Connect with us

Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s Ex Internationals Plan Big in US

Published

on

 

The United States based Nigerian Ex-International Footballers Association (NEIFA), led by Francis Monidafe has unfolded plans to organise its inaugural launching and fundraising event in Atlanta, Georgia on July 29, 2017.

“Comprising distinguished past Green Eagles, former Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets stars, who are now mostly living in the United States of America, NEIFA has been around for a while now, championing better welfare for its members and promoting causes that will engender proper football development of the current crop of players playing for Nigeria at various levels”, remarked Paul Okoku, one of the prime movers of the project.

According to him, the movement is “with a mission to advocate better quality of life for former teammates in Nigeria and around the world, who have fallen on harder times”.  Sports Village Square gathered that NEIFA boasts of members, ranging from varying respectable professional backgrounds and fields of human endeavour, comprising engineering, business, elite academy and university coaching.

According to a statement issued by the secretary, Nathaniel Ogedegbe, NEIFA observed that many Nigerian footballers were battling with many problems on various fronts, which sadly have not been addressed headlong by the country’s institutions, prompting the body to step in and seek ways to alleviate the burden being faced by former footballers and present ones.

Advertisement

Noting that since its formation some years back that members of the organisation have been able to pull resources together to support the expenses of ex-internationals, Ogedegbe said the time has come for NEIFA to reach out to the broader spectrum of footballers and ex-footballers in need of assistance.

The body noted that the coming fundraising in Atlanta will help the organisation to fully achieve its vision of ensuing that footballers do not live from hand to mouth again.

“We continue to seek support and partnership with individuals and organisations with the means and shared interest and giving back to the country by working with NEIFA and the Nigerian public”, the statement added.

NEIFA further said the coming grand launching in Atlanta, which it tagged ‘Association of Brother’s Keeper’, was to seek donations to help the body achieve its outlined goals, comprising “assisting former teammates who, following their days on the pitch, have not had opportunities for education, decent jobs or access to health care.

The press release also gave as objective of NEIFA, promotion of the development of football in Nigeria and in other parts of the world, serve as ambassadors of Nigerian football and be a voice for Nigerian footballers in around the world.

Advertisement

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Nigerian Football

Manu Garba, U17 World Cup winner, returns as Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach

Published

on

The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 – Nigeria’s fourth triumph at that stage.

Garba’s world-conquering squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game, drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they ran Iran ragged 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals, before they dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

The former Nigeria international will now immediately resume the role and take charge of the team’s preparations for next month’s WAFU B U17 Championship, taking place in Ghana.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Nigerian Football

Kano Pillars on  the verge of relegation again?

Published

on

BY NURA GARBA SABONSARA

As the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) 2023/2024 season enters the home stretch, Kano Pillars find themselves in a precarious situation, despite being in the 8th on the league table.

They have 41 points in a close-packed league in which no situation below the top eight can be regarded as safe now.

On the surface, the eighth position occupied by Kano Pillars might seem a decent position, but beneath lies a series of crises that is threatening the club’s stability.

Kano Pillars, a team deeply entrenched in the hearts of the people of Kano, holds a unique status in Nigerian football. Yet, recent events have cast doubts on their future in the league.

Advertisement

Despite a promising start to the season where they occupied the third position, the team has encountered a harsh reality check.

For the first time in its history since establishment in 1990, Kano Pillars faced back-to-back home losses in a single season, a stunning defeat against Abia Warriors followed by a recent upset against Shooting Stars of Ibadan on Monday, 8th April, 2024.

These losses, coupled with a humiliating 5-0 defeat by Enyimba, paint a troubling picture.

While some attribute these setbacks to the challenges of Ramadan fasting affecting the players, others argue that this explanation falls short because the team has been playing in this situation for many years.

Why now?. The root of Pillars’ problems lies deeper, starting from the inability to secure key signings and a lack of strong financial backing.

Advertisement

Recruitment primarily from local talent pools received mixed reactions.

While some praised the emphasis on nurturing grassroots talent, others feared the consequences of inexperience, a concern that seems to be materializing now.

Moreover, the team’s financial woes, compounded by fines imposed due to fan misconduct, further exacerbate the situation.

Similarly, some close government allies and individuals are forcing the technical crew to recruit their players irrespective of whether they are competent or not, a development that has angered many fans of the club.

Many players seem motivated solely by personal career advancement rather than team success, raising questions about commitment and morale.

Advertisement

Additionally, scheduling matches during Ramadan, though a long standing practice, has never before yielded such dismal results.

With relegation looming just eight points away, urgent action is imperative.

The government, alongside club officials, must step in decisively to address these issues. Ignoring the plight of Kano Pillars risks tarnishing the state’s football legacy irreparably.

In conclusion, Kano Pillars stand at a critical juncture. Without swift intervention and a concerted effort to rectify underlying problems, the club faces the grim prospect of relegation once again.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Nigerian Football

Shooting Stars rally from behind to clinch a rare victory in Kano

Published

on

Shooting Stars continue to press for the top three slot in the Nigeria Premier League as they clinched a rare 2-1  victory in Kano on Monday evening.

Before now, they have always been battered with basketful of goals in their away duels with Kano Pillars.

In some instances, the score lines were as wide as 6-0. But on Monday, Shooting Stars continued their chase of the frontrunners. It initially looked a continuation of the past when in the opening two minutes, Shooting Stars were already a goal down.

Rabiu Ali shot the hosts ahead and held on till half time. Three minutes into the second half, Taiye Murtala levelled up for Shooting Stars before serial scorer, Christian Pyagbara scored the winner in the fourth minute of the added time.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed