Nigeria’s Sports Finest Hour – the XXII Commonwealth Games, Birmingham 2022

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For Nigeria, the year 2022 should be dedicated to Nigerian Athletes, men, and women alike. Their feat and prowess, first, a bit of success in the World Athletics Champions held in Eugene, Oregon, USA (15 Jul 2022 – 24 Jul 2022) and then the spectacular successes at the XXII Commonwealth Games, held in Birmingham, United Kingdom (from 28 July to 8 August 2022), held the attention of our suffering and desolate, hopeless, and despondent, harassed, and insecure Nigerians. At least they lifted our spirits and once again brought some forlorn hope that, if we ONLY we put our efforts, patriotism and internal prejudices and distrust aside, we could really swing it as a united, prosperous Nation, country, people, and society.

 

The Games was the largest ever held, with 72 participating nations and ticket sales of 1.2 million. The games were the first to have more events for women than men.

 

At the end of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the UK, on Sunday, August 7, Team Nigeria amassed 12 Gold, nine Silver and 14 Bronze medals, bringing the numbers to a total of 35 medals. Interestingly, at a time where Nigeria was most divided, nobody was asking where the athletes are from, what ethnic group or religion they belong to. None of that nonsense which has pervaded our lives for the past 8 years.

 

According to the Cable Newspaper, it was a record-smashing outing for Team Nigeria at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham. Medals were raked in at an exceptional rush while Nigerian athletes broke several records in the competition. Team Nigeria won 12 gold medals in the competition — the country’s highest haul in the history of the CWG.

 

Amazingly, all the gold medals were won by female athletes who took the tracks and gymnasiums in Birmingham by storm and wrote their names in the annals of the competition. Tobi Amusan surged to the finish line in 12.30 seconds in the final of the women’s 100-meter hurdles to set a CWG record. Ese Brume registered a record-setting 7-meter leap in the long jump.

 

In the women’s 4×100 meters, the quartet of Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, and Grace Nwokocha cruised to gold while setting a new African record with a time of 42.10 seconds.

 

Lifters like Adijat Olarinoye, Rafiatu Lawal, and Alice Oluwafemilayo also set new CWG records in their respective categories.

 

Nigeria finished the competition with 35 medals — 12 gold, 9 silver, and 14 bronze — to clinch a very creditable Seventh on the Medal’s table on the final day of the glorious competition.

Athletics provided the most medals for Nigeria with 10 podium finishes, followed by Wrestling, with seven.

 

Below is the full list of all 35 medallists for Team Nigeria at the 2022 CWG (Courtesy: The Cable (https://www.thecable.ng/full-list-amusan-brume-nigerias-35-medalists-at-2022-commonwealth-games ):

 

GOLD MEDALISTS

Tobi Amusan — Women’s 100m hurdles

Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha, Joy Udo-Gabriel — (Women’s 4 x 100m Relay)

Ese Brume — Women’s LongJump

Odunayo Adekuoroye — Wrestling Women’s Freestyle 57 kg

Blessing Oborududu — Wrestling Women’s Freestyle 68 kg

Genesis Miesinnei Mercy — Wrestling Women’s Freestyle 50 kg

Adijat Olarinoye — Weightlifting Women’s 55kg

Rafiatu Lawal — Weightlifting Women’s 59kg

Alice Oluwafemiayo — Para-powerlifting Women’s Heavyweight

Chioma Onyekwere — Women’s Discus Throw

Goodness Nwachukwu — Women’s Discus Throw F42-44/61-64

Eucharia Iyiazi — Women’s F55-57 Shot Put

 

SILVER MEDALISTS

Favour Ofili — Women’s 200m

Elizabeth Oshoba — Women’s Featherweight Boxing

Ikechukwu Obichukwu — Para-Powerlifting Men’s Heavyweight

Bose Omolayo — Para-Powerlifting Women’s heavyweight

Ifechukwude Ikpeoyi — Para-Table Tennis Women’s Singles Classes 3-5

Nasiru Sule — Para-Table Tennis Men’s Singles Classes 3-5

Taiwo Liadi — Weightlifting Women’s 76kg

Hannah Reuben — Wrestling Women’s Freestyle 76kg

Ebikewenimo Welson — Wrestling Men’s Freestyle 57kg

 

BRONZE MEDALISTS

Udodi Onwuzurike, Seye Ogunlewe, Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola, Raymond Ekevwo — (Men’s 4 x 100m Relay)

