Monday April 21st, 2014
Monday April 21st, 2014
Latest

Beware of Bosnia, says FIFA expert

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:10 am   /   Comments

Bosnia-team

Walter Gagg is a FIFA Director with incredible knowledge of the round leather game.

Read More →
Latest

…That I did not write last week …

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:19 am   /   Comments

The Nigeria Team Group during the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup match between Nigeria and North Korea at the Hasley Crawford Stadium on September 5, 2010 in Port of Spain, Trinidad And Tobago. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths - FIFA/FIFA )

Yes I did not. You may want to ask, “so what?” Exactly. For one reason or another, Columnists fail to write regularly. I try as much as possible to tell my bosses (Onochie and Tony) in advance, so that they can help me apologise to my readers.

Read More →
Latest

Bayelsa United and the Al Ahly challenge

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:18 am   /   Comments

Bayelsa-United-fc

With World Sports on CNN, I have just rounded up one hell of a football crazy Saturday that started with Manchester United thumping Aston Villa 4-1, after the fans had decided that the team will be better off without David Moyes on the bench. ( I agree )

Read More →
Latest

Not hosting to win

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:10 am   /   Comments

Governor Imoke

Last Friday, I was in Calabar for the Unveiling of the Mascot, Logo, Theme Song and Web site of the 19th National Sports Festival rechristened the “Centenary Games” This event was significant in many ways. For one it was the official kick off of the Games and keen watchers were quick to assume and rightly too that its delivery could be a signpost of what the actual Games will be.

Read More →
Latest

Eagles: Manager, coach, trainer, who? The Agbamu puzzle

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:03 am   /   Comments

Henry Agbamu

Henry Agbamu is the chairman SCOA Nigeria PLC. His knowledge of football is uncanny, so much that he is quick to tell you “ I am in the wrong profession. I should have been a coach, not selling cars…..”

Read More →
Latest

Thanks Bolaji…. farewell Nwako…. Sad sad Enyimba

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:10 am   /   Comments

Bolaji Abdullahi,Sports Minister

I was not supposed to be shocked by the ouster of Sport Minister Bolaji Abdullahi. Given the political atmosphere, we saw it coming. Some only prayed for a miracle of sorts…..no wonder it made headlines.

Read More →
Latest

Al Ahly as metaphor for success

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:44 am   /   Comments

football1

Before jumping into this week’s column I will take space to write about last week, a week in which readers reacted in their hundreds, to “ Much Ado About A Foreign Technical Assistant”further proving that when the topic is football, Super Eagles, Keshi, Nigerians can be passionate to a fault.

Read More →
Latest

Much ado about “foreign technical assistant”

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:45 am   /   Comments

Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi with Home Based Super Eagles at a News Conference at the Eagles' Camp in Abuja

There was no way I was going to write my column this week without commenting on an issue that descended from the blues and spread like wild bush fire.

Read More →
Latest

Pa Ojidoh’s last interview

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:10 am   /   Comments

Pa Ojidoh

Whenever Linus came round, of course you can trust that the topic will be football unlimited. This Friday, in the course of our discussion, Linus drew my attention to my last column in the Vanguard, especially the one that had to do with Keshi wearing a suit on the bench during the world cup.

Read More →
Latest

Of green jerseys, Ejike’s resurrection and a glorious bronze

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:34 am   /   Comments

uzoenyi-eagles

No sooner had the Eagles walked out against Morocco in white jersey than Nicodemus rang me. I ignored him. He rang again and again and finally resorted to sending a text. “………Oga Paul, we should not have worn white. We should not. We will not win this match. We should have worn green ”

Read More →
Latest

In Dammam, Keshi’s suit Matas a great Li

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:21 am   /   Comments

Home-Eagles-11111

On Saturday, three goals down, I had promised my friends that I was not going to write about the match. “ Win some, lose some,” I surrendered.

