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FIFA, CAF name President George Weah as Ambassador for Pan-African Inter-School Championship

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CAF releases 2021/22 season Inter-club information and dates

A joint delegation of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA on Wednesday named Liberian President, George Weah, as its first Ambassador of the newly-launched Pan-African Inter-School Championship.

The championship was launched by South African billionaire and CAF president, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, on Tuesday in Abidjan but will become effective between 2022 and 2023, in collaboration with FIFA.

According to the CAF media channel, Weah’s appointment was made in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, where the delegation visited as part of its three-nation African tour.

It had visited Cote d’Ivoire and will end its mission in Sierra Leone.

It said that the delegation met with the Liberian Football Association (LFA) and government officials and they discussed “Partnerships with the public and private sectors, increased opportunities for youth through football”.

Also read: 2020/21 CAF Confederation Cup: CAF unveils quarter-final pairs

Upon arrival on Wednesday at the Monrovia Roberts Airport, the delegation was welcomed by the LFA President, Mustapha Raji, members of the LFA Executive Committee (EXCO) and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Zeogar Wilson.

The Mayor of Monrovia city, Jefferson T. Koijee, later presented the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, with a key to the city as a gesture of friendship.

In the meeting with LFA EXCO, the delegation listened to the challenges facing Liberia’s football infrastructure, with CAF President, Dr Patrice Motsepe, underlining that Liberia had huge potentials which could be harnessed by providing more opportunities for youth through football.

He also stressed that working together for the good of African football is the best way to ensure progress for the game and the continent.

The FIFA President reinforced this message, referencing the iconic George Weah – now President of Liberia – as a great example of the positive impact football can have on a country.

In an official meeting with the Minister of Youth and Sports, CAF President Motsepe said: “We hear your concerns and would like to assure you of CAF’s commitment to work with Liberian football and government authorities to improve football infrastructure here.”

The delegation, together with the Minister of Youth and Sports, then visited the Samuel K Doe Football Complex, which has been fitted with a new turf pitch through funding from the FIFA Forward programme.

Speaking at the complex, FIFA President Infantino said: “FIFA believes that every country should have access to the best quality pitches and football facilities, and we will work with CAF to bring about more improvements to Liberia.”

In an audience with President Weah, the parties discussed “Strengthening African and Liberian football”, with Infantino stating: “We are happy to be in a country so passionate about football.

We are here to give you CAF’s and FIFA’s full support to take football into a new era and we will work with you to do this.”

Their talks also covered the power of football on economies. “Football and economic development go hand in hand, so let’s try through football to invest in job creation,” said the CAF President.

“It’s also our duty to make sure that all stadia meet the required standards, and CAF will work with the Liberian authorities to do so.”

The conclusion of the meeting saw the CAF and FIFA Presidents present President Weah – the only African to have won the FIFA World Player of the Year award – with a certificate announcing him as the first Ambassador of the Pan-African Inter-School Football Championship.

Infantino said: “President Weah is an icon of football and now a respected statesman. FIFA and CAF are delighted to have his support.

His stellar football career is an inspiration to young Africans and we welcome him on board this initiative, supported by the African Union, which will see football competitions at national level in schools throughout Africa.

“Football offers us a unique opportunity to connect with young people and empower them through this programme.”

The joint delegation then visited the construction site at the headquarters of the LFA to discuss the developments that have taken place in expanding women’s football in the country, before attending a women’s youth football match at Antoinette Tubman Stadium.

Before the kick-off, LFA President Raji thanked both the CAF and FIFA Presidents for visiting his country and for believing in the power of football to give hope, education and joy to children in Liberia.

This was followed by addresses from the Minister of Education and Youth and Sports respectively.

Responding, CAF President said “We must be proud of and thankful to the LFA President for his excellent work. Football has a bright future here.

The girl who is going to be the African winner of The Best FIFA Women’s Player Award could be here today!”

 

– PANA

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Ikoyi Club Hosts Asiodu At 90 Golf Tournament

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The Chairman of the famous Ikoyi Club 1938 Alhaji Tafa Zibiri-Aliu, is set to lead other dignitaries to a golf tournament at the Club to celebrate the former Permanent Secretary and Secretary of Petroleum Chief Philip Asiodu (CON, CFR), who turned 90 years recently.

The Golf Kitty which is invitational, and comes up on Thursday 14th March 2024, at the Golf Section of the Club, will have in attendance the Captain Mr. Tade Adekunle, and other distinguished members playing, according to Dr. Austin Irabor a member of the Club who spoke on behalf of the organizers.

He pointed out that it promises to be a true celebration of excellence at the Ikoyi Club 1938 golf course, as members, veterans, captains of industries, and leaders in government and business amongst others gather at the club’s golf course for the 90th birthday celebration golf kitty in honour of Chief Philip Asiodu, who was also a Chief Economic Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Golf Kitty is scheduled to hold on the 14th of March 2024 as part of the activities for the celebration of Chief Asiodu’s 90th birthday.

