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 →
Saturday, I happened on the Nigeria match on AIT.
My family was asleep. Silence all around me as the Eagles took to the offensive. Needed to share this rejuvenation with someone. Yes, I said to myself, this, was our World Cup team.
So much has been written on the Nigeria-Scotland match that I rather move on.
The plans to write on Coach Keshi’s final list of 23 was not helped by the fact that by the time this column was sent in, the list had not left the coach’s head.
Mark Anthony: Let but the commons hear the testament which pardon me, I do not want to read…..For they would go and kiss dead Caeasr’s wounds and dip their napkins in his sacred bloodRead More →
Twice in four weeks I have had to write on the women game in Nigeria. The last time, I remembered how I was there to cover the first ever Women World Cup in China over 23 years ago and how the game held great promises for Nigeria.Read More →
Walter Gagg is a FIFA Director with incredible knowledge of the round leather game.Read More →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →