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Nigerian Football

NFF pays tribute to Titus Davis Okere, the ‘last of the firsts’

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Titus Okere admires his first pair of soccer boots in February 1953 - Courtesy Titus Okere family album

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has paid tribute to the last member of the pioneering UK Tourists to pass away, Titus Davis Okere, whose remains were interred at Bluebell Hill Crematorium in Kent, United Kingdom on Wednesday.

Okere, a dazzling left winger, was the last surviving member of the first-ever Nigeria National Football Team, which travelled to the United Kingdom in 1949 to play nine friendly matches, out of which it won two, drew two and lost five.

 

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said: “The Nigeria Football Federation mourns the passing of Titus Davis Okere. As a member of the UK Tourists, who played with bare feet yet showed great spirit in the nine matches they played, he was a pioneer Football Ambassador of our great nation.

 

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“Even though we did not watch him play, we read accounts of his exceptional skills and hard work on the pitch for the country and for the English clubs he played for – Swindon Town FC and Chippenham United. We pray that Almighty God will grant him eternal rest and grant his family and close ones the fortitude to bear the loss.”

 

Swindon Town FC, for which Okere played 70 years ago, did a moving tribute to the departed player. His contract with Swindon Town in February 1953 made him the first Nigeria footballer to sign a professional contract.

 

The UK Tourists arrived in England on 29 August 1949. On arrival, an Englishman, John Finch was attached to them as coach. They played barefooted and won two, drew two and lost five of their matches against Marine Cosby, Bishop Auckland, Leystone FC, Isthmian League XI, Corinthians League XI, Dulwich Hamlet, South Liverpool, Bromley and Athenian League XI.

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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.

Nigerian Football

ENENE ADAMS: Club activities on hold at Remo Stars

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Continental title aspirants, Remo Stars of Ikenne have suspended activities at the club as a sign of respect to Hon. Ekene Adams who passed on early this Tuesday morning.

The departed was the club’s former General Manager before venturing into politics in 2023. He won election into the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives and became the Chairman of the House Committee on Sports.

Remo Stars in their official X- handle announced: “With deep regret, we announce the death of the club’s former General Manager, Hon. Ekene Adams.

“Ekene was a pillar of our club. His dedication and passion for the beautiful game will never be forgotten. All club activities are hereby put on hold until further notice.”

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Nigerian Football

NFF  mourns over Ekene Adams 

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Gusau (right) with the mother of the late Hon. Ekene Adams.

The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed utmost sorrow and grief over the demise on Tuesday, 16th July 2024, of the Chairman of House of Representatives’ Committee on Youth and Sports, Hon. Ekene Abubakar Adams.

Adams reportedly passed on in the early hours of the day after prolonged illness.

President of NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, in a letter he personally signed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, extolled the virtues of the late Hon. Adams, saying the deceased was “the leader of a very important committee in the House of Representatives and a man who was very much alive to his duties, tasks, assignments, obligations and responsibilities.

“As someone who has worked in football all his life, contributing his quota to the development of the game on the domestic front, Hon Ekene Abubakar Adams was well-known to the entire football fraternity, and it was no surprise that he was very keen on further development of the game of football in the country while he served as Chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development.

“From serving and excelling as General Manager of Kada Stars Football Club of Kaduna to serving and accomplishing great things as General Manager of Remo Stars Football Club of Ikenne, to his glorious political sojourn that ended with Chairmanship of one of the most important committees in Nigeria’s Parliament, the late Hon. Adams surely left his bold and indelible footprints in the sands of time, and departed with a legacy of distinguished service to the football industry and to the country’s legislative chambers.

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“We all loved him, but God Almighty loves him much more. Rather than be thrown into dejection and sorrow, we must endeavour to celebrate Hon. Adams’ fruitful and fulfilled existence here on planet Earth.”

Gusau thereafter paid a condolence visit to the house of the late Hon. Adams, where he met with his mother and wife.

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Nigerian Football

Nigeria battles with Egypt over signing of Hervé Renard

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Terrible Hervé Renard Blow For Cote D’Ivoire -

Nigeria’s search for a coach ahead of the start of the qualifying duels for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations has been narrowed to two-time winner, Hervé Renard, the Frenchman who guided Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire to victories in 2012 ans 2015 respectively.

 The Frenchman was in charge of Saudi Arabia in their sensational 2-1 defeat of Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

He is at the moment the head coach of the French Women’s team featuring at the Olympics but intends to step down at the end of the Games next month.

That confirms his availability. But it comes at a huge cost. Sources informed the Sports Village Square that the Nigeria Football Federation has tabled an offer of 2 million euros to the coach believed to have the necessary skill to handle teams from Africa owing to his experience.

  But the NFF is not alone. The Nigerian officials face stiff competition from Egypt who are also interested in Hervé Renard.

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The Egyptian FA tabled a salary offer of 1.9 million euros.

Egypt sacked their coach, Rui Vitoria after the last AFCON in Cote d’ivoire while Hossam Hassan is signed as an interim manager.

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