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Nigerian Football

I didn’t order Lobi players out of Remo Stars match, says Iorfa

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Former international, Dominic Iorfa has denied asking his Lobi Stars players out of the Nigeria Premier League match with Remo Stars in their Matchday 15 encounter on Thursday.

 

Immediately after Remo Stars got a late goal, Lobi Stars players protested the goal alleging an infringement in the build up to the goal scored by Sikiru Alimi from an Adams Olamilekan’s right side corner kick.

 

Incidentally, Olamilekan who later scored the second goal of the match was a former Lobi Stars player.

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With the protest by the players going on and refusal to restart the match, Iorfa was seeing beckoning on the players.

 

He told the Sports Village Square on phone that he was not asking the players out, but beckoning on the skipper to come out and take instruction at the sidelines from the coach.

 

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“We wanted to tell the captain to inform his other players to calm down and attempt to redeem the situation”, remarked Dominic Iorfa.

 

He all the same disputed the first goal by Remo Stars, saying that the substitute goalkeeper, Emmanuel Daniel who was having his first league action this season for Lobi Stars was fouled in the build-up to the goal.

 

“Our goalkeeper was fouled and was on the turf when the goal was scored”, Iorfa remarked saying that at every corner kick, Remo Stars were fond of harassing Lobi Stars goalkeeper.

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He claimed that it was in one of such shoving and pushing that the first choice goalkeeper, Lucky Abdullahi, was injured. “The referee tried, but if it were in Europe, the harassment of the goalkeeper during corner kicks would not have been allowed”, Iorfa said.

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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