Nigeria got independent on October 1, 1960 but the country had been participating in sports long before then. Nigeria played its first official game in October 1949, while still a British colony. The team also played warm up games in England against various amateur teams like Dulwich Hamlet, Bishop Auckland and South Liverpool. However, Nigeria became a member of the world football governing body, FIFA in 1945.
FIFA World Cup
he final draws for African continent for the 2014 FIFA World Cup slated for Brazil was conducted on September 14 amongst 10 teams. Before the draw was conducted, the organisers had to wait for the world football governing body, FIFA to know the teams to be seeded. At the end, Nigeria was seeded alongside Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria, Ghana and Tunisia. Tunisia replaces Cape Verde who were disqualified.
People’s perception of sport as a vocation for the poor is changing rapidly, particularly with the success recorded by many Nigerians like: Kanu Nwankwo, Jay-Jay Okocha, Chioma Ajunwa, Mikel Obi and the rest.
Taekwondo as a sport is not an exception. For Francis Solomon, a chief instructor of taekwondo at the Abuja Games Village, the exploit of Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije, son of Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who won a bronze medal in taekwondo at the 2008 Olympics is an inspiration to many youths in the country.
he final 10 teams for the African qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup taking place in Brazil, emerged last week and are set for the third and final phase draws. They will know their opponents in the draw holding at CAF headquarters in Cairo on September 16.
ormer Real Madrid great, Zinedine Zidane described Gareth Bale as Europe’s most exciting player. Bale became the world’s most expensive football player when he completed his protracted £86 million move to Madrid in September 2013. He signed a six-year contract worth £170, 000 a week after tax. The fee eclipsed the £80 million Madrid paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo.
igeria’s inventive forward, Victor Moses, entered the history books last week when he became the first player from Nigeria to sign for one of Europe’s elite clubsides, Liverpool. Although, Nigerians like Kanu Nwankwo, Celestine Babayaro and Mikel Obi have played for other top teams in Arsenal and Chelsea; none has been spotted in Anfield until recently.
There is no doubt that the Nigeria Premier League is the highest level of domestic football in the country. Before now, the league was managed by the then Nigeria Football Association, NFA, as a department until it was carved as an independent body. It later saw the registration of the league by the Chief Oyuki Obaseki-led team as an independent body.
The 2012/13 season will ever remain green in the minds of FC Bayern München and French forward, Franck Ribéry. It was the season he won the UEFA Champions League with Bayer Munich after several attempts; after defeating Borussia Dortmund in the final at Wembley stadium in England.
As if that was not enough, the French player also won treble with Bayern and just on Thursday, August 29, he was crowned the UEFA best player for the 2012/13 at his hometown, the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
It is a season full of great promises. The 2013/2014 English Premier League, EPL commenced on August 17 with Liverpool playing at home (Anfield) against Stoke City. As usual, records have been set since the opening round of matches commenced. 273 players featured on the opening games while there were 50 nationalities on the field of play on the opening days.
Ten matches were played on the opening days – Saturday and Sunday out of which nine wins were recorded with a draw in the match involving Norwich and Everton.
Last Wednesday’s tie between Bafana Bafana of South Africa and Nigeria’s Super Eagles was supposed to be a tough encounter considering the calibre of players the South Africans paraded against the depleted Nigerian side. The match ended as a one-sided game-with Nigeria’s Uche Nwafor accounting for two of the Eagles’ goals. Although the match was merely a friendly, with not much at stake, the rivalry between the two continental giants could not be ignored.