Ugochi Constance Alam — Women’s F55-57 Shot Put

Obiageri Amaechi — Women’s Discus Throw

Ifeanyi Onyekwere — Men’s Super-heavyweight Boxing

Jacinta Umunnake — Women’s Middleweight Boxing

Cynthia Ogunsemilore — Women’s Lightweight Boxing

Innocent Nnamdi — Para-powerlifting Men’s Lightweight

Isau Ogunkunle — Para-Table Tennis Men’s Singles Classes 3-5

Faith Obazuaye — Para-Table Tennis Women’s Singles Classes 6-10

Mary Taiwo Osijo — Weightlifting Women’s 87kg

Islamiyat Yusuf — Weightlifting Women’s 64kg

Edidiong Umoafia — Weightlifting Men’s 67kg

Ogbonna John — Wrestling Men’s Freestyle 74kg

Esther Kolawole — Wrestling Women’s Freestyle 62kg

 

I would urge readers to refer to my article of 22 August 2009 for more history of Nigerian sports ( https://www.inigerian.com/the-death-of-nigerian-sports-and-a-walk-down-memory-lane-958/  It made me proud and cry at the same time.

Nigerian athletes have been appearing at major athletics meeting since 1952. At the All-Africa Games at Brazzaville (former Congo), they piled up an enviable record; where they won one event after the other and came back home with 9 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze medals. Jumoke Bodunrin was one of the stars of that game, and she won the title of “Africa’s fastest woman”.

 

Nigerian athletes first participated officially in the Commonwealth Games in 1954 and they won several medals. In the High Jump, Emmanuel Ifeajuna (yes, the same Major Ifeajuna, a hero of the 1966 coup d’etat) created a new British Empire and Commonwealth Games record by clearing the bar at 6 ft. 8 in.; Nafio Osagie took the bronze in the same event. The Nigerian team also set a new record in the 4 X 100 yards relay by recording the same time of 41.4 seconds as Canada very narrowly beat them into the silver medal position. Another narrow defeat which gave Nigeria a silver medal was on the Hop, Step and Jump (now called Triple Jump) in which Peter Esiri jumped 50 ft 0 ½ in., one inch less than the winner. Nigeria’s third silver medal was won in the Long Jump by Karim A B Olowu. That same team also won 3 bronze medals; one each in High Jump, Long Jump and Boxing and came fourth in the 100 yards.

 

On the whole, it was a successful debut for Nigeria, coming fourth overall behind England, Canada and Australia. In the 1958 Commonwealth games, Nigeria again took silver in the 4 X 100 m Relay, took bronze in 1974 but finally won this event at the 1982 Games.

 

At the Commonwealth Games held in Kingston, Jamaica in August 1966, Nigeria carried away more than half of the gold medals for boxing, won the glamorous long-distance races, shone in the sprints and broke several records.

 

The highlight of Nigeria’s remarkable performance was, however, Violet Odogwu’s success in the women’s Long Jump. She won the bronze medal and had the distinction of being the only African woman to win a medal at the games and she also reached the finals of the 80 metres hurdles.

 

Overall, Nigeria won 3 gold; 4 silver and 3 bronze medals and came 7th  out of the 36 countries which took part in the Games. There were 28 athletes, boxers and swimmers and it showed then in 1966, that Nigeria has a wealth of athletic talents which with more adequate training, facilities and more experience were likely to take her place among the leaders in the world of sports.

 

In my article, “The Death of Nigerian Sports And A Walk Down Memory Lane” (Published 22 August 2009, https://www.inigerian.com/the-death-of-nigerian-sports-and-a-walk-down-memory-lane-958/ ) I wrote “Sometime in 1983, while I was doing my Master’s degree at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, I received a call from a reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I guessed he got wind of me being the President of University of Manitoba’s International Students Organisation and a founder of the Nigerian Union of Manitoba. He asked me if I could appear on CBC TV to discuss the phenomenal success of Nigerian athletes who had participated in the World University Games held at Edmonton, Alberta that year. I did not even know that Nigeria was represented at the Games. He told me that Nigeria sent only 10 athletes and these athletes won 5 gold medals. I was proud but hid my ignorance. I accepted and before I appeared on the show, I made sure I knew more about what happened.

