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Nigerian Football

Recovering Ebiede expresses gratitude to Chris Green and Rivers State Government

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Emmanuel Ebiede in full boom while playing for Nigeria

Former Nigeria International, Emmanuel Ebiede has expressed gratitude to Rivers State Sports Commissioner, Chris Green following the swift action taken following his recent health challenges.


Ebiede was diagnosed with Hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver), this week with viral photos portraying him in an extremely frail state.


His condition has since improved with the Rivers State Commissioner of Sports,  Chris Green stated that the responsibility for the eventual recovery and rehabilitation of the former Super Eagles midfield pearl now to be borne by his Ministry.


Looking markedly in much better physical condition on Friday, Ebiede expressed gratitude to Barr. Green for the concern shown.

“I want to thank you, Barr. Green for your show of Fatherliness and magnanimity following my illness,” Ebiede said.

“I will be lying if I said I expected this. Words are not enough to thank you and I can only say that God will bless you,” he concluded.

The immediate younger sister of Ebiede, Joy also expressed gratitude to Barr. Green for his show of magnanimity.

On his part, Barr. Green assured Ebiede of continued support, adding that he will be rehabilitated upon his eventual discharge from the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, where he is currently being admitted.

“Funds have already been released for your treatment but we will not stop there as our basic concern is to see that you don’t just get back on your feet but eventually get re-integrated as a virile member of society,” Barr. Green said.


“The human angle is never lost on us even as we, as a Ministry strive to ensure that our heroes of yesteryear are never abandoned in the moments of need,” he said.
Recall that Barr. Green had similarly spearheaded the rehabilitation former Rivers State and Nigeria national team (Basketball) point guard, Miebaka Clinton who recently suffered a stroke.

Ebiede, who is rapidly on the mend played professionally in Belgium (Eendracht Aalst) and The Netherlands (SC Heerenveen) and was capped three times by Nigeria at senior level.

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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

Osimhen’s outburst was a moment of madness, says Amaju

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Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President and a  FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has expressed shock at last month’s outburst by Super Eagles’ striker, Victor Osimhen against Finidi George.

“It is very unfortunate”, Amaju Pinnick remarked on an Arise Television programme. The former NFF president said he had put a call to Osimhen who was very remorseful while the telephone conversation lasted.

  “I told him he has to apologise, and I am sure he will if he has not yet done so.” Amaju remarked that he could not comprehend what went wrong as Osimhen was the most cool-headed player in the national team.

He went on to remark that Finidi George was not a personality to be disregarded like that. He has won virtually every honour available during his playing days and was a member of the Super Eagles at their peak when Nigeria ranked fifth in the world.

“I believe players should learn to respect their coaches”, said the former NFF boss.

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Nigerian Football

I prefer a foreign coach for the Super Eagles, says Amaju

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Nigeria’s FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has told the world that he has always been an advocate of foreign coaches for the Super Eagles. He spoke on Arise Television while fielding questions with Reuben Abati, Rufai Oseni and Ayo Mairo-Ese. 

His reason for being averse to indigenous  coaches stemmed from lack of respect for them by the players.

“Yes, the Nigerian coaches have the requisite knowledge and the technical ability, but modern football is beyond that in managing players.

“Will the national team players respect the coach? The sad thing is that they don’t”, said Amaju Pinnick.

 He however revealed that he supported the appointment of Finidi George owing to the circumstances that the NFF found itself after the exit of Jose Peseiro.

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 The NFF, he revealed, had no money to hire a foreign coach. The body therefore went for the most available option, Finidi to ensure a smooth transition.

 “Finidi was part of the coaching crew of Peseiro and it was therefore logical to ask him to continue.

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Nigerian Football

NFF to train referees on VAR

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Application of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR)  may soon be introduced into Nigeria’s domestic football competitions.

This is deduced from the statement of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Ibrahim Gusau while addressing the annual general meeting of the Nigeria Premier League.

He also disclosed plans by the federation to train Nigerian referees on the application Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Gusau revealed that  NFF had already secured the communication gadget that the referees will use during matches.

“We have to train the personnel that will manage the VAR now. We have selected some of the referees that we are to start training.

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It is not a training of one day, one month or two months; it is a training that will take a little bit of time. After the training they have to go on practical training on the VAR system by going out while some matches are ongoing to see how they can manage it. But when we are sure we have the personnel that can manage it in the next one or two years, we will start to see how we can use VAR in our system,” Gusau said.

He also said that the federation intends to make the league attractive by discouraging Nigerian players from joining other lesser glamourous African clubs without established football pedigree.

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