Sports: FIFA U-20 World Cup: Nigeria beat Qatar

By Fifa.com

Nigeria delivered a bold statement of intent with a 4-0 thumping of Qatar in their Group D curtain-raiser at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019,. The Flying Eagles, runners-up to a Joao Pinto-propelled Portugal in 1989 and a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina in 2005, soared 2-0 up inside 25 minutes – and both goals were indebted to their left-back, reports FIFA.

Ikouwem Utin duped his marker and unleashed a swerving shot, which Shehab Mamdouh could only push into the path of Maxwell Effiom, whose first-time volley broke the deadlock. The Nigeria No3 then somehow sprung four challenges down the left and cut the ball back to present Okechukwa Offia with a comfortable finish from close range. Qatar did have their chances. Zulkifilu Rabiu catapulted himself across the Tychy turf to make an outstanding block from Yusuf Abdurisag, and Nigeria goalkeeper Olawale Oremade was alert to break up a three-on-one break from which the underdogs should have made more.

They were further punished, esteemed Manchester City midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru making it 3-0 before Aliu Salawudeen’s swivel and shot completed the rout. The teams return to action on Monday, when Qatar face Ukraine and Nigeria encounter USA.

Sports: Planning Ahead, Bucs & City To Tussle For Ex-SA Youth International

It is understood that there is Interest in a former South African youth international player, Pule Maraisane.

Maraisane, who is plying his trade in Turkey with Cerkezköy 1911, could be set for a return to Mzansi, as reported in edition 1117 of Soccer Laduma.

The 24-year-old winger, who is a product of the renowned Stars of Africa Football Academy and has previously turned out for teams in Portugal and Sweden in his career, is on the radar of overseas clubs although a possibility of a PSL move is not being ruled out.

“There’s interest in the player from different clubs in South Africa and overseas. There’s a possibility that he may even go to Portugal in his next move,” a source told the Siya crew.

Contacted for comment, Maraisane confirmed interest in him from the Buccaneers and the Citizens.

“I can’t rule out a possibility of a return to South Africa, as I previously had offers from Cape Town City and Pirates. That was last year,” said Maraisane.

“But, at the time, I had already signed a contract in Turkey. The two clubs had been in contact with my agent,” he added.

“Sometimes being away from your family can be difficult. I may consider coming back home in the future,” confirmed the former SA U20 star.

“Before coming here, I had an injury, which kept me out for about a year – recovering at home in South Africa. After I recovered, I came here and I was with the team for about a month-and-a-half on trial. I later signed with the team. I was on the bench for a few games initially, after signing with the team, but now I am one of the regulars in the team,” he said.

“But it was not easy, and coming from a foreign country, I found things different at the club. There were times I was playing and not playing, and I was asking myself, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ But the coach was encouraging me to say, ‘It’s part of the process, you can’t just come and expect to play regularly.’ I am now one of the starting players for the team,” concluded Maraisane.

As reported, City recently signed 19-year-old defender Keith Groeneveld, who returned to his country of birth after a spell with Belgian Pro League outfit Standard Liege, while Bucs are expected to begin with the process of reshuffling their squad at the end of the season.

Source Soccer Laduma

Mauritius: Mural Painting Activity By Youths to Increase Visibility of Ioig 2019

PRESS RELEASE

A mural painting activity engaging youths, on the logo ‘Krouink’, the mascot of the forthcoming Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) 2019, was launched by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, this morning at the Floreal Youth Centre.

In a statement, Minister Toussaint underlined that this initiative aims at increasing the visibility of IOIG 2019 and to encourage Mauritians to take an interest in this key national event. The mural painting of ‘Krouink’ will be replicated across the 27 Youth Centres of Mauritius, he pointed out.

The Minister expressed satisfaction as regards the active participation and interest of young people in this activity and other preparations in the context of IOIG 2019. He also called upon more organisations to spearhead such initiatives to ensure that IOIG 2019 gets optimum coverage across the Island.

IOIG 2019

Mauritius will be hosting the 10th edition of the Indian Ocean Island Games which is scheduled from 19 to 28 July 2019. Some 2000 athletes of seven islands of the region will participate in 14 sports disciplines.