 

In that 1983 World University Games; which was the debut year for this event by Nigeria, Chidi Imoh won gold in the 100 metres; Innocent Egbunike (now a coach in the United States) won gold in the 200 metres; Sunday Uti won gold in the 400 metres; Yusuf Ali won gold in the Long Jump and Ajayi Agbebaku won gold in the Triple Jump. All of them were of course, based in the United States, most of them on Nigeria’s scholarship.

 

In subsequent years, Nigeria was to perform creditably at these University games”

Back to the XXII Commonwealth Games. So, after this, euphoric and hopeful success, what next? Does this signal the return of Nigerian Athletics to the world stage? There was a time when Nigeria’s Sprint team/athletes were rated amongst the top/fastest 5 (five) in the world. We do not seem to remember those giddy days. Corrupt, selfish mediocre officials, nepotism, and crazy sports policies (if there was ever any) were the rules of the days. Officials used the opportunities of travelling abroad to collect estacode and shop for wives and girlfriends, abandoning the athletes and even embezzling the money meant for their up-keep and allowances. Funds for grassroot sports development were embezzled and mismanaged by officials. There was in-fighting within the sports associations with ambitious but clueless mediocre official gaining the high seats, only to mismanage the scarce funds and other resources from the sports budgets. And Nigeria Sports spiralled into the abyss.

 

Facilities and equipment are not left out. Yearly, millions are spent on stadium maintenance, but there is nothing to show for it. The National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, was once the envy of the whole world. It was once known as the Sports City, but today it is now called a Garbage City, with the compound turned into drinking dens at night and religious activities during the day.

 

Again, the state of sports in the country shows how daft and unintelligent our politicians are. Sports, especially success in sports, remain one major unifying factor in this our country of diverse cultures and religions. In other Third World countries as diverse as ours, the politicians use sports to defuse unrest, to unify the cultures and religions; they use sports as a diversionary means to get the mind of the masses off their problems, and thereby able to concentrate on governing. Take football for instance, when Nigeria is involved in major competitions, that is when you know that we are actually united and patriotic and everybody, marginalised or not, start waving the green-white-green and shouting “Up Nigeria” and not “Up Niger Delta”, “Up Biafra” or “Up Oduduwa”.

 

Sports could be a tool for a patriotic politician. If Nigeria wins in any sports event, we will not mind them taking the credit, although we know they have not contributed anything to such success.

Corporate help is needed and companies such as Shell, Globacom, MTN, etc are already doing their best, but are given very little encouragement or support by the government. In fact, the money these corporations pour into sports in Nigeria practically end up in the pockets of corrupt civil servants in the Sports ministries and other government officials.

 

In Nigeria of today, despite the economic downturn, there is no reason why each local government should not have a moderate sports stadium in its area, where schools in their respective areas can hold their annual inter-house sports, and local boys and girls can display their sports talents. This is called grassroots sports.

 

Sports, like many other areas of governance in Nigeria, have been neglected mainly due to corrupt and inept governance. There are no incentives for budding athletes; corrupt officials embezzle money meant for sports development; the sports facilities are ill-equipped or not even equipped at all; and the facilities themselves are deteriorating and underused; sports management and administration are poor and run by ill-trained, ill-motivated officials whose only purpose is that of making money, or at worst, are happy to have a job; competent sports administrators are not given a chance to input ideas and actions to effect changes, and are always shut out of decision making processes; and there are no longer grass-roots sports development in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to discover talents.

 

It is the likes of the athletes of the XXII CWG that can give us some hope, and I’m sure the Sports Minister, Mr Sunday Dare, will be basking in this success during his tenure, though he might have contributed very little to the success.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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How troubled Tunisia beat Zambia, top table

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Read Time:3 Minute, 20 Second

Tunisia put power cuts and flooding behind them to seize the Group B initiative Thursday at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

The Carthage Eagles went two points clear with one mini-league round left after a smash-and-grab 2-1 victory over wasteful Zambia at Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyin.

Captain Yassine Chikhaoui nodded the 89th-minute winner off a Youssef Msakni cross after Emmanuel Mayuka put Zambia ahead in the second half and Ahmed Akaichi levelled.

Akaichi, a late injury-induced inclusion in the squad, became the first player at the tournament to score two goals.

Victory was a welcome relief for the North Africans, who have eaten dinner by candlelight and slept four to a room after part of their hotel was flooded.

If the first match of the double-header was worth the entrance fee, spectators were let down by a dreary 0-0 draw later between Cape Verde and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A game without a clearcut chance rivalled the goalless stalemate between Equatorial Guinea and Burkina Faso 24 hours earlier for the dullest to date in a largely exciting tournament.

