The technical adviser of Sudanese side, Al Merreikh, Didier Gomes Da Rosa was full of praise for the lush green turf of Enyimba Stadium after his side defeated the Nigerian flag bearers, Enyimba to reach the group stage of the CAF Champions League on Wednesday. Al Merreikh who came to Aba clutching a 3-0 first leg lead lost the Aba battle by 2-1 thus progressing via a 4-2 aggregate result. Speaking after the match in Aba, the French coach said Enyimba has got a good arena where teams can play good football unlike what you see in most venues in the continent. “Enyimba has got a good ground just like TP Mazembe. This pitch is one of the best in Africa…it supports free flowing football,” he said. It would be noted that virtually all the African teams that have visited Aba have fallen in love with the Enyimba Stadium turf constructed by Nigeria’s leading Sports facilities construction company, Monimichelle. Meanwhile, the CEO of Monimichelle Ebi Egbe disclosed to newstap. com.ng that his company has been invited by the football authorities in Cameroun and Burkina Faso to work on some pitches in the two countries. “Our job in Monimichelle is speaking for us. We have been contacted by the football authorities in Cameroun and Burkina Faso…our vision and mission at Monimichelle is to see African pitches get better. The biggest challenge facing African football is that of poor infrastructure and we are out to change that narrative,” Egbe said
COVID-19 vaccine: IOC bigwig wants athletes to get priority ahead Olympics
S enior International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Richard Pound has claimed prioritising athletes for the COVID-19 vaccine would be the “most realistic way” of ensuring the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games take place. Uncertainty remains over whether this year’s Olympic and Paralympics in the Japanese capital will go ahead with less than 200 days to go before the event is due to open. The Games were postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the health crisis seems to have worsened after the discovery of the new variant of the virus, thought to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible. Host country Japan is one of the nations to detect the new variant and is now on the cusp of a state of emergency after Kyodo News reported a record 6,004 daily coronavirus cases today. There is hope the development of a number of COVID-19 vaccines will allow Tokyo 2020 to take place safely. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently being administered in countries such as the UK and the United States, while it is awaiting approval in Japan. Pound insisted that prioritizing athletes for the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the Games go ahead would not cause a public outcry. “In Canada where we might have 300 or 400 hundred athletes – to take 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million in order to have Canada represented at an international event of this stature, character and level – I don’t think there would be any kind of a public outcry about that,” Pound told Sky News. “It’s a decision for each country to make and there will be people saying they are jumping the queue but I think that is the most realistic way of it going ahead.
Ekiti State FA plans adoption scheme for outstanding cadet team players
Buoyed by the recent impressive strides achieved by the state FA’s cadet teams, Ekiti State Football Association has intensified its plans to engender a sustainable football legacy, and as well use football for the development of youths in the state. Towards achieving some of its developmental programmes, Ekiti State Football Association has come up with another epochal programme which is a talents discovery and adoption plan. And towards achieving its objectives, the Bayo Olanlege led Ekiti FA board has therefore identified four major items that would make up the components of an adoption scheme of talents agreement for any interested persons in and outside the state. These items include, payment of school fees and buying of books and uniforms for the discovered and adopted talent; buying of sports kits like jerseys, football and cleats. It also includes payment of training fees (to youth club) and transport allowance to training grounds, as well as, health insurance package for the lads. Bayo Olanlege, went ahead to reiterate the commitment of his board in ensuring that football is used as a tool for youth development. “We have to stop using the youth to develop the game. The era of people organising football competitions and leveraging on the popularity of the game to gain milage and visibility for their brand alone is over. “It is time we start to let the youth gain from the organized sport events through the introduction of sport scholarships and or adoption programs for outstanding talents scouted during such events,” the awards winning football administrator, stated emphatically