It is recalled that the IOIG is a multi-sports event held every four years among athletes from Indian Ocean islands. The objectives are to contribute to regional cooperation through the development of sport in the region, and build friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the islands of the Indian Ocean, in the spirit of the Olympics.

Source Government of Mauritius

Nigerian youths meet in Jos as Third NGF/Plateau Junior Open Championship tees off

By Christian Okpara

The day is finally here. Officials of the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) say the logistics and other things needed for the success of the third NGF/Plateau Junior Open Championship have been put in place to ensure that the competition, which tees off today, is a success.

The NGF/Plateau Junior Open Championship is one of the programmes initiated by the Plateau State government and the NGF to help the development of the game using the country’s teeming youth population.According to the NGF, over 200 players from across the country have arrived in Jos for the competition, which tees off at the Rayfield Golf Club today.

NGF’s Youth Development Officer, Emy Ekong told The Guardian that the championship is open to players aged 18 and below, adding that the players were expected to arrive in Jos yesterday for registration and acclimatisation with the Rayfield Club’s field, while actual competition will hold today and tomorrow. She added that the closing ceremony would hold tomorrow, while the participants are expected to depart from Jos on Sunday.

Ekong disclosed that among the more than 200 participants expected from across the country are the players that represented Nigeria at the African Youth Championship in Botswana last month.She praised the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong for his role as a strong pillar for the sport, adding that the governor has promised to ensure the security and comfort of all the participants.

“Accommodation is free for those coming from outside Jos, just as entry and feeding (breakfast and lunch) are also free.“This championship will serve as one of the National Ranking events for the Order of Merit and qualifier for the 2020 All Africa Junior Golf Challenge in Egypt.”

Source The Guardian Nigeria

Nigeria: Golden Eaglets will fly high at 2019 AFCON in Tanzania – Seni Saraki

By David Ngobua

The Chairman of Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Football Club, Ilorin, Seni Saraki has expressed confidence that the national U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets will do the nation proud by winning the 2019 AFCON in Tanzania. He disclosed this on Tuesday when he paid the team a surprised farewell visit at their training ground in Abuja. The football enthusiast and administrator also spoke on his team’s chances in the ongoing Nigeria National League.

What prompted you to visit to Golden Eaglets training?

Thank you. I am here to felicitate with the team, especially ahead of their visit to Tanzania for the U-17 AFCON. You know they are our ambassadors, and they need this type of motivation. Again, it’s an opportunity for me to see and talk to two of my players in the team. I have Olakunle Olusegun and Gata Mubarak in the team. They are the products of our U-15 team that won the LaLiga Promises championship in 2017. My visit will boost their morale in the African championship, from where they will fight for a World Cup ticket.

You watched the team’s training, how confident are you ahead of the U-17 AFCON in Tanzania?

The players are in good condition and shape, based on what I have seen, and also, going by the results of the matches they have played so far.

Again, we have coaches who understand the terrain. Coach Manu Garba has previously been involved in two glorious outings at this level, and Coach Nduka Upgrade, apart from been the Captain of the first team that won it in 1985, was also part of the teams that have won the title at one time or the other. I have the confidence that they will do the nation proud.

Another very important factor is the pedigree of Nigeria at youth level, both in Africa and world level.

Apart from your visit to the team today, what other means of motivation do you have for the team?

It wouldn’t just end here with this visit. I will have to re-adjust my programme and schedules, because I already promised to be in Tanzania to cheer them throughout the competition.. I will want to personally be there when the whole thing happens.

But do you think this team had the best of preparations ahead of the competition?

I am a football administrator, and I have been following the progress of this team, just like other national teams we have, and not because of my players in the team.

I will therefore, want to commend the Nigeria Football Federation for their efforts at developing football, especially at the grassroots.

I will also want to thank the League Management Company for participating LaLiga in organizing the U-15 Promises competition, which has given us the opportunity to have two players in that team.

We have six players from that class of 2017 in our main team presently, which two are in other Nigeria National League teams.

We are participating in the on-going LaLiga Promises as the defending champions. We are using that to groom the next set of champions by the grace of G

Now to your club, ABS FC, what is the expectation this season?

