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Nigerian Football

Quest for the Nigerian champion: Enyimba, Remo Stars kick-off Super League

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The renamed Nigerian top division football league, the Nigerian Premier League begin the Super 6 that will produce three of the four Nigerian clubs for continental competitions next season.

New logo of the Nigeria Premier League

Former Nigerian champions, Enyimba and Remo Stars kick off the 15-match festival of football at the Nigerian oldest football pitch, the waterfront Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos.

The curtain raiser begin at 2pm. This is immediately followed with Sunshine Stars taking on Rivers United at 4pm.

Bendel Insurance chasing two continental tickets in two fronts – the Federation Cup and the Super 6 – will take on Lobi Stars in last match of the day.

On Monday, Enyimba will again have to endure the scorching 2pm sun when they take on Lobi Stars at 2pm. Rivers United and Remo Stars follow up at 4pm while Bendel Insurance will still have the privilege of playing in more clement weather at 6pm when they take on Sunshine Stars.

The match day 3, on Wednesday, will again see Enyimba under the 2pm sun as they take on Bendel Insurance. Two hours later, the ‘Star War’ and South West derby of Remo Stars and Sunshine Stars will be unfolded. Lobi Stars and Rivers United will play the last game of the day at 6pm.

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Next week Friday is the Matchday 4. Rivers United and Bendel Insurance, the winners of both Group B and Group A respectively will clash at 2pm. It will be followed by another ‘Star War’ as Lobi Stars take on Remo Stars at 4pm. Sunshine Stars and Enyimba will meet at 6pm.

The Super 6 comes into conclusion on the eve of Nigeria’s Democracy Day. A third ‘Star War’ will be unfolded as Sunshine Stars take on Lobi Stars at 2pm.

The seemingly bitter rivalry of Remo Stars and Bendel Insurance will be settled when booth teams meet at 4pm. Enyimba and Rivers United will bring to conclusion the Super 6 at 6pm.

All the fixtures

Day 1: June 3rd

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  • Enyimba FC Vs Remo Stars – 2pm
  • Sunshine Stars Vs Rivers United – 4pm
  • Bendel Insurance Vs Lobi Stars – 6pm

Day 2: June 5th

  • Lobi Stars vs Enyimba FC – 2pm
  • Rivers United Vs Remo Stars – 4pm
  • Bendel Insurance Vs Sunshine Stars – 6pm

Day 3: June 7th

  • Bendel Insurance Vs Enyimba FC – 2pm
  • Remo Stars Vs Sunshine Stars – 4pm
  • Lobi Stars Vs Rivers United – 6pm

Day 4: June 9th

  • Rivers United Vs Bendel Insurance – 2pm
  • Lobi Stars Vs Remo Stars – 4pm
  • Sunshine Stars Vs Enyimba FC – 6pm

Day 5: June 11th

  • Sunshine Stars Vs Lobi Stars – 2pm
  • Remo Stars Vs Bendel Insurance – 4pm
  • Enyimba FC Vs Rivers United – 6pm

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.

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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