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Nigerian Football

VIDEO: Ahmad, Ikefe, Suleman Seek VAT Wonder Goal Glory

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The Match Day 24 recorded a rich harvest of 27 goals, six from the penalty spot but the strikes from Ahmad Usman of Wikki Tourists, Andrew Ikefe of Niger Tornadoes and Musa Suleman of Katsina United made it through to the shortlist of three nominees for VAT Wonder Goal number five.

Ahmad Usman netted twice, ten minutes apart in the 3-1 defeat of Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi by hosts, Wikki Tourists and one his goals was near solo effort.

Operating from the left side of attack, Ahmed had picked up the pass from a teammate just after the half line, raced down the left flank beaten two markers, cut back inside the box to release a right footed whip of the ball inside a crowded box to shake the back of the net. It was a strike that the El-Kanemi goalkeeper clueless.

In that same fixture in Bauchi where Wikki Tourists ran home with a 3-1 defeat of Niger Tornadoes, it was Andrew Ikefe who got the consolation goal on the 47th minute, smashing home from the edge of the box.

Several efforts at clearing their box had failed and the ball fell to an on-rushing Ikefe who steadied his balance with the left foot to hit a low shot with the right.

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El-Kanemi Warriors were humbled 3-0 in Katsina and Suleiman netted two of the three. His first coming as early as within the 60 seconds from kick-off from a simple flick the ball from close range over the raised hands of the goalkeeper. He would later score from the penalty spot.

 

 

 

 

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The VAT Wonder Goal Award attracts a cash prize of N150, 000 for the winner with half of the money donated to a Charity to be nominated by the player within the state where the club is located. It is supported by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to promote club-community relationship and also create awareness for tax education.

 

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s broadcast icon, Danladi Bako hails NFF on choice of Finidi George

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Nigerian broadcasting icon, Dr. Nasir Danladi Bako has praised the Nigeria Football Federation for settling for former international and ex-Enyimba FC strategist Finidi George as Head Coach of the Super Eagles.

The Kogunan Sakwatto, 66, who created a plethora of famous TV programmes including Morning RideMastersports and Second Chance, among others, and served as Special Adviser to a number of Sports Ministers many years ago, insisted the NFF leadership struck a bull’s eye with the appointment of the two-time FIFA World Cup star, stating that George oozes class and character, and an iron determination to succeed despite his public carapace of a quiet person.

“Finidi George has that cultured, disciplined mien and personality that makes you want to trust him with a big project. He understands the meaning of constituted authority and right from his playing days, has always displayed the attribute of a team player. He has always had that calm, collected nature even in the face of pressure or danger.

“Above all, he is not someone who thinks he is doing the nation a favour. He is grateful for the opportunity and I believe that he has all it takes to succeed. I am calling on the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, the NFF and Nigerians as a whole to support him to take the Super Eagles to brand-new heights.”

Bako, who holds a doctorate degree in development communication from the Ahmadu Bello University and was Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission between 1999 and 2002, says all hands must now be on deck to ensure victories in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against South Africa and Benin Republic on 7 June and 11 June respectively.

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“No doubt, the NFF got this one appointment right. Very much on point. Now, they should endeavour to give George all the support he needs to succeed in his task of qualifying Nigeria for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.”

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria’s sports minister, Enoh applauds NFF for ‘buying local material’

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Sports Minister Enoh (left) and NFF President Gusau (right) unveil Finidi.

Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, John Owan Enoh on Monday praised the leadership of Nigeria Football Federation for settling for an indigenous Head Coach for the Super Eagles, despite the plethora of foreign tacticians who applied for the job.

Enoh, who spoke at the unveiling ceremony of the Eagles’ new substantive Head Coach, Finidi George at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, charged the NFF to give the former winger all the support to succeed, while also soliciting the support of all Nigerians for the new helmsman.

“As a student of the University of Calabar in those days, I used to go to the UJ Esuene Stadium to watch Calabar Rovers, which included Finidi George. I am excited to see him seated here as the new Head Coach of the Super Eagles.”

President of NFF,  Ibrahim Musa Gusau exuded delight with the ‘new chapter’ the Federation is opening about the Nigeria game, saying the football-governing body is determined to fully support George and his assistants to lead the Super Eagles to new heights.

“When we returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, we began the search for a new Head Coach. There was a plethora of foreign applicants, far more than the indigenous applicants. However, we undertook a thorough process that has produced an indigenous Coach and we are very happy about that. Finidi George was part of the technical crew that came close to winning the AFCON, and we have faith in him that he will lead the team to the title next time.  

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“Our objective now is to ensure the enthronement of excellence at all levels of the National Teams.”

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Nigerian Football

No more bench-warmers in the Super Eagles, says Finidi George

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New man on the managerial saddle of the Super Eagles, Finidi George has stated that  he will invite for international assignments, only players who feature regularly at their clubs either in Nigeria or in the diaspora, and promised that the Super Eagles will remain even more competitive in the years ahead.

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