Thank you. The expectation is to have a successful campaign in this season’s Nigeria National League (NNL). Our target is to qualify for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), where we rightly belong.

We are running pure professional outfit, by all standards. For this season, we have hired a coach that has gone through this journey twice before, Coach Hassan Abubakar, and we are ready for the season.

We have changed our club camp, this in order to ensure more comfortability for the players and coaches, and we will surely improve on our Welfare packages, in order to get the best out of the players. With the preparations we have put in place so far, we are hopeful of a fruitful campaign this season.

Year-in-year-out, you always have younger players in your team. What’s the secret?

ABS FC is no doubt, a modest club, and we have strived over the years to make a model for other clubs. We believe so much in the youths, and the club was initiated because of them. It’s a platform for developing and empowering the young and talented footballers. It’s a veritable platform, and a launchpad for the youths to rise to stardom. Many of them have benefited, many are currently benefiting, and many of them will still benefit. I earlier told you we are currently participating in the on-going LaLiga Promises. The current team has about 50 percent U-13 players, especially those that won the Channels Kiddies International tournament in Lagos last year. Our projection was that next season, we will play in the NPFL, and by then, they will be about 14 years old. By the time they are doing that, we are already working on another set of younger players. That is what we do at ABS FC.

And are you planning to sustain the structure?

The structure is already on ground, and was well laid. We are planning to build on that in the nearest future. Among the long term plan was to have our own stadium, and we are already working on that.Right now, we have an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kwara Football Academy, which covers technical development and player exchange, and we also hope to build on that as time goes on.

Last but not the least, what is your assessment of the Nigerian league?

We are not doing badly, despite the challenges. There is room for improvement. We are still learning, and I believe we will get there very soon. Thanks.

Source Daily Trust

Nigeria: Bayelsa Youth Football Team to Participate In African Youth Cup In Cape Verde

By AIT

Players who were selected from the 2018 Restoration Cup Football Tournament will represent Bayelsa State in the Maiden Edition of the African Youth Cup slated for April 19th through 27 Praia, Cape Verde.

The Special Adviser to Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson on public affairs and media, Daniel Alabrah said the decision was communicated to the organisers on Friday.

According to Alabrah, the youth selected from the 2018 Restoration Cup for the under 16 categories will be joined by four to six over-aged players, not above the age of 17 years old.

Players and officials have been directed to report to camp at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa.

The teams that have already confirmed their participation include Tanzania under 16, Saint Benfica of Portugal, Ajsm FC of France, Academic FC of MaLI and Kini – Kini FC of Benin Republic.

Source AIT

Nigeria To Host Volleyball Championships

By The Tide

The Zone 3 President, Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB), Paul Atchoe, yesterday said that Nigeria was ready to stage the 3rd CAVB Club Championships scheduled to hold in Lagos.

Atchoe told Tidesports source that four countries with 11 teams would compete for honours at the competition biled for the University of Lagos, Akoka Volleyball Hall from April 14 to April 18.

“We are happy that Nigeria has taking up the responsibility to organise the competition which promises to be exciting and very competitive.

“Already we have the teams from three other countries, Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic ready to battle for the championships’ title.

“The essence of this competition is to bring member states together and get them busy and also to create more awareness for the development of the sport.

“We also intend to use the competition as qualifications to pick the best two teams for the CAVB Africa Championships’ coming up later in the year,’’ Atchoe said.

He added that Nigeria was hosting the competition for the second time and was proud of the passion shown by the country’s Volleyball Federation to stage another event.

“This will be Nigeria’s opportunity for hosting the competition second time out because they have shown the big brother character of always coming to our rescue.

“The championships first held in 2015 in Cote D’Ivoire but due to financial constraints could not be hosted by any member country until Nigeria came to help out last year.

“We want to keep volleyball very active in our zone because we know we have abundant talents ready to draw the positive attention for the sport.

“We want to use the competition to develop our youths and create awareness for the sport in Zone 3, this is why as member countries we task ourselves on organising events,’’ Atchoe said.

