The NFF calls it the Federation Cup, yet I have come across thousands who prefer to remember it as the Challenge Cup, that competition that ignited football in this country and brought out the best in our clubs thanks to its knock out, no second chance format.Read More →
By PAUL BASSEY Four years ago, in a piece entitled “ One visa denial too many”, I wrote “ From September 1-11 2011 in Ravenna Italy, Nigerians sat through a harrowing experience as their decimated beach soccer team, faced a herculean task in the 5th FIFA beach Soccer competition. “Vice champions of Africa, Nigeria competedRead More →
Friday, June 25 was the final of the GT Bank sponsored Masters Cup Season 4 at the good old Onikan Stadium, Lagos.
On the invitation of Bashorun Adeyinka Augustine DC and Ifeanyi Njoku President and Secretary General respectively of the Saint Finbarrs College Old Boys Association, I set out with some pride to cheer my school to victory against old foes St Gregory’s College.Read More →
Yesterday morning Nigerians breathed a sigh of relief when the Flying Eagles overcame a nervy start to beat Hungary by two Awoniyi goals( one in each half) to progress in the Group behind Brazil.Read More →
This article was first published on April 6 2015. It was a call on Nigerians, sports loving Nigerians to go to the polls and vote in “ sports loving governors”.Read More →
Friday May 22: 62 scrabble players from all over the country gathered at the Ultra Modern Government Banquet Hall in Uyo for a farewell and thank you tourney in honour of the Pillar of Scrabble in Africa and the Grand Patron of the Scrabble Federation in Nigeria.Read More →
Last Saturday, May 16, the who’s who in track and field in the land gathered at Okpekpe, a sleepy town, about 23 kilometres from Auchi for the 3rd IAAF Sanctioned Okpekpe 10 Kiliometre Marathon.Read More →
I love track and field. Truly I do. I regret the football madness and infection that prevents us from paying more attention to this sport that has the potential of wiping away our sports tears.Read More →
Nigeria hosted the First African Youth Athletics Championship (AYAC) in Delta state and came out tops. An apostle of grass roots development of sports, that event for me was of great interest in a country where all our athletics eggs are heaped in the basket of Blessing Okagbare.Read More →
I take time out, quite often to relive and relish the four years I spent as member of the NFF Technical and Development committee in the Aminu Maigari administration.Read More →
The fear of the Pharaohs is the beginning of wisdom” is a popular saying that is running through Nigeria’s football circles.Read More →
Because Sports is also part of Nigeria, there has arisen a call for “change” in the Nigerian sports circles.Read More →
The Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, has appointed President of Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Dr Daniel Igali as it’s Chairman of Technical and Development Commission as Team Nigeria looks set to better it’s third place finishing in the last All Africa Games in Maputo. President of NOC, Engineer Habu Gumel announced the appointment with the tacit approval of the Board and Exco members of the NOC during their meeting at the Boardroom of the NOC, National Stadium, Surulere.Read More →
Permit me to go back to the seminar I attended last week in Cairo and its attendant coincidences.
The CAF Club Licensing System (Already operational in FIFA and UEFA) is a bold attempt aimed at professionalizing clubs in Africa.Read More →
By Paul Bassey As you are reading this, I am seated in the expansive and tastely furnished Aida Conference Hall of the Cairo Marriot Hotel. A quick glance around the hall that sits 101 other “African football students” I can see General Dominic Oneya, Dr Bolaji Oj-Oba, Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam and Samson Adamu. As Instructors,Read More →
By Pual Bassey I start by appreciating the Nigeria Football Federation for quickly stepping in to calm the nerves of coaches and players of the Golden Eaglets after they had been beaten by South Africa in the just ended CAF U17 Championship in Niger. I must confess that I was hit very hard by theRead More →
By Paul Bassey The last time we communicated on this page, two matches had been played in the ongoing competition. As you are reading this, 16 matches have been played, including the last group matches in Bata yesterday which has seen the elimination of two teams from the competition. Today, two other matches will beRead More →
The countdown has begun to the thirtieth Africa Cup of Nations, since the competition started in Khartoum, Sudan in 1957.
In less than six days, the attention of the sporting world is expected to be focused on what has come to be established as the third biggest soccer fiesta in the universe outside the FIFA World Cup and the European Championship.
The outgoing year was one in which our nation was subjected to all manners of battering and uppercuts, a laughing stock of the world, attracting all types of negatives headlines in the global arena. Every time I get a mail from CAF on preparations for the Nations Cup, I get this gut feeling, one of regret and sorrow, one that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.Read More →
By Paul Bassey Early last week, the latest addition to the vibrant list of national teams media officers Timi Ebikagboro, called to enquire about FIFA and the Appeal Committee imbroglio. I told Timi to go to sleep and dream, soundly. “Oga if you say so” I told him I am saying so, that nothing willRead More →
I suddenly found out that I was repeating myself, sounding like a scratched record. Jarring a menace to the ears and a nuisance. The gramophone pin had to be lifted from the record. I was tired of saying that at the end of the world cup, our football story had run full cycle and there was a need for a reappraisal; auto criticism. That you could not do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.Read More →
Incidentally, the expression “court jester” has no relationship with a court of law. Rather it is a term used in the Middle Ages to describe a professional CLOWN (capitals mine ) employed to entertain kings and queens and noble men…..Read More →
At the last Delta State Challenge Cup, I had the privilege of being honoured by the Delta State FA as a contributor to the development of football in Nigeria.Read More →
I have been away from the maddening crowd. D spite constant up to date briefings from my friends back home, I will today run away from writing what I consider “unique madness of the game” in Nigeria, until I take time to study the situation better.Read More →
Glasgow, Seventeen sports, eleven days, Blessing!
That for me is the summary of the 20th Commonwealth Games that ended in Glasgow, Scotland yesterday.
Last week, Thursday to be precise, the demolition process commenced.
Alhaji Aminu Maigari was booted out by his own board. Before now, all arguments that this board was perhaps the most successful in the history of Nigerian football fell on deaf ears. The simplistic answer was that “…..what goes round must come round.”
Last week Monday, I wrote in my column in the Vanguard Newspapers that we will be banned by FIFA. The closing paragraph was “…..Let no one be deceived that the bluff of a FIFA sanction can be called. It will paralyse football in this country, turn us into a pariah state and hit the youth of this country who will be thrown out of all football competitions until we learn to operate by the rules “Read More →
I was convinced that last week was the best time to go watch the World Cup, so off I went to Brazil, with the intention of taking in the match against France and from there, who knows?Read More →
I would have loved to start this column without commenting on the distraction that has become an African phenomenon.Read More →
Call it poetic justice, call it what you will, it had to be Osaze.
The fair skinned boy of a Nigerian father and Russian mother had so much to prove and on Saturday, fate gave him a helping hand. He defended, attacked,sprayed passes and struck at will, roving all over the place to the delight of his country men and women.Read More →
As at Saturday evening when I sent in this piece, the World Cup was on its head. Twenty eight goals in eight matches with thirteen of them scored in four matches on Saturday.Read More →