Victory for Tunisia took the 2004 champions to the top of the table with four points while Cape Verde and DR Congo have two each and identical goal differences.

And although shock 2012 champions Zambia lie last with a solitary point, they are still very much in contention for a top-two finish and a quarter-finals place.

The Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) remain in Ebebiyin to face Cape Verde Monday while Tunisia and DR Congo clash in Bata at the same time.

Mayuka atoned for squandering two late first-half chances by slamming a half-volley past goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi on 59 minutes.

But just as Senegal and title favourites Algeria did three days ago, Tunisia clawed back to snatch maximum points.

A corner was nodded across the goalmouth and unmarked Akaichi stabbed the ball in at the far post.

Zambia, who would not have been flattered by a two-goal half-time advantage, were caught napping at the death as Chikhaoui nodded past goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene.

Despite winning, Tunisia coach George Leekens continues to down play his side after insisting ahead of the game that they were not group favourites.

“We have four points, but everyone is still in contention,” said the stern-faced 65-year-old.

“In the end we deserved to win. We are not the best team — we don’t have Ronaldo or Messi — but we have a team with enormous character and great mental strength.”

Leekens added that he was happy with an Ebebiyin pitch laid just weeks ago with grass flown from Spain.

Equatorial Guinea were last-minute replacements as hosts for Morocco, who wanted the tournament postponed over fears that visiting supporters could bring the deadly Ebola virus into the country.

Outstanding Zambia winger and captain Rainford Kalaba, who tormented the Tunisians during the first half, slammed his team after a third Cup of Nations loss to the Eagles.

“I don’t know what happened to my team-mates after our goal,” he confessed. “I didn’t recognise my team.”

Coach Honour Janza was equally unhappy as Zambia stretched to six the Cup of Nations games they have played over four years without a win.

“The players have their egos and it is up to them to play as a team and not as a collection of individuals,” he said.

Cape Verde came close to snatching a late winner over DR Congo in a dour match that had goalless draw written all over it long before the final whistle.

But veteran goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba came to the rescue with two reflex saves from a corner followed by the brave block of a Heldon shot.

DR Congo lost captain Youssef Mulumbu midway through the first half with a groin injury and must undergo tests.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Super Eagle : Mikel is super fit – Keshi

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Super Eagles arrived the Congolese city of Point Noire 2:30am yesterday and after passing through immigration proceedings were checked into Atlantic Palace Hotel in the heart of the city.

The team made up of 25 players, the technical crew led by Big Boss Stephen Keshi, NFF President Amaju Pinnick who led the delegation, Senate Committee Chairman on Sports, Alhaji Adamu Gumba among others have since settled down for the business of getting three points off the host on Saturday afternoon.

It was drama at the airport as over 100 Nigerians resident in Congo, kept vigil to welcome the team with familiar songs, drumming and dancing. They were joined by the Nigerian Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, led by Dr Rauf Ladipo. The atmosphere was very lively as they mobbed the coaching crew and players while seizing the rare opportunity of taking photos with the Nigerian team.

Head Coach, Stephen Keshi was however not happy with reports that the team was riddled with injuries, inferring that the team was actually 100 percent fit at the moment.

“Mikel is super fit, Enyeama (Vincent), had a slight shoulder strain and he’s also   in perfect shape now, Raheem Lawal had knock during our last training session and he has since bounced back. So we should stop scaring Nigerians with reports that the team is injury hit”, he declared after conferring with team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Real enemies of Nigerian football ˜ll soon be exposed “ Giwa

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Super Eagles only  training session on Thursday evening at the UJ Esuene Stadium, was one that stood some players out, though all the stars, 22 of them are fit to start according to Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi.

Hotshot, Emmanuel Emenike’s rising profile in front of goalkeepers was obvious as his powerful runs, crosses and blistering goals came to the fore even as he played on the side of the possible against the probables in the training session. New boy, Christian Ighodaro Osagunna, also showed

Embattled President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chris Giwa yesterday assured Nigerians that the real enemies of football in the country will soon be exposed

Giwa said this while inaugurating two committees including the committee that will investigate why the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) boycotted last week’s league matches and the committee that will find out why the League Management Company (LMC) told the clubs not to play league matches last week. The committee on the league is also to administer the league till the end of the season.

