Connect with us

Nigerian Football

Remembering Israel Adebajo, 54 years after…

Published

on

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

How time flies! It is 54 years today that one of the iconic Nigerian football figures passed on. Yet, as it had been in the past 53 years, the date passed on without those in football governing body taking not.

This Tuesday marks yet another anniversary of the passing on of Israel Adebajo, the founder of the oldest surviving club in Nigeria, Stationary Stores FC of Lagos.

Till the last decade, the Stationery Stores, which he founded from the ashes of Oluwole Philips FC in 1958 was Nigeria’s most fanatically supported sports club.

He established the Nigerian Office Stationery Supplies Stores which football arm, was simply called Stationery Stores. It has appellations such as “Flaming Flamingos”, “Super Stores” and Adebajo Babes”.

Advertisement

Adebajo, one of the pillars of the Nigeria Football Association in the late 1950s to the middle of 1960s, died on 25 July 1969, few weeks before Stationery Stores’ final match in the then Challenge Cup

The famed Super Stores drew players and fans across the country and sometimes too, from Ghana and other West African countries. He had what could be the first professional club in Nigeria as players were drawn from near and wide.

So strong was his club that it supplied nine of the starting eleven for Nigeria at the Mexico 1968 Olympics which was the first time Nigerian footballers had the opportunity to grace a global stage.

Even with nine of the Stores’ players representing Nigeria in Mexico, the club still had enough pool of talents to continue in domestic football competition.

In the March 26, 1961 election into the Nigeria Football Association, Israel Adebajo emerged as the treasurer of the football governing body.

Advertisement

He nurtured the Super Stores to win the Challenge Cup twice in a row and was at the brink of a hat trick in 1969 before his death dealt a devastating blow on the club.

Apart from the now discontinued Manuwa/Adebajo Cup for national competition for school boys from the states, no honour had been bestowed on Adebajo who was one of the founders of modern football clubs in Nigeria.

In the past, he had to share the national schools football platform with Dr. Samuel Manuwa.

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

Osimhen’s outburst was a moment of madness, says Amaju

Published

on

Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President and a  FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has expressed shock at last month’s outburst by Super Eagles’ striker, Victor Osimhen against Finidi George.

“It is very unfortunate”, Amaju Pinnick remarked on an Arise Television programme. The former NFF president said he had put a call to Osimhen who was very remorseful while the telephone conversation lasted.

  “I told him he has to apologise, and I am sure he will if he has not yet done so.” Amaju remarked that he could not comprehend what went wrong as Osimhen was the most cool-headed player in the national team.

He went on to remark that Finidi George was not a personality to be disregarded like that. He has won virtually every honour available during his playing days and was a member of the Super Eagles at their peak when Nigeria ranked fifth in the world.

“I believe players should learn to respect their coaches”, said the former NFF boss.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Nigerian Football

I prefer a foreign coach for the Super Eagles, says Amaju

Published

on

Nigeria’s FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has told the world that he has always been an advocate of foreign coaches for the Super Eagles. He spoke on Arise Television while fielding questions with Reuben Abati, Rufai Oseni and Ayo Mairo-Ese. 

His reason for being averse to indigenous  coaches stemmed from lack of respect for them by the players.

“Yes, the Nigerian coaches have the requisite knowledge and the technical ability, but modern football is beyond that in managing players.

“Will the national team players respect the coach? The sad thing is that they don’t”, said Amaju Pinnick.

 He however revealed that he supported the appointment of Finidi George owing to the circumstances that the NFF found itself after the exit of Jose Peseiro.

Advertisement

 The NFF, he revealed, had no money to hire a foreign coach. The body therefore went for the most available option, Finidi to ensure a smooth transition.

 “Finidi was part of the coaching crew of Peseiro and it was therefore logical to ask him to continue.

Continue Reading

Nigerian Football

NFF to train referees on VAR

Published

on

Application of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR)  may soon be introduced into Nigeria’s domestic football competitions.

This is deduced from the statement of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Ibrahim Gusau while addressing the annual general meeting of the Nigeria Premier League.

He also disclosed plans by the federation to train Nigerian referees on the application Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Gusau revealed that  NFF had already secured the communication gadget that the referees will use during matches.

“We have to train the personnel that will manage the VAR now. We have selected some of the referees that we are to start training.

Advertisement

It is not a training of one day, one month or two months; it is a training that will take a little bit of time. After the training they have to go on practical training on the VAR system by going out while some matches are ongoing to see how they can manage it. But when we are sure we have the personnel that can manage it in the next one or two years, we will start to see how we can use VAR in our system,” Gusau said.

He also said that the federation intends to make the league attractive by discouraging Nigerian players from joining other lesser glamourous African clubs without established football pedigree.

Continue Reading

Most Viewed