Saturday July 4th, 2015
Saturday July 4th, 2015
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Saint Finbarr’s College, Principals Cup and the glory days

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:38 am   /   Comments

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.

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Lessons of Flying Eagles qualification

  /   in Sports Bassey 8:51 am   /   Comments

Awoniyi #18 of Nigeria celebrates scoring the first goal of the game during the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 Group E match between Hungary and Nigeria held at Stadium Taranaki on June 7, 2015 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. (Photo  FIFA)

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.

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God, give us sports loving governors

  /   in Sports, Sports Bassey 12:20 am   /   Comments

WELL DONE GIRLS ••• Nigerian team of Oludamola Osayomi, Franca Idoko, Halimat Ismaila and Gloria Kemasuode celebrate taking bronze in the women's 4x100m relay final at the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008.    Photo: AFP

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”.

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Godswill Akpabio and the scrabble revolution in Nigeria

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:49 am   /   Comments

Gov Akpabio

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.

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The Okpekpe Marathon experience

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:04 am   /   Comments

Governor Adams Oshiomhole (1) taking part in the Okpekpe Road Race

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.

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Defusing the Okagbare time bomb

  /   in News, Sports Bassey 12:34 am   /   Comments

Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare celebrates winning the women's 100m athletics event at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on July 28, 2014.   AFP PHOTO

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.

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The Mauritius Youth Championship shame

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:15 am   /   Comments

Semi-final male volleyball event of the first National Youth Games between teams FCT (White) and Abia in Abuja.

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.

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The Awoniyi debate

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:40 am   /   Comments

Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama saves a shot by Paul Pogba of France.

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.

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The Egyptian challenge

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:28 am   /   Comments

Egypt's Mohammed Abdel Shafi (R) is fouled by Nigeria's Daniel Akpeyi during their friendly football match in the Gulf emirate of Dubai on April 12, 2012. Egypt 3  Nigeria 2. AFP PHOTO

The fear of the Pharaohs is the beginning of wisdom” is a popular saying that is running through Nigeria’s football circles.

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God, give us sports loving governors

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:52 am   /   Comments

Semi-final male volleyball event of the first National Youth Games between teams FCT (White) and Abia in Abuja.

Because Sports is also part of Nigeria, there has arisen a call for “change” in the Nigerian sports circles.

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NOC names Igali Technical Commission Chairman

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:01 am   /   Comments

File Photo: Nigeria’s Ajoke Odumosu (R) hands the baton to Regina George as they compete in the women’s 4X400 relay final of the London 2012 Olympic Games in London. PHOTO - AFP.

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.

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CAF club licensing system

  /   in Sports Bassey   /   Comments

Enyimba in action

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.

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Going back to school

  /   in Sports Bassey 9:52 am   /   Comments

Internet users at a Cyber cafe

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,

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. . .That Eaglets defeat

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:25 am   /   Comments

Golden Eaglets

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 the

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Nigeria in Group E!

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:47 am   /   Comments

BRAZIL, Curitiba : (From top L) Nigeria's team midfielder John Obi Mikel, forward Emmanuel Emenike, defender Kenneth Omeruo, defender Godfrey Oboabona and defender Efe Ambrose (from bottom L) forward Victor Moses, goalkeeper and captain Vincent Enyeama, forward Ahmed Musa, midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, midfielder Ramon Azeez and defender Juwon Oshaniwa pose during a Group F football match between Iran and Nigeria at the Baixada Arena in Curitiba at the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO

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 be

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CAF gets set to celebrate Africa

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:29 am   /   Comments

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.

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Sport moments of 2014

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:48 am   /   Comments

Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare celebrates winning the women's 100m athletics event at Hampden Park during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on July 28, 2014.   AFP PHOTO

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.

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Sports spectacular

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:39 am   /   Comments

US goalkeeper Tim Howard (R) reacts after Portugal's forward Silvestre Varela (L) scored during a Group G football match between USA and Portugal at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 22, 2014.   AFP PHOTO

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 will

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Waiting for Godot

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:32 am   /   Comments

Brazil-Eagles

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.

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Who are these court jesters, for God’s sake!

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:22 am   /   Comments

BEFORE THE CRACK: Dr. Rafiu Ladipo (m) raises the hands of Chief Mike Umeh (l) and Aminu Maigari after their election in 2010.

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…..

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Patrick Okpomo house

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:45 am   /   Comments

League

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.

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‘…Let us develop our football’

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:31 am   /   Comments

Brazil-Eagles

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.

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Glasgow 2014: Random thoughts

  /   in Sports Bassey 6:40 pm   /   Comments

Stephen-Mezie

Glasgow, Seventeen sports, eleven days, Blessing!
That for me is the summary of the 20th Commonwealth Games that ended in Glasgow, Scotland yesterday.

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Sweeping Brazil 2014 under the carpet

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:12 am   /   Comments

Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama saves a shot by Paul Pogba of France.

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.”

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FIFA BAN: Why my heart bleeds

  /   in Sports, Sports Bassey 9:10 am   /   Comments

Tamuno Danagogo, Sepp Blatter and Aminu Maigari

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 “

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No, ….Not again

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:24 am   /   Comments

Tamuno Danagogo, Sepp Blatter and Aminu Maigari

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?

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France beatable despite solid midfield

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:29 am   /   Comments

France celebrates after scoring a goal against Nigeria at Brazil 2014.

I would have loved to start this column without commenting on the distraction that has become an African phenomenon.

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It had to be Osaze. . .

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:25 am   /   Comments

Nigeria's forward Peter Odemwingie controls the ball during the Group F football match between Nigeria and Bosnia-Hercegovina at the Pantanal Arena in Cuiaba during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO

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.

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Super Eagles, no excuses… this is it

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:45 am   /   Comments

eagles-brazil

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.

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USA defeat and other friendly matches

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:52 am   /   Comments

UNITED STATES, JACKSONVILLE : JACKSONVILLE, FL - Forward Jozy Altidore #17 of the United States shoots and scores his second game of the game behind defender Joseph Yobo #2 of Nigeria during the international friendly match at EverBank Field on June 7, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida. AFP

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.

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Nigeria, match-fixing and the Austin Ejide video

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:02 am   /   Comments

THE PATRIOT . . . A Nigeria fan holding a placard is embraced by a Scotland fan before kick off

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.

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….The list….. give us the list….

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:15 am   /   Comments

Coach Stephen Keshi

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 blood

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