Saturday November 1st, 2014
Saturday November 1st, 2014
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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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…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.

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…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.

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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.

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‘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”

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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.

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…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.

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.. 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.

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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.

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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.”

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Mobil plans holiday camping as Toblow explains Donetsk poor outing

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:27 am   /   Comments

Ameachi Morton

Ask him how he got the nickname “Toblow” and he will burst out laughing. “…..As far back as 1975, 800 metres was my specialty and I had a unique style of starting powerfully and ending same way, so my fans will encourage me to go all out and “blow” the event….”

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$300 dollars to beat Eagles, Oduduru, COSAFA, probes and other stories

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:59 am   /   Comments

Tahiti's goalkeeper Xavier Samin dives for the ball as Nigeria's forward Anthony Ujah heads to the goal, during their FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group B football match, at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte on June 17, 2013. Photo: AFP.

The headline carried by Complete Sports newspaper yesterday was very appealing. Cash rain for Malawi to beat Eagles.

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Probing the Rangers saga

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:08 am   /   Comments

File photo: Rangers players during a match

It was Tony Bekeredemo of Brila FM who called to inform me about the suspension of Rangers by CAF and I felt very bad. I wondered why Shooting Stars should protest to CAF, knowing the circumstances of such a protest.

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The fear of September…

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:25 am   /   Comments

File photo: Mikel celebrates his goal with team mates

No apologies for repeatedly saying that for me winning the Confederations Cup was not as important as qualifying for the World Cup. The FIFA Confederations Cup was therefore an opportunity for us to test run our World Cup team.

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Believe me, I don Port o! . . . .

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:45 am   /   Comments

eagles-CONFED1

No matter the result of yesterday’s match against Spain, or what will become of the Flying Eagles desperate fight to get back into contention against Cuba in Turkey today, I have made up my mind to “Port” join and support another sport.

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“No, we don’t have money … yes you have”

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:11 am   /   Comments

NFF

I bet the last has not been heard of the diplomatic embarrassment suffered by Nigeria as a result of the Eagles decision not to honour their FIFA Confederations Cup engagement over match bonuses.

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That match against Harambee Stars

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:32 am   /   Comments

KENYA, Nairobi : Nigeria's Ahmed Musa (R) and Sunday Mba (L) celebrate after Musa scored to make it 1-0 during their 2014 World Cup Qualifying match against Kenya at Kasarani football stadium on June 5, 2013. AFP PHOTO

I have heard it said and I have read again and again how The Super Eagles are a tournament team ( ? ). The tradition of struggling against teams with inferior football cultures is still with us.

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‘Did you watch the match?’

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:09 am   /   Comments

HOUSTON - MAY 31: Aide Brown Ideye #8 of Nigeria fends off Javier Hernandez #14 and Francisco Rodiriguez #2 of Mexico as he attmpts to gain control of the ball at Reliant Stadium on May 31, 2013 in Houston, Texas. /AFP

Of course I watched the match and I believe millions of Nigerians did (My brother Steve Ukpong rang by 2.15 am to find out the station that was airing the match) that is the passion, the sacrifice, that most Nigerians paid, banishing sleep to be able to see what I have always considered ‘…a mere friendly’.

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Moses, Mikel … deja vue

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:39 am   /   Comments

Mikel-Moses

The road where the players bus gets to a Carrefour and a player decides to jump the bus and take what he considers is his own way forward.

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That associations elections

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:29 am   /   Comments

A table tennis game between Rivers state and  Delta State on the second day of the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos. PHOTO; Kehinde Gbadamosi.

So much has been said and written about the recently held elections into the various sports associations in Nigeria.

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The 50,000 Dollar dream

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:46 am   /   Comments

IN PAINS … Super Eagles striker, Emmanuel Emenike writhing in pains after he got knocked in the semi final match against Mali at the Africa Nations Cup in South Africa last month. He has lambasted both the NFF and Coach Stephen Keshi for not asking after his state of health since after the Nations Cup.

Saturday, I came across this newspiece that said a Nigerian player had offered 50,000 dollars to his colleagues if they won a match.

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Youth as a foundation for development

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:01 am   /   Comments

protest: Uzere youths protesting at Shell Petroleum Development Company facility in Uzere,Tuesday. PHOTO: Akpokona Omafuaire.

Permit me to go back to Marakech, Morocco, venue of the just ended 10th Africa Under 17 Championship.

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These Eaglets are human after all

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:14 am   /   Comments

Golden Eaglets

It came like a bolt from the blue. After 28 matches without defeat, capped with a 6-1 demolition of arch rivals Ghana, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria were brought down to mother earth with a thud.

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Employing a Technical Director in the absence of funds…’

  /   in Sports Bassey 1:20 am   /   Comments

NFF

“In one breadth you people say there is no money and start sacking coaches, in another breadth, you are interviewing and employing coaches. There is more to this than meets the eye…..”

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That Onochie’s breath of fresh (Athletics) air

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:28 am   /   Comments

File photo: Athletes

Yes I am a FIFA Match Commissioner, CAF General Coordinator, Member Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, yet that is not enough excuse for the volume of thoughts I write on football in my column every week.

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Jossy Lad, LMC and other stories …

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:44 am   /   Comments

league-action

It sounded comical.That Jossy Lad, yes the same one, fell ill. That Oyo state government, had spent “four hundred thousand naira on him” without improvement.

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Heat break in Owerri …heart attack in Calabar

  /   in Sports Bassey 9:37 pm   /   Comments

BACKFLICK••• Super Eagles’ midfielder John Mikel Obi (L) watches as Kenya’s  Mulinge Ndeto kicks the ball during their FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifying match on March 23  in Calabar. It ended  1-.1.  PHOTO: AFP

Let me quickly say this morning that I will pre-tend nothing happened in Calabar. In far away Ghana, I could not watch the match live, so I had to depend on second hand information.

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Nigeria and the CAF executive seat

  /   in Sports Bassey 12:37 am   /   Comments

Issa Hayatou

If I had my way, I would have banished this topic to the recesses of my personal history. In the words of the NFF President Alhaji Aminu Maigari, I would have taken this as one of those experiences needed to guide one through the slimy maze of one’s sojourn on earth.

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