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Nigerian Football

Remo Stars break new ground, now have women’s football club

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Remo Stars of Ikenne now has a women’s outfit. Having a women’s club is one of the conditions that CAF gave the clubs that are competing in both the Champions League and Confederation Cup this season.

Kunle Soname  has revealed that a third arm of his football outfit has emerged. Besides the famed Remo Stars, he also has a cadet club, Beyond Limits which competed in the Federation Cup and also featured in competitions in Europe and America.

A female outfit is the third of the clubs under the umbrella of Remo Stars. “We have the Remo Stars Ladies who have just qualified from the amateur cadre of the league to the premier division”, Godwin Enakhena, the spokesman of the Nigeria Premier League Club Owners, quoted Soname as saying.

“I guess many didn’t know this. Watch out for us when the new season begins as Remo Stars Ladies will be as competitive as their male counterparts and will be an example of what a female professional football team will look like”, he revealed.

Nigeria will be represented by champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Enyimba of Aba and second placed Remo Stars of Ikenne in the CAF Champions League, while third placed Rivers United and Federation Cup winners Bendel Insurance of Benin City will do battle in the CAF Confederation Cup respectively.

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Enyimba FC have a women’s team known as Abia Angels, Rivers United have Rivers Angels while Bendel Insurance of Benin City have Edo Queens.

Meanwhile, in the draw conducted by CAF on Tuesday in Cairo, Egypt, Enyimba are to face Libya’s Al-Ahly Benghazi in the opening round of the CAF Champions League which kicks off on 18-19 of August, 2023.

Remo Stars will begin their quest for honours in Ghana as they are drawn to face Medeama. The Ghanaians will host the first leg in the weekend of 18 -19 August while the second leg is in Ikenne on either 25 or 26 August.

Federation Cup winners, Bendel Insurance are facing Algeria’s ASO Chlef in the preliminary round while Rivers United who are seeded will face the winner of the tie between Ziguinchor/Etoile Filante preliminary round tie.

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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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