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Nigerian Football

Channels Kid Cup Goes International

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BY CHINWE EDOGA

Like a mustard seed that grows into a big oak, the Channels Kid Cup which is in its ninth edition is going international.
The novel grass root project which had a humble beginning as a competition for primary schools in Lagos State gradually expanded to become a national competition now endorsed by the Nigeria Football Federation.
The growth did not stop there. According to a media release sent to Sports Village Square, the organizing committee of the Channels Kids Cup has confirmed readiness for the first international edition of the grassroots football tournament.
“This is the ninth edition of the competition and the first in its international series after schools from Ghana and Benin Republic confirmed availability to compete with fourteen schools chosen from the six geo-political zones in Nigeria.
“The competition is for pupils in primary school under the ages of thirteen and operates with a philosophy of zero tolerance to age cheat.
“The tournament has a strict screening policy and the process is repeated on match days to ensure schools comply to the rules and regulations of the tournament” the press release signed by Austin Okon-Akpan, head of Sports Department of Channels Television, read.
According to the chairman of the organizing committee, Steve Judo, this year’s edition has a major objective of promoting football at the grassroots.
”It goes beyond playing football. We are teaching these kids the core values that will make them good sportsmen and also making them understand the essence of combining education and sports from an early age”.
The Channels Kids Cup has also been endorsed by the Nigeria Football Federation. 1st vice chairman of the federation, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Youth development committee described the competition as a model for football development in the country.
”Every year, the Channels Kids Cup keeps getting better and the NFF will continue to support the project the best way we can. It is a laudable platform to discover and nurture future champions. We should monitor it closely”. Akinwunmi concluded.
Some players from the Channels Kids Cup are already having promising football careers. The 2013 most valuable player, Million Koma is now a player of Enugu Rangers and emerged the highest goal scorer at the recently concluded NPFL U-15 promises tournament.
Simon Akpomedaye also featured in the 2013 edition with the Ogedengbe Primary School from Delta. After the tournament, he has featured for the National U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets and currently plays for Warri Wolves.
In 2015, St. Paul’s Anglican’s Afolabi Yusuf dazzled at the Lagos Preliminaries and was awarded scholarship to play football and further his education. The Channels Kids Cup is already a winning brand.

Schools will start arriving in Lagos for season nine of the competition from Saturday, May 20th 2017. The draw ceremony and unveiling of jerseys will be done on Sunday, May 21st while action will commence on Monday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. The final game will be played on Children’s day, May 27.

The following schools that will compete at this year’s edition.

(1) Niger State – Waziri Primary School, Minna

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(2) Kwara State – Burhanudeen LGEA Primary School, Ojagboro, Ilorin

(3) Sokoto State – Turaki Model Primary School, Sokoto

(4) Ekiti State – St Augustine’s Catholic Nursery & Primary School, Osun Ekiti

(5) Edo State – Paragon Demonstration School, Benin City

(6) Rivers State – World Book Capital City Model Primary School, Port Harcourt

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(7) Abia State – City Primary School Umuahia, Abia State

(8) Imo State – Community School, Ezima Obaire, Imo State

(9) Ogun State – African Church Primary School, Onibuku, Ado Odo Ota

(10) Osun State – Islamic Government School, Modakeke, Osun State

(11) Kaduna State – LGEA Jaafaru Primary School, Kaduna

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(12) Kogi State – Islamiya LGEA School Kabawa, Lokoja

(13) Lagos 1 – Xplanter Primary School, Ikorodu

(14) Lagos 2 – Community Primary School, Abule Egba

(15) Ghana – Abeka 4 Basic School, New Fadama Accra

(16) Benin Republic – Saint Louis de Seme Krake

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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

Former Nigeria international, Onye recommends  Amuneke-Siasia combo for Super Eagles

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Kingsley Onye, the left sided defender who was a member of the first Flying Eagles side to have a podium finish at the U-20 World Cup has suggested the employment of Emmanuel Amuneke as the coach of the Super Eagles.

He wants him to be assisted by Samson Siasia when the ban on the latter lapses in August. Alternatively, Onye pointed to Sylvanus Okpala as alternative to Siasia.

