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Governing Bodies

NFF mourns passing of former Super Falcons’ coach, Ismaila Mabo

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Ismaila Mabo

The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed deep sorrow over the death on Monday morning of former Nigeria defender and an accomplished Head Coach of the Senior Women’s National Team, Super Falcons, Pa Ismaila Mabo. He was 80.

Reports said Mabo died in the early hours of Monday after a protracted illness.

“The death of Pa Ismaila Mabo came to me as a huge shock. Again, we have lost a great man and an accomplished trainer-of-trainers in the Nigeria Football fraternity, and my heart goes out to his immediate family and the other loved ones he has left behind.

“Mabo laid down a big marker for other coaches when he steered the Super Falcons to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the USA in 1999. Yet, he was simple, humble and humane. We will miss him, but we are consoled that he left giant footprints in the sands of time and pray that God will grant him eternal rest,” President of NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau said on Monday.

A gifted central defender, Ismaila Mabo started as a schoolboy international with the Nigeria academicals team that broke the chain of Ghana’s constant whipping of Nigerian teams, when they defeated Ghana’s academicals 1-0 in Accra on 13th February 1966. It was the first time any Nigerian team would defeat a Ghanaian football team on Ghanaian soil.      

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Six days later, the Nigerian boys again defeated their Ghanaian counterparts 2-1 in Lagos. His team-mates included Peter ‘Baby’ Anieke, Tony ‘World 2’ Igwe, the illustrious Sam Garba Okoye and Eyo Essien.

After that accomplishment, Mabo joined Mighty Jets of Jos and was part of that club’s famous squad of the late 1960s and 1970s. He also featured for the senior national team, making his debut in a 1972 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Congo in Brazzaville on 22nd November 1970.

Mabo would later go into coaching, and was in the dug-out as Head Coach when the Super Falcons defeated North Korea 3-2, lost to USA and defeated Denmark 2-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999. The team stretched Brazil at that quarter-final stage before losing by a golden goal in extra time in Washington DC on July 1, 1999.    

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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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Governing Bodies

CAF looking for hosts for CAF Awards, Women Champions League and youth tournaments

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After eventually fixing dates for Africa Cup of Nations 2025 and the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football still have major hurdles to scale.

The confederation is looking for hosts for the CAF Women’s Champions League, the U-17 and U-20 AFCON as well as the CAF Awards 2024. Morocco were the hosts for the last editions of the CAF Awards and Women’s Champions League. The confederation which opened the bids hopes to get possible responses by the time of the 46th CAF Ordinary General Assembly in Kinshasa, DR Congo on Thursday 10 October 2024.

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Governing Bodies

CAF Executive Committee to meet on Friday

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CAF President Motsepe Fails To Confirm Dates For 2025 AFCON -

Plunged with myriad of issues especially concerning regular fixtures of the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 as well as the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2024 both of which are to be held in Morocco, the  Confédération Africaine de Football CAF Executive Committee  will hold a virtual meeting on Friday.

It is expected that the congested fixtures occasioned by the women’s football event of the Paris 2024 Olympics as well as the enlarged FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be discussed.

Till now,neither hosts nor period has been allocated for the Women’s Club Champions League which is supposed to be an annual event.

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Governing Bodies

Samuel Eto’o apologises and reinstates Cameroon coach Brys

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Former Cameroonian star forward and now football federation president Samuel Eto’o apologised Thursday to national team coach Marc Brys, with whom he had been involved in a heated exchange this week.

The ex-Barcelona striker also confirmed Brys would remain in his position after it was announced the Belgian was to be replaced as head coach of Cameroon on Wednesday.

“I apologise because during our first unfortunate meeting, there was a lot of emotion… but the Cameroonian people are more important than us, and it is for them that we must work,” said Eto’o at a press conference.

Eto’o was referring to an incident captured on video during his first meeting with Brys, which was widely shared on social media Tuesday.

The pair were seen to engage in a heated argument, before Brys left abruptly.

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“Your mission is not an easy one, despite your qualities and experience, but you should know that you will have our support,” added the two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner.

Brys was appointed to the role in April by Cameroon’s sport ministry, much to the astonishment of the country’s football federation (Fecafoot) and its president Eto’o wrote to the ministry to denounce its “illegal” appointment of the 62-year-old.

Fecafoot said it regretted not being involved “closely, nor remotely” in the selection process for the new coach and his staff.

Belgian Brys will now oversee Cameroon’s next two crucial matches in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, against Cape Verde on June 8 and Angola three days later.

-AFP

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