Sports-loving Nigerians will focus on Congo Brazzaville as from September 4th when the 11th edition of All Africa Games, AAG, gets underway with no fewer than 50 countries gunning for medals.
Established in 1965, the first ever AAG was hosted in Congo, a country that appears set to receive thousands of Athletes 50 years down the line.
Nigeria Sports particularly football family was again thrown into mourning following the death of veteran Nigerian coach, Willy Bazuaye, who passed away at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in Benin City recently, few weeks after Tennis philanthropist Omolade Okoya Thomas, died.
Investigations by Nigerian Newsworld revealed that Bazuaye, who shot into limelight after leading the Nigeria U17 team, the Golden Eaglets to win the World Cup at their level in China in 1985, was terribly ill in his last days and finally died after 12 years battle with stroke, Aged 80.
After one of Nigeria’s Representatives Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt were controversially walked over in Tunisia where they were meant to engage Club Africaine in the first leg of CAF Confederation Cup preliminary stage recently, Stakeholders within the country’s football circle have been analyzing many reasons why Rivers State government owned club inflicted a fresh round of grief on Africa’s largest Nation.
First among top priorities for Pinnick’s NFF was the training and retraining of Nigerians Referees and Coaches of which a number of Persons have benefited from. However, many are still skeptical about the import of such programme to the Nations’ football growth even as they expressed reservation regarding over N100 Million already purportedly spent in sending Referees, ex-internationals, NFF Board members and some coaches to United Kingdom for capacity building instead of spending less to invite few resource Persons who would come to Nigeria and engage more hands in a similar venture.
After participating in 2014 World Cup, Nigeria’s biggest brand Super Eagles began to crawl amidst barrage of issues ranging from Bonus row to NFF and Stephen Keshi ‘cold war’ as well as allegation of financial misapplication, embezzlement and mismanagement by then Aminu Maigari-led board.
Obvious concerns which revolved around the Nation’s most Senior National team Nigerian Newsworld observed culminated to ill- preparation towards the just ended 2015 Nations Cup which Nigeria ultimately failed to attend.
In a matter of days, the ship of Nigeria’s Football currently steered by Amaju Pinnick will be clocking six months in office but the flurry of issues heralding the country’s soccer atmosphere have remained unabated.
Elected on September 30, 2014 during a controversial General Congress of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Pinnick and indeed other members of his executive Committee took off with the promise of giving Nigerian Football a new face under the guise of ensuring a formidable football culture.
Four times FIFA U-17 World Cup kings Golden Eaglets are among eight teams taking part at the 16th edition of African U-17 Championship which kicked off at the weekend in Niger.
TROUBLES ALL THE WAY
Unexpected demise of a Sports Enthusiast and Philanthropist, Chief Molade Okoya -Thomas no doubt has left indelible mark too wide to fill in Nigeria’s Sporting Arena. Known by most of his friends for his deep passion towards promoting and sponsoring sporting activities including the annual Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championships which has been on for over four decades to set an unbeatable record, many giants strides of Chief Okoya-Thomas lives so much to be munched by most Sports administrators who occupy positions with little or no positive effect.
This year’s Super four tournament which Nigeria’s league officials, League Management Company, LMC expanded to accommodate two National teams preparing for continental showdown would have ended but the ugly trend surrounding its organization has continued to re-vibrate.