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Nigerian Football

GTI thumbs up Rangers commercialization initiative

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Strategic partners to the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), GTI Asset Management & Trust Limited has commended the management of Rangers International FC of Enugu for the commercialization initiative they embarked on prior to the commencement of the 2023/2024 NPFL season.

GTI/TNFF Head of Media and Publicity, Andrew Ekejiuba, told sports journalists in Lagos that the move is in line with GTI’s intention of seeing to the total privatization of all Nigerian elite clubs and the development of the beautiful game in the country.

“GTI was reliably informed that one of Nigeria’s foremost elite clubs, Rangers International of Enugu recently embarked on the process of commercialization of its activities in a bold bid to remain financially solvent and less dependent on the government for funds.

“The Coal City Flying Antelopes unveiled a massive fund-drive project tagged ‘One Million Ambassadors’ in which members are expected to pay an undisclosed token as a membership fee to be enrolled into the exalted ‘One Million Ambassadors Club’. This we gathered was aimed at raising funds for the team and pulling together a massive fanbase.

“This development is heart-warming and a commendable initiative which every club featuring in the current season should emulate,” Ekejiuba began.

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“The initiative is also in adherent to the clarion call GTI made recently to individuals, philanthropists and Corporate Nigeria to take advantage of the ongoing revolution that club football is witnessing in the country and invest in these clubs.

“The coming of GTI into the country’s football ecosystem has woken the sleeping giants in these clubs and it is expected that all stakeholders of Nigerian football should embrace this new green oil that has the capacity to turn around the country’s GDP going forward.

“The investment window is wide open for individuals, philanthropists and Corporate Nigeria to key into until the last club is taken away from government because the management of elite football is purely a business venture.”

It could be recalled that the Administrative Secretary of Rangers, Barrister Ferdinand Ugwuarua, on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at a crowded press conference held at the club’s corporate office located at 23 Lugard Avenue, Abakaliki Road, Enugu gave an elaborate explanation of the club’s commercialization project that will be ‘media driven’ and tailored towards the new government of Enugu State’s mantra in managing government business.

With this development, GTI is of the opinion that Rangers has set the pace and machinery in motion to drive for a million registered members of the club whose tokens will go a long way in ensuring the attainment of a strong financial structure for the club. Ekejiuba hinted that GTI is optimistic that gradually the Nigerian elite league will get back to the era of Abiola Babes, Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Stationary Stores, Asabatex and Flash Flamingoes when they held sway and affirmed that the qualification of Sporting Lagos for the upcoming season is a sign of greater things in the offing.

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Ekejiuba added that the August 26 kickoff date as revealed by NPL boss, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye for the new season is tenable and expressed delight that the 2023/2024 NPFL will be a glorious season to remember by stakeholders of Nigeria football following the massive preparations going on quietly at the background by GTI.

 

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

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

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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.

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Nigerian Football

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

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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.

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 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.

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Nigerian Football

NFF to train referees on VAR

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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.

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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.

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