He also assured all Nigerians that the country will not be suspended from international football.

The embattled president who equally acknowledged the receipt of a letter from the world football governing body, FIFA mandating him to vacate office before 7am on September 8 said that the issue is already being addressed.

“We have received the letter from FIFA but I want to assure Nigerians that the country will not be suspended from international football”.

“I want to tell Nigerians that we are not enemies of Nigerian football. We are a board that loves this game and we are in support of the game and by the grace of God we will do everything possible to ensure that the game progressed in this country. I am sure that in a short time from now, the real enemies of the game will be exposed”.

Inaugurating the committees, Giwa  admonished them not to use their appointment to witch-hunt anybody adding that  he was optimistic that  in a very short while the current crisis rocking the Nigerian football will be a thing of the past.

“Let me state it clearly that the reason for setting up these committees is not to witch-hunt anybody but to come up with a report that will guide us in future so that if there is any mistake we made we will avoid them”.

The committee that will find out why the League Management Company (LM C) called out the teams from the league will equally manage the league till the end of the season is headed by Ganiu Olaniyan while Chief Chris Ekong is to head the committee that will investigate why the NRA boycotted last week’s league matches.

In his acceptance speech on behalf of the committees, former international, Tijani Babangida assured that they will discharge their duties without any bias even as he prayed that peace returns to Nigerian football.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Out, Adebisi Win 1st Ekiti Gov’s Tennis

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John Otu and Sarah Adebisi have emerged men and women singles champions of the 1st Ekiti Governor All Nigeria Open Tennis Championship.

Playing before a large crowd which include the former Governor of Ekiti State,  Segun Oni, Otu defeated Edward Christopher 7-6 (2), 6-2 while Adebisi confirmed her new status as Nigeria's top-ranked female player with a 6-3,6-1 win against Nosa Esorae last Sunday.

It was the first major domestic title win for the 17-year-old who was a finalist at the 2013 CBN Open and also a semifinalist in the same tournament in Lagos last month.

“I did not play well because I lost some points which I shouldn't have but I'm very happy to become a champion for the first time in the open category," Adebisi, a former number one player in Africa for Girls 14&Under said.

Nigeria Tennis Federation Vice-president, Yemi Owoseni restated Ekiti State’s commitment to the development of tennis, promising to make the tournament bigger in subsequent editions.

Otu and Adebisi pocketed N100,000 and N75,000 respectively while they also amassed 18 points each in the NTF rankings.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Kalu Wants Cameroun for Eagles

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Former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu is fervently praying for the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun to be paired with the Super Eagles in the decisive Brazil 2014 play-offs.

"Bring on Cameroun it’s time for pound of flesh. These new Eagles are giant killers. They have what it takes to nail teams that tormented Nigeria in the past. And if there is one foe that must be vanquished for good,I pick Cameroun," observed Kalu who was in charge as Abia governor when Enyimba ended Nigeria's Champions League jinx.

Three times the Indomitable Lions won the Nations Cup ahead of Nigeria but the  ex-governor does not quite agree with that.

"Yes, they won in 1984 but in 1988,Mauritanian referee Idrissa Sarr dashed them the cup when  he dubiously cancelled Henry Nwosu's goal and gifted Roger Milla a penalty kick.Then in 2000, the Tunisian referee punished Nigeria for beating his country in the first round,” Kalu added.

He explained that Cameroun's dominance began with the Stephen Keshi era and must now come to an end with Keshi as chief coach.

"In the days of Christian Chukwu and Segun Odegbami Camerounians worshipped us. Shooting Stars won the 1976 Winners Cup in Yaounde. Rangers repeated the feat in 1977. Milla for Tonnere Kalara and the trio of Thomas Nkono, Paul Akono and Jean Manga Oungene of Canon Sportif could do nothing, " Kalu pointed out.