Read More →
Latest

Super Eagles: SWOT and Brazil 2014

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:50 am   /   Comments

Nigeria's footballers pose for the official picture before the start of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group B football match against Tahiti, at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte on June 17, 2013. (Standing L-R) Midfielder John Obi Mikel, defender Uwa Echijile, defender Efe Ambrose, defender Kenneth Omeruo, forward Anthony Ujah and midfielder Fegor Ogude. (First row, L-R) Forward Nnamdi Oduamadi, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, forward Ahmed Musa, midfielder Sunday Mba and defender Godfrey Oboabona.   AFP PHOTO

It was my intention to share with you this week, an experience I had with one of the African Coaches who did NOT vote Mikel Obi. According to him “……….Forgive me, it was an individual award. It was like asking a coach, between Mikel and Yaya, who would you sign for your team in 2013? The answer definitely will not be Mikel. On your argument that he won the Nations Cup with Nigeria, Mikel for me was not the best Nigerian player. I rate Vincent Enyeama, Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses above him in terms of contribution to Nigeria’s success. Europa? Which one is that?

Read More →
Latest

Agbim…Oh…Agbim

  /   in Sports, Sports Bassey 12:45 am   /   Comments

Chigozie Agbim

For a country that is on the ascendancy in football, one that is getting used to winning, Saturday was a disaster, to say the least.

Read More →
Latest

Keshi’s World Cup army

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:30 am   /   Comments

File photo: Nigerian players pose prior to the 2013 African Cup of Nations semi-final football match Mali vs Nigeria AFP PHOTO

Two news pieces last week have influenced this column which incidentally is the first in the new year.

Read More →
Latest

Review of Sports in 2013….. What Sports?

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:00 am   /   Comments

wheelchair-tennis

If you are a member of the sports fraternity, occupying one post or the other, you must have been approached by the media, whose interest is stereotype, has been predictably stereotype at a time like this.

Read More →
Latest

That Manchester City misadventure by Iheanacho

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:27 am   /   Comments

Kelechi Iheanacho

Last Tuesday, I was in my car, when I happened on a discussion on Brila FM. The topic had to do with the evaluation of the reported trip of Kelechi Ihenacho to ManCity for trials.

Read More →
Latest

That ‘favourable’ World Cup draw

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:01 am   /   Comments

Fifa-Draw

Two key phrases rule sports draws all over the world. The first is what is called “The luck of the draw” while the other is “group of death “

Read More →
Latest

The vexing Keshi question(s)

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:44 am   /   Comments

Keshi

I had set out to entitle this week’s column Diary of a football traveler ( whatever that means). I wanted to use the column to talk about very interesting experiences as I jumped in and out of planes in the course of my football assignments.

Read More →
Latest

Conversation with a Golden Eaglet parent

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:41 am   /   Comments

Kelechi Iheanacho, Chigozi Obasi, Raymond Japhet and Abdullahi Alfa of Nigeria celebrate their victory after the FIFA World Cup UAE 2013 Final between Nigeria and Mexica at Mohamed Bin Zayed Stadium on November 8, 2013 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo FIFA/FIFA)

By Paul Bassey  Telephone rings……. Chief Effiong……Hello who is this? Alhaji Maigari…If I am on to Chief Effiong, I am Aminu Maigari the President of the NFF Chief Effiong….Ah interesting how are you? You are the one who wants to teach me how to manage my son? When I bought him his first ball when

Read More →
Latest

Take a bow Nigerians… Pop Champagnes… Klink Glasses

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:54 am   /   Comments

Eagles-Moses

The Ethiopian Airlines flight that was to take me to Algiers via Addis Ababa took off from Lagos by 1.30pm on Saturday, few hours to the kick off our World Cup qualifying match.

Read More →
Latest

Being part of history

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:05 am   /   Comments

Unbeatable-Eaglets13

I go back three years and the process of putting the coaches together by the Technical Committee. The effort of convincing Nduka Ugbade to be part of the team. The difficulty in assembling the boys together in a country where mothers swear that their children are 14 years old, just to smuggle them into the team!

