Former President of nation’s soccer governing body, Chief Mike Umeh has thumbed up the Super Eagles for putting up a good show against Benin Republic and Lesotho in the back to back Nations Cup qualifiers. The Eagles defeated Benin in Porto Novo by a lone goal, only to return home in Lagos to beat Lesotho 3-0. The double victory saw the Gernot Rohr tutored side qualifying for the Nations Cup in Cameroon in grand style. Umeh in a chat with Catholic Herald Sports said the team’s performance against Benin away was not a bad one, even as he added that the victory in Lagos was superb describing it as an excellent way of staging a comeback to the city where they (Eagles) have not played in over two decades. “For a very long time now, the team has not played in Lagos…the victory over Lesotho makes it a memorable return. I m happy they did not under rate Lesotho because there are no push overs in the game any longer,” Umeh said. Umeh who was Eagles team manager in the days of Westerhof also congratulated NFF president Amaju Melvin Pinnick on his election into the FIFA council declaring that Amaju being in the world football governing body is good for Nigerian football. “I am happy with the feat of Amaju. I want to congratulate him for emerging a member of the FIFA council. It is definitely a good development for Nigerian football,” Umeh said.
Former NFF president, Sanni Lulu’s academy rule National Principal’s Cup
The soccer academy of former President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Sanni Lulu, Fosla Academy Abuja, have emerged the winners of the football event of the rebranded National Principals Cup which ended at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja early last week. Fosla Academy were truly deserving champions as they secured an emphatic 2-0 victory over Christ Comprehensive College, Makera, Kaduna . Speaking during the event, Minister of Youth and sports Development Chief Sunday Dare said “ The standard we have seen on display gives me hope of a bright future for our football and other sports. I’m excited that this event has lived up to our expectations. The future is indeed very bright for our budding talents. “We are proud of the glory and honour Fosla Academy have brought to the FCT,” declared FCT FA chairman Mouktar Mohammed. Fosla Academy Owner and Former President of the Nigerian football Federation Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdulahi said “ These boys have really made me proud and re- assured me that they are the future of Nigerian football. We are Happy to be part of history of building Nigerian football.
FIBA names Rivers Hoopers, 11 others for Basketball Africa League
The Basketball Africa League (BAL) has announced that the league’s historic inaugural season will tip off Sunday, May 16 at the Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, with Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers and 11 other teams from across Africa competing in the new professional league. The BAL, a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), builds on the foundation of club competitions FIBA Regional Office Africa has organized on the continent and marks the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America. The first BAL Finals will be held Sunday, May 30. The BAL has created robust health and safety protocols for the 12 teams and personnel traveling to Rwanda, based on guidance from the World Health Organization and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, with advice from public health officials and medical experts. “We are thrilled that the inaugural Basketball Africa League season will take place at the world-class Kigali Arena,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “Through the BAL, we will provide a platform for elite players from across the continent to showcase their talent and inspire fans of all ages, use basketball as an economic growth engine across Africa, and shine a light on Africa’s vibrant sporting culture.” “We are extremely happy to finally launch the highly anticipated first season of the BAL,” said FIBA Africa and BAL Board President Anibal Manave. “FIBA and the NBA have been working closely together to develop protocols to address the health and safety of all players, coaches and officials. The experience of hosting the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers in Rwanda late last year will contribute to a safe and successful inaugural BAL season.” The league today also announced an adjusted competition format for the inaugural season, which will feature a total of 26 games at the Kigali Arena. The competition will tip off with an 18-game group phase with the 12 teams divided into three groups of four. During the group phase, each team will face the three other teams in its group once. The top eight teams from the group phase will qualify for the playoffs, which will be single elimination in all three rounds. Below are the 12 club teams from 12 African countries that will compete in the inaugural BAL season: