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Nigerian Football

Channels Kids Cup Enters Group Stage

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Group stage action has commenced the Channels International Kids Cup with Community Primary School, Lagos, Paragon Demonstration School, Edo, Mowoe Primary School, Delta and Jaafaru Primary School from Kaduna recording opening day victories.

But at the Channels Kids cup, no match is played until players are screened. And after a thorough filtering process, without kicking a ball, some players waved goodbye to the competition.

Group A action got proceedings underway with Community Primary School from Lagos taking on Islamic Government Primary School, Modakeke, Osun State.

The boys from Osun took control of the game from the blast of the whistle. But the boys from Lagos managed to survive and the first ended goalless.

When the game resumed, Islamic Government Primary School continued where they stopped in the first half.

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They controlled the game but couldn’t get the ball into the net. With 10 minutes to stoppage time, the boys from Abule-Egba stunned the crowd.

Idris Azeez stole the ball from the Osun defence and produced a fine finish to give Community Primary School a 1-0 victory. The boys from Osun were taught a hard lesson of converting chances when created.

But in the other Group B match, the second Lagos representative, X-Planter Primary School, Ikorodu didn’t have it so good against Paragon Demonstration School from Edo state.

Orobosa Aghahowa scored a stunning goal to give Edo state a well deserved victory.

In Group B, defending champions Kaduna, represented by Jafaaru Primary School and Buhanarudeen from Kwara showed class.

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The boys from Kaduna thrashed World Book Model School from Rivers State 3-1 while Kwara swept aside St. Augustine Catholic School from Ekiti 3-1.

In Group C, Ghanaian school, Abeka 4 Basic School played a goalless draw with African Church Primary School from Ogun State.

The boys from Islamiya Primary School, Kogi took the advantage to top the table after beating Turaki Model School from Sokoto 2-0. Julius Bukie and Nasiru Abdulmajid scored the goals.

In Group D, the boys from Delta state needed just 10 minutes to seal an opening day win against Saint Louis De Seme from Benin Republic

In the second Group D match, Waziri Primary School from Niger State and Community Primary School from Imo State gave all they had but couldn’t put the ball into the net.

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After day one action, the foreign teams are yet to win and with 13 goals scored, day two will definitely bring stiffer competition.

 

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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