"The captain Keshi of 1984,the Big Boss of 1988 and Assistant coach of 2000,is a far cry from today's 'killer' Keshi. And these new Eagles feel our pains. While we mourned Sam Okwaraji in 1989, Cameroun sent Nigeria out of the Italia'90 qualifiers. I pray the God of soccer sends them our way now so that we laugh best," Kalu summed up

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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2014 African World Cup qualifying : Nigeria thrashes Malawi 2 – 0

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Read Time:4 Minute, 49 Second
African champions Nigeria earned themselves a place in the draw on 16 September for the final round of African World Cup play-offs with a win over Malawi.
Nigeria finished top of Group F thanks to a 2-0 triumph over 10-man Malawi.
Here is BBC Sport's preview of all that match and all the games in Groups F-J. Groups A-E are previewed here.
Only the 10 overall group winners will advance to the final round of play-offs, with the first legs played between 11-15 October and the return legs 15-19 November.
Group F
 
Saturday: Nigeria 2-0 Malawi, Sunday: Kenya v Namibia (Nairobi),
Nigeria dominated for large parts of a match played on a rain-soaked pitch in Calabar as they emerged 2-0 winners over Malawi.
The Super Eagles took the lead in the last few seconds of the first-half thanks to a deft chip from Emmanuel Emenike, the man who finished top scored at the Africa Cup of Nations this year.
 
Liverpool's Victor Moses scored the second for Nigeria from the penalty spot in the 51st minute after Malawi's James Sangala was adjudged to have brought down Nnamdi Omuadi.
The Flames were reduced to 10 men a few minutes later when Mzava Limbikani was shown a second yellow card for a reckless tackle on Ahmed Musa.
Emenike should have extended the lead in the 73rd minute but somehow put the ball over the bar from inside the six-yard area.
Kenya host Namibia in the other game in this group where a win for the Harambee Stars would see them avoid finishing bottom of the group.
 
Group G
 
Sunday: Zimbabwe v Mozambique (Harare), Tuesday: Egypt v Guinea (Alexandria)
Egypt are looking to maintain the only 100% record in the African qualifiers when they play Guinea in a match that does not take place until Tuesday.
With continued security problems in Cairo, the match was due to be played in Alexandria – but it has been thrown into doubt by the decision of the country's Interior Ministry not provide security for the game.
The Egypt Football Association have appealed to the country's interim Presidency to make sure that the game goes ahead.
Egypt cannot be caught at the top of the group, but if they forfeit the match against Guinea they could face sanctions from Fifa.
Meanwhile on Sunday in Harare, Zimbabwe face Mozambique as both nations try to register their first wins of the campaign.
Group H
 
Sunday: Benin v Rwanda (Porto Novo), Tuesday: Algeria v Mali (Blida)
Algeria are another nation who have already secured their place in the play-offs and so can begin their preparations for those ties when they host Mali on Tuesday.
On Sunday, Rwanda travel to play Benin in search of their first Group H victory.
Group I
 
Sunday: Cameroon v Libya (Yaounde), Togo v DR Congo (Lome)
Sunday's encounter in Yaounde is another winner-takes-all match as Cameroon host Libya.
The Indomitable Lions only need to draw to advance thanks to yet another ineligible player – this time Togo's Alexis Romao, who should have been suspended but played when the two teams met in June.
Togo won the game on the day but Fifa overturned that result and awarded Cameroon a 3-0 win that leapfrogged them above Libya to the top of the group.
Instead of needing to win, Cameroon now only need to avoid defeat to advance. Only a win will be good enough for Libya.
Despite this, Indomitable Lions midfielder Eyong Enoh insists Cameroon are going for all three points.
"The game on Sunday against Libya is serious business, and the players are hungry for victory," he said.
"We are not going to play for a draw. Everybody's mind is made up to win the game, and to win we need to score goals."
"With the return of Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Samuel Eto'o and hopefully with aggressiveness and purposeful play, Cameroon should be able to score goals and get a victory."
Germany-based striker Choupo-Moting returns from injury and is determined to give his best.
"Playing at home in Cameroon, a big football nation, our goal is to beat every team at home," he insisted.
"We did not score in the last two games and I will help the team to score goals and play better football."
The overturned result means Togo are another side looking for their first win in the group, as they host DR Congo in what will be the last game for coach Didier Six.
Group J
 
Saturday: Angola v Liberia (Lubango), Senegal v Uganda (Marrakesh)
One match will decide the winner of this group as Senegal 'host' Uganda on Saturday.
Yet the game is being played on neutral territory in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh as there is still a ban on the use of Senegal's home stadium in Dakar.
The ban is in place after crowd trouble affected an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast last year.
The Teranga Lions need just draw to advance while Uganda have to win the match in order to progress.
There is no Demba Ba in the Senegal team after he was dropped by French coach Alain Giresse.
Fellow striker Papiss Cisse is also absent, suspended after picking up two yellow cards in earlier qualifiers.
Uganda prepared for the match with a training camp in Turkey and dropped striker Geoffrey Massa from the squad because coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic felt he was 'unfit'.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Super Eagles get $25,000 each AFCON bonus

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The Super Eagles were on Sunday morning paid a bonus of $25,000-a-man for beating Burkina Faso to win the AFCON in South Africa.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) could not come up with the cash to pay the team after they won the continental tournament on February 10 in Johannesburg courtesy of a Sunday Mba goal.