Chief Asiodu  is the Patriarch of the Asiodu family of  Nnikwu village, Umuaji, Asaba, Delta State, and a distinguished senior member, a veteran of the Ikoyi Club, and the Golf section for many decades

Also, speaking on behalf of the family, Ogbueshi Peter Osamgbi noted that “Chief Asiodu’s landmark age attainment comes as a thing of great joy to us, family and friends of the Retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Former Secretary of Petroleum of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and  Chief Economic Adviser to the President, who is also the Izoma of Asaba”

Pointing out that the sporting engagement through golf is a testament to his blessed life and a celebration of one of Nigeria’s revered economists and dedicated public servants.

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Super Eagles Loss To Ivory Coast Not A Disgrace- Ahmed Toro

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…As Bauchi fans hail referee Beida for good officiating 

Sani  Ahmed Toro, former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and ex-member House of Representatives, has commended the Super Eagles’ resilience at the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Ahmed Toro in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the aftermath of the Super Eagles 1-2 loss to the Elephants, said that the outcome of the match was not a disgrace.

The Super Eagles on Sunday failed to fly past the Elephants at the finals of the AFCON 2023, played at the 34th edition of the game, at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan.

Ivorian combative Sebastien Haller, scored the tap in a winning goal to help the hosts 2-1 win over Nigeria.

On-field captain, and Most Valuable Player of the tournament, William Troost-Ekong, with a thumping header as he rose to meet Samuel Chukwueze’s flick-on from a corner, but Franck Kessie equalized just after the hour mark after being left unmarked at the back post from a set piece with another header.

The Ivorians then repeated their comeback strategy as Borussia Dortmund player, Haller, tapped in from Simon Adingra’s cross into the goal.

Ahmed Toro

Ahmed Toro, however,  commended the team for their bravery even though most football pundits did not give them a chance.

“The Super Eagles of Nigeria did their best having gone far till the final match. We were not disgraced at the AFCON.

“Some of us expected them to win, but the game did not go our way. The Federal Government of Nigeria has done its part, so also the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to motivate the team.

“In all, it was a good fight from the Super Eagles,  because this was against all odds or expectations. For every sports-loving Nigerian, we wanted a victory.

“The Super Eagles deserve our commendation, so I congratulate them,” he said.

Ahmed Toro also said it was time for the Eagles to start thinking about the World Cup qualifications.

“We now have to go back to the drawing board and make sure that we qualify for the World Cup, we should focus on that.

“Going forward, we must make sure that we qualify for the World Cup because AFCON is over now, this is the right time for us to put our house in order,” he said.

In another development, the football fans in Bauchi State have praised referee Dahane Beida, of Mauritania, for good officiating during the Cote d’Ivoire finals win over Nigeria, at the 34th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire beat Nigeria’s Super Eagles to capture the African crown, they came from behind to beat Nigeria 2-1, to win the AFCON 2023  title on Sunday, Feb. 11. 

Some football fans in an interview with the News Agency of  Nigeria (NAN) at midnight on Monday in Bauchi, lauded the officiating referee for unbiased officiating.

Mr Adamu Imam, a football fan, said the referee was composed and focused while officiating the match.

“The Mauritanian referee has put in his best to see that the game was perfectly coordinated, without much argument and fewer yellow cards issued. 

“So, I must commend his professionalism at the 2023 AFCON finals.”

Nasiru Ibrahim,  a sports commentator,  said the match was neat and was well-officiated by the referee.

“The referee has done well,” he said. 

Ibrahim, however, said that the Super Eagles coach made some mistakes.

“It was unexpected, and I am devastated. I am hoping to be able to bear the pain of the loss,” he added.

A sports writer, Jennifer Emmanuel, said the referee knew his job, “as a referee, he was impartial to the two teams”. 

“There was no sentiment nor bias in officiating the finals, he deserves commendation,” she said.

According to her, I feel bad but we accept everything in good fate, that’s football for you, Congratulations to Côte d’Ivoire .

“They played like patriots. no matter what happened tonight maximum respect to the super eagles,” Jennifer said with a salute.

Another Sports Enthusiast, Abubakar Waziri, however, noted that while officiating the match, the Mauritanian referee made some mistakes, adding that “it is the beauty of the game”. 

“The Super Eagles played more of a defensive game,  instead of attacking at the beginning of the match.

“There was much pressure on the defence because our midfield was not well coordinated, this put pressure on the defense,” he said. 

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Super Eagles Soar Past S/Africa, Berth In 2023 AFCON final

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Enugu State Football league begins May 24 – Official

The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday in Bouake qualified for the final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), after defeating South Africa in a pulsating semi-final clash.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match played at the Stade de la Paix, Bouake,  was decided on penalties after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of tension-soaked encounter.

The match started on a fast pace, with the South Africans dominating play but was pegged back by the resilient Nigerian defence,  Marshalled by Captain William Troost-Ekong.

The cagey first half ended goalless, despite the forays by both teams.

But in the second half, Nigeria took the lead after Victor Osimhen was fouled inside the 18-yard box.

Ekong stepped up to put the Eagles one goal up.

However, late in the game, substitute Alhassan Yusuf gave away a penalty, which Teboho Mokoena tucked away.

The match was eventually decided on penalties, with Nigeria winning 4-2 after a nervy shoot-out.

Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho scored the winning penalty as Nigeria booked their place in the final, sparking a wild celebration in the stadium.

Nigeria will now face the winners of the Cote d’Ivoire vs DR Congo match in Sunday’s final.

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