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Nigerian Football

MTN, NPFL and La Liga ignite Remo Stars Stadium with  U-15 Youth Football League

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The NPFL/La Liga U-15 Youth League Tournament has kicked off at the Remo Stars Stadium in Ikenne Ogun State.

According to a press statement by MTN Nigeria, the tournament kicked off on Thursday and is featuring 16 teams.

It is expected to showcase football’s best and brightest young talents as it promises to be one of the most exciting sporting events of the year.

The winner is among the 16 youth football teams from across the country  is expected to be crowned after the month-long competing.

From L-R: La Liga Ambassador for Nigeria, Mutiu Adepoju; Chairman, Ogun State Football Association, Alh. Ganiyu Majekodunmi; Brand, Digital, and Marketing Communications Lead, ValueJet, Aisha Adams; President, Remo Stars FC, Hon. Kunle Soname; Manager, Sponsorship & Promotion, MTN Nigeria, Njide Ken-Odogwu; and Head, Special Projects, Nigeria Professional Football League, at the press briefing of the 5th edition of the NPFL U-15 Youth League, supported by MTN, which held at Remo Stadium, Ikenne, Ogun State, on April 13, 2022.

According to Harry Iwuala, Head of Communications for the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), the tournament provides an opportunity to further invest in and develop grassroots football in Nigeria.  

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“The philosophy behind this tournament is the same as the philosophy behind every global youth football development program: find tomorrow’s professionals today and hone their skills to become tomorrow’s professionals.

We are excited to see how this tournament has grown over the years. We will continue to improve the tournament and be a true platform for developing football in Nigeria.”

Representing the Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Adia Sowho, at the press briefing, Njide Ken-Odogwu, Manager, Sponsorship and Promotion, MTN Nigeria, spoke about MTN’s commitment to the development of grassroots football in Nigeria.

 “MTN is committed to the growth of sports in Nigeria, with a particular focus on grassroots football.

At MTN, we believe everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life, and we bring this to light by becoming an enabler of these young Nigerians’ dreams and aspirations.

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We are partnering with the NPFL and La-Liga for the U-15 Promise Youth League because we believe there are many undiscovered raw talents out there waiting to be discovered, and this is the right platform to help them reach their full potential.

We remain committed to the development of football in Nigeria because we believe that this is Naija where football lives.”

The U-15 tournament ensures that Nigerian youth football receives ongoing local and international exposure, as well as capacity building for players and coaching talent, all of which contribute to the advancement of developmental football in the country. 

Mutiu Adepoju, La Liga Global Ambassador for Nigeria, adds that the tournament is critical for identifying future football players in the country. 

“Since 2016, La Liga has supported the development of football in Nigeria because we recognize how much talent exists in the country, and with more tournaments like this, we will be able to do more than we are currently doing.

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We will continue to offer support in ensuring that Nigerian football thrives.”

In addition to the competition on the field, the tournament will include a one-week coaching seminar where seasoned La Liga coaches will interact with their local counterparts on modern youth coaching techniques. 

The seminar will benefit over sixty NPFL coaches, national team coaches, and other youth coaches from across the country.

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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