FIFA President Gianni Infantino has admitted footballers should not jump the queue and receive a coronavirus vaccine. The 50-year-old, who has recovered after testing positive for COVID-19 in October, made the comments as FIFA and the World Health Organization launched a joint campaign to promote fair access to coronavirus treatment. Various vaccines are now being rolled out across the world with some countries offering them to athletes preparing for events such as the rescheduled 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. This has led to criticism with claims the athletes have pushed in front of vulnerable people who are more in need, as well as front-line workers.
FIFA job: It’s in Nigeria’s interest for us to support Pinnick -Egbe
Chief Executive Officer of Monimichelle Group, Ebi Egbe has declared that supporting Amaju Melvin Pinnick in his bid to become a member of FIFA council is in the nation’s interest. Egbe while berating some Nigerians who are working against Pinnick’s candidacy said those trying to scuttle the ambition of the NFF boss landing in FIFA are nothing but unpatriotic elements. “Those working against Pinnick are carrying their rascality too far. If Pinnick wins the fifa council election, Nigeria would be the biggest beneficiary because he (Amaju) would ensure the country’s interest is protected. Anybody who understands international football politics would know what I m talking about. Let’s not forget what played out when Enyimba won the CAF Champions League for the very first time for Nigeria. After breaking the Cup jinx, the North Africans went to the board room trying to shatter the victory and they would have succeeded in we did not have Dr Amos Adamu then in CAF. Adamu ensured the frivolous petition over Yaro Yaro was thrown out. So, we all know how important it is for any nation to have a strong say in an international body like FIFA. Pinnick has been cleared to run after passing FIFA integrity test, so for anybody here at home not to support him amounts to national sabotage,” Egbe said. It would be noted that Pinnick who had initially shown interest in running for the CAF presidency later settled for a bid into the FIFA council. The election comes up in March.
Rangers patron, Ejindu celebrates club at 51
The United States of America based patron of Rangers, Benson Ezeomeogo Ejindu has described the club which turned 51 on Friday January 29 as the pride of Ndigbo, even as he charged the team to do well this season and stage a return to the continent. Ezeomego said he is happy the club since it’s formation has never gone on relegation in the nation’s domestic scene declaring that it shows that the club’s never say die spirit has been burning for over five decades. “Formed on January 29, 1970, just two weeks after the war, Rangers remains the only Football Club in Nigeria that has never been relegated since inception. The name has also been same since 1970. It shows that the never say die spirit…that indomitable spirit is there,” Ejindu said. Rangers it would be noted conquered Nigeria just after a year and conquered Africa four years later in 1975. Nicknamed “The Flying Antelopes” by their agility and skillfulness on the football pitch, Rangers became the pride of Nigeria and Africa football in the 1970s and 1980s. This achievement earned them the “International” attached to the name
Tokyo 2020 Olympics: D’Tigress will shock USA, France others, NBBF assures
The Nigeria Basketball Federation has expressed optimism that there is no cause for alarm following the draws that pitted D’Tigress against world number one, USA, France and 2020 Olympics host-Japan which many described as the ‘group of death’. Reacting to the draws conducted yesterday, the Federation said it is focused on preparing the teams well for the challenges ahead in their quest to make Nigerians proud. The Federation President, Engr Musa Kida said all the 12 teams at the Olympics have a reasonable chance of winning the tournament, hence there are no minnows. “Nothing good can be handed to you on a platter of gold. You have to work hard and be ready to seize the opportunity when it comes because to be the best, you have to beat the best.” He believes a lot can still happen between now and when the games tips off capable of upsetting bookmakers predictions and the fate of teams. “We have to be focused on what we have to do as a federation with the help of the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Sports to ensure we adequately prepare the team, get the right personnel for the challenges ahead.” On his part, head coach of the senior women’s team, Otis Hughley described USA and world number five- France as familiar foes. “We met USA and France at the last World Cup in Spain and again faced USA at the Olympics Qualifying Tournament in Serbia last year where we qualified for the Olympics.” Otis who led the team to the quarter finals of the 2018 World Cup thereby setting an African record before winning the 2019 FIBA Afrobasket championship noted that, “We are mindful of the threat these teams pose to us including Japan who are ranked 10th in the FIBA ranking. We are going to prepare adequately to ensure that when the time comes, we will be ready.” In an unprecedented fashion prior to any Olympics, D’Tigress are currently camped in Atlanta, USA months before the games under the watchful eyes of Coach Otis. The Olympics games will be held between 23rd of July and 8th of August, 2021 after its initial postponement due to COVID-19.