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


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


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


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