Read More →
Latest

Bright future for our football

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:41 am   /   Comments

Golden Eaglets

I am one of those who can write authoritatively about our Golden Eaglets. From the very first match they played together as a team in the African Qualifiers in Niger, to their camping in Calabar, African finals in Marakech Morocco……….I have been a disciple of a team I believe promises positive vibes for the future of the game in Nigeria.

Read More →
Latest

Going back to Africa, prepared

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:10 am   /   Comments

Before last week end, I told one of my colleagues that in all the years I have associated with football, I have never come across a situation where, in any league in the world, over ten teams were available for the drop with just one match to spare.

Read More →
Latest

…Now that we know Ethiopia (2)

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:04 am   /   Comments

Nigeria's Ogu John (L) fights for the ball with Ethiopia's Adane Girma on October 13, 2013 during a 2014 World Cup qualifying match in Addis Ababa.    AFP PHOTO

Time apt enough to celebrate the demolition of the Mexican U-17 squad by the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria.

Read More →
Latest

…Now that we know Ethiopia

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:42 am   /   Comments

Nigeria's Super Eagle goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama catches the ball during a World Cup 2014 qualifier football match against Ethiopia on October 13, 2013 in Addis Ababas.           AFP PHOTO

There is celebration in the land, celebration that was not seen in the first half. A first half that made a mess of all those stupendous predictions by overzealous fans who believed that Ethiopia will be meat for super.

Read More →
Latest

Going to Brazil via Addis Ababa

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:17 am   /   Comments

File photo: Mikel celebrates his goal with team mates

The fever is on.World Cup fever. This week, ten countries in Africa will be involved in preparations that will lead towards their picking the five tickets allocated to Africa for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

Read More →
Latest

‘Balogun had no thunderous shot . . .’

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:07 am   /   Comments

NFF

I arrived the country from a CAF assignment in Dolisie, CongoBrazzaville to hear that Nigerian sports writers were spoiling for war with the Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF ) over “an insult heaped on the media by the NFF over some record keeping”

Read More →
Latest

Super Eagles versus Cameroun, Senegal, Egypt? …tough

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:04 am   /   Comments

SUPER-EAGLES

Football will not seize to amaze me. Some call it the beautiful game. Others believe it is a “wicked game” like death, football has a mind of its own, it is no respecter of persons, class or pedigree.

Read More →
Latest

…Just back from Calabar, courtesy Mobil

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:05 am   /   Comments

Nigerian fans cheer their team during the 2013 African Cup of Nations

Calabar holds a special place in my life. It was in Calabar that I cut my teeth as a journalist when I got employed as a proof reader in the Cross River State Newspaper Corporation, Publishers of The Nigerian Chronicle, after a glorious stint as editor of the Saint Finbarr’s College magazine ,The Conqueror.

Read More →
Latest

.. A tale of two kids, Okagbare and September 16

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:27 am   /   Comments

Dashing to the finish...(L-R) Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure, Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce during the women’s 200 metres final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow yesterday.

I am in the middle of a project that has further strengthened my belief that the future of this country lies in our hands and it is up to us to either make or mar it. In Calabar where I am supervising a holiday coaching clinic in track and field for secondary school students courtesy Mobil Producing Nigeria, I daily come across so much potentials, that I daily believe.

Read More →
Latest

Telephone conversation with Solomon Ogba

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:46 am   /   Comments

athletes

Chief Solomon Ogba whose name appeared on the list of Ministers designate is a chieftain of the PDP in Delta State.

Read More →
Latest

The Abidjan war that was not

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:00 am   /   Comments

IVORY COAST, Abidjan : Ivory Coast's forward Koelly Kevin Zougoula (R) vies for the ball with Nigeria's goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim (C) and Solomon Kwambe (L) during the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying football match between Ivory Coast and Nigeria on July 27, 2013 at the Robert-Champroux Stadium in Abidjan. Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria 2 - 0. AFP PHOTO

One of the reasons why some of us came to Abidjan was to see how we could use our presence, connections and authority to diffuse what was expected to be a “major football war.”

Read More →