The Super Eagles are in dare need for a head coach as the clock ticks down to the Match day 4 and 5 of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers in which the team is trailing at the third position.

The two matches in early June are crucial for the Super Eagles to bounce back into reckoning as the team can not afford to drop any of the available six points in the duels with South Africa at home and away to Benin.

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From this Monday, it is 41 days to the potentially challenging tie with South Africa, but the Nigerian national  team has been without a coach since the expiration of the contract of Portugal’s Jose Peseiro shortly after the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.

Without mincing words, Onye remarked: Emmanuel Amuneke is the right man for the job of the coach of Super Eagles. He has been there before.

“He tasted it and had been fantastic with the Nigeria youth team, the U-17 by assisting Manu Garba to win the U17 World Cup in 2013 and as head coach, led the Golden Eaglets to win the cup again in 2015.”

Onye who played for the Enugu Rangers in Nigeria before venturing to the UK but had his career scuppered by freak injury  pointed out that the solution to Super Eagles’ technical deficiency is the appointment of an indigenous coach and that Amuneke is the man.

In buttressing his assertion, he declared: “As a senior team coach, Amuneke qualified a long standing absentee team, Tanzania  for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

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“His record as a player is also very impressive. He played and won with the Super Eagles, the AFCON 1994. He played at the Olympic Games and was also the first Nigerian to score two goals at the World Cup.

“He has played at the African Games and also for top clubs in the continent as he was a member of the Egyptian giants, Zamalek. In Europe, he played for Sporting Clube de Portugal and then Barcelona before injury ended his playing career.”

Onye also looked at the personality of Amuneke in recommending him for the Super Eagles job.

His record as a player is also very impressive. He played and won with the Super Eagles, the AFCON 1994. He played at the Olympic Games and was also the first Nigerian to score two goals at the World Cup.

He has played at the African Games and also for top clubs in the continent as he was a member of the Egyptian giants, Zamalek. In Europe, he played for Sporting Clube de Portugal and then Barcelona before injury ended his playing career.

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Nigerian Football

GTI enlarges coast…spreads from League fund-raising to Federation Cup

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Strategic partners of the Nigeria Football Federation, GTI Asset Management and Trust Ltd has expanded their scope of operations from fund sourcing for the Nigeria Premier League to adding the responsibility of getting the national cup competition back into its glamorous days.

The MD of the company, Abubakar Lawal at the unveiling a revamped Federation Cup which has been renamed President Federation Cup remarked that his company decided to take a bold step to support the national cup.

“I am the happiest man today, he said in the opening remark of the rebranding of the national cup through signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Sports and the NFF.

“Our company is also strategically involved in ensuring that the President Federation Cup is given necessary attention to thrive using The Nigeria Football Fund (TNFF) as our vehicle to actualise this dream.

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“Therefore, it is our vision that the oldest domestic football event becomes one of the best organised football events in the world in no distant future.”

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Nigerian Football

Ikenne’s Beyond Limit Football Academy top goal chart as NNL releases vital statistics

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The secretariat of the Nigeria National League has released the match statistics of the four conferences of the 2024 season.

With 198 matches so far played in Conferences A and B, 426 goals were scored, with 125 home wins and 26  away wins, representing 63.1%, & 26% respectively. There were 47 draw matches, representing 23.7% of matches. 299 home goals were scored, and 127 home goals.

Beyond Limit FC scored the highest goals  of 33 goals, with Stormers FC and Ekiti United conceeding the least goals  of 28 goals. Tradesafe and Solution FC scored the least numbers of goals of 11 goals and Osun conceded the least numbers of goals of 8.

In group C & D, 209 goals have been scored in the 106 so far played, with 70 home wins and 14 won away  representing 66. 3% and 13.1% respectively.

 Teams drew 31 matches representing 29.2% of the matches played. Wikki Tourists scored the highest numbers of goals, with 23 goals, while EFCC FC conceded the least numbers of goals. They conceded 18 goals. Nasarawa United’s 8 goals conceded  made them the team that conceded the lowest numbers of goals, while ABS scored the least number of goals of 5 goals.

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