A source close to the Eagles confirmed to MTNFoootball.com that the team have now been paid.

It was further gathered that this payment could well have been possible after the NFF received the payment of the cash prize of $1.5 million for winning the competition.

In the meantime, the Akwa Ibom State Government feted the African champions on Sunday in Uyo

Akwa Government rewarded the team with Keshi pocketing two million Naira, while his assistants received half that sum.

The 23 players on the final AFCON squad got a 1 million Naira, while the 17 backroom staff were 500,000 Naira richer.

The team presented Governor Godswill Akpabio with the national team No.9 shirt as well as the AFCON trophy.

The Eagles have thus far received over $9 million in cash gifts for winning a third AFCON title.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Afcon has made me more mature – Mikel

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John Obi Mikel has said that winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Cup and the crowd that met the team on arrival in Nigeria is a feeling he will never forget.

The Chelsea midfielder played a big part in the Super Eagles’ run to their third continental title where he became a leader on and off the pitch.

“It was crazy. It was really nice to go back home after the tournament with the cup – the whole country was waiting,” he told his club’s official magazine.

“It was a big, big thing, because we couldn’t walk, we couldn’t actually get out of the airport. The whole way through, from the airport to the hotel where we were staying, it was crazy.’

Mikel missed a penalty kick in the second match against Zambia but he did not allow that miss to dampen his enthusiasm as he went on to be named in Caf’s XI of the tournament with outstanding displays against Cote d’Ivoire and Mali in the quarter finals and semi-finals respectively.

“Every major tournament makes you become more mature.

“I think it’s because I have played in so many major tournaments at such a young age that I have the maturity – you go through a hard time to win tournaments and it makes you grow.

“It’s a life experience and it’s something that I have been lucky enough to do from a young age at Chelsea as well, where I have played alongside some of the best players in the world and I’ve learnt a lot from them.’

The Chelsea midfielder is happy that they overcame a strong field to win the tournament.

“The level has gone right up. So to win it this time was just amazing.

“To win it at a stage when African football has become so interesting – when there are so many African players abroad – was really, really difficult, and we did it,” he said.

Mikel thus added the Nations Cup to the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cups that he has won at his time with Chelsea FC.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Blatter eulogises Keshi, Eagles on Afcon success

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President of world football-governing body, FIFA, Joseph Blatter has eulogised the Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi who led the Nigerian team to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations triumph in South Africa recently.

In a letter dated 14th February and addressed directly to the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Blatter stated, “Please convey my warmest wishes to all of the players, the technical and medical staff, and in particular to Stephen Keshi – only the second man to lift the trophy as both captain and national team coach.

Stephen is a great example to other African associations of what they can achieve through long-term planning and employing local coaches, and I commend your appointment. I would also like to extend special greetings and thanks to the Nigeria fans present at the final, whose support not only willed their team on to victory but also lit up the match as a spectacle.”

FIFA awards third goal-line technology licence

Also on Monday FIFA  said that it had handed out a third licence for revolutionary goal-line technology (GLT), as football’s governing body seeks to have a system in place in time for next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil.

FIFA has put the system out to tender and earlier this month announced that two providers — Goalref of Germany and Britain’s Hawkeye — had already been licensed under its Quality Programme for GLT.

The organisation has now picked German company Cairos as the winner of a third licence as part of efforts to reduce controversial refereeing decisions.

Goalref, which works by using magnetic sensors to determine whether the ball crossed the line, and Hawkeye, which uses a number of cameras, both had successful trials and were deployed at the Club World Cup in Japan in December.

Cairos creates a magnetic field behind the goal-line. Sensors in the ball then send information on its position to receivers, which in turn transmit a message in a fraction of a second to the referee to indicate whether a goal has been scored.

One or more successful GLT systems will be in use for the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June. A final decision on which technology will be used will be taken in April.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has pushed for goal-line technology ever since he watched Frank Lampard denied a legitimate goal in England’s defeat by Germany in the 2010 World Cup.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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