of the 2016/17 season.

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“We will not hesitate to sanction any club that flouts this directive. Heavy fine awaits any club that goes contrary to these rules. Things must be done properly, as we desire more fans to throng our league games to attract sponsorship of the League,” he concluded.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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