Source The Tide

ZAMBIA: ARROWS HOST TOP SPOT HUNTING ZESCO UNITED

By Lucky Mwewa Chama

Zambia Air Force sponsored side Red Arrows Football Club will this afternoon welcome seven time Zambia Super League champions, Zesco United at in a rescheduled week seven encounter at Nkoloma Stadium.

The Chisi Mbewe drilled side will play host to Zega, with the Airmen boasting two wins on the trot, a winning run that has seen them beat Zanaco 2-1 at Nkoloma Stadium as well as Mufulira Wanderers 3-nil away in Mufulira over the weekend.

Red Arrows Captain Bruce Musakanya and his lads will be looking to break into the top four with a win, having won the league title once in 2004 and will be fancying their chances of playing continental football with race for the top two places still far from being over.

Zesco on the other hand have also managed to pick six points in their last two league encounters and in the process scoring five goals, allowing two goals. A win for the Ndola based side will see them top the table in Stream A of the transitional league.

On a day that marks exactly one year since George Lwandamina who is fondly called ‘Chicken’ by the Zesco fans was appointed for the second time as Zesco United boss after returning from Tanzania where he coached Yanga Football Club, the likes of Lazarous Kambole will be expected to play a pivotal role for Zesco United alongside Jesse Were and John Ching’andu.

The match will kick-off at 15:00Hrs.

Source Zambian Football

Zimbabwe: Caps United Reports ‘Biased’ Referee To PSL

By Lovemore

Caps United has resolved to officially lodge a complaint with Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) over what it considers biased officiating during the 0-0 draw with Highlanders at Barbourfields on Sunday.

Makekepeke felt hard done by Midlands’ referee Thabani Bamala who denied them what appeared to be two clear penalties.

Caps United administration manager Morton Dodzo on Tuesday said that the Green Machine will leave no stone unturned to get redress. Speaking to Newsday, Dodzo said:

We are a professional institution and we are guided by rules and regulations. What we are going to do is to make sure we exhaust the legal routes in trying to seek redress.

Yesterday (Sunday), we submitted an official notice to the match commissioner (Malandule) advising them of our intention to officially lodge a complaint against biased officiating. We also notified the PSL that we are going to lodge an official complaint as a club.

We have put in place systems that will help us gather evidence that will support our report and make sure we lodge our complaint within the stipulated time.

We are not going to pre-empt and we are not going to say much, but only to the football statutory bodies in which we have confidence.

We are not only complaining as Caps United but on behalf of all football stakeholders who invest a lot into the game.

The Highlanders vs Caps United match was attended by 13 600 paying fans and broadcast live on ZBCtv.

Highlanders collected ZWR$76 710 from the match after 13 600 fans paid to watch the match.

Source Pindula News

Egypt: Wounded Ahly seeking some solace in Egyptian league

Ahly, licking their wounds following a humiliating 5-0 African Champions League defeat, are seeking some solace in the Egyptian Premier League as they meet Maqassa on Wednesday.

The Red Devils suffered their worst ever defeat in an African competition after being embarrassed in Pretoria as South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns put one foot in the Champions League semis.

Barring a miraculous comeback in Saturday’s second leg, Ahly, who lost in the final of the previous two Champions League editions, will exit the prestigious competition that they last won in 2013.

That will leave them with only two domestic titles to fight for, including the league where they are locked in a tight battle with bitter Cairo rivals Zamalek.

With only two points separating them from leaders Zamalek, Ahly are aware they can ill-afford to drop any points at this crucial stage of the season.

They will move top, at least temporarily, should they beat Maqassa on Wednesday. Zamalek meet Masry one day later.

“I’m responsible for the result against Sundowns and I’m determined to change that situation as soon as possible,” Ahly coach Martin Lasarte said on the club’s official website.

“All of us, including me and the players, will do our best to make up for this cruel defeat,” the Uruguayan added.

Maqassa, who lie fifth in the table with 42 points from 26 matches, drew three of their past five games, winning twice.

Lasarte opted to leave Marwan Mohsen and playmaker Nasser Maher out of Ahly’s squad for the game. Key left-back Ali Maaloul and Angolan winger Geraldo are also out due to automatic suspension.

Ahly comfortably won the reverse league fixture 3-0 in January.

Source Abram Online