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Matchday 26 games of the Nigeria Professional Football league earlier schedule for Sunday 25th June 2017 have now been moved to Wednesday 28th June 2017.

These much was revealed by the League Management Company through a letter signed by its Chief Operating Officer Salihu Abubakar and sent to all club Chairman and general managers of the Nigerian Professional Football league about the rescheduling of Matchday 26 fixtures.

The resheduling is due to the upcoming Eid-el Fitr Sallah holidays 25th - 27th June 2017, all Match Day 26 games are hereby moved to Wednesday 28th June 2017.

However, Rivers United Fc vs Shooting Stars Fc Matchday26 game will be played 24th June 2017 due to the engagement of Rivers united in the CAF Confederations Cup. 

Remo Stars Salefu Ochowechi’s 19th minute free kick goal against Gombe United on Match Day 22 turned out the most popular for the fans who participated in the voting for Match Day 22 VAT Wonder Goal selection.

 

Ochowechi was shortlisted alongside Mohammed Mohammed of ABS and Festua Umanah of Wikki Tourists. The three players had scored fantastic goals but Ochowechi’s free kick from over 30 yards and which ended Remo Stars six match winless streak picked more votes from fans who voted on the website to edge out Mohammed who was twitter voting fans’ favourite.

 

Ochowechi picked up 80.6 percent of the320 votes on the website, translating to 257 votes while Mohammed had 2.2 percent, just seven votes with Umanah securing 17.2 percent, 55 votes.

 

But 45 percent of voters on the twitter handle preferred Mohammed’s goal for ABS against Niger Tornadoes, given him a total of 89 of the 198 votes while Ochowechi got 32 percent of the votes, 63 votes and Umanah had the remaining 23 percent of the votes, amounting to 45 votes

.

After the collation, Ochowechi secured a total of 320 votes and was followed by Umanah who polled a total of 100 votes while Mohammed’s tally was 96 votes.

Ochowechi thus becomes the third winner of the VAT Wonder Goal which commenced from Match Day 20. He will receive a prize money of N150, 000, half of which is to be donated to a Charity of his choice within the state where the club is domiciled.

 

Other winners have been Rivers United Ayo Saka and Akwa United’s Ubong Friday.

The League Management Company, LMC has rescheduled two Nigeria Professional Football League matches involving Akwa United Football Club.

 

The fixture adjustment was contained in a letter signed by the LMC Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar and made available to the Chairman of Akwa United FC, Elder Paul Bassey.

The Match day 22 fixture between Rivers United and Akwa United earlier scheduled for 31st May 2017 has been shifted to 26th July, 2017 in Port Harcourt.

This is due to Rivers United's involvement in the CAF Confederation Cup Competition.

Also Match day 23 encounter between Akwa United and Wikki Tourists of Bauchi earlier fixed on 7th June has been moved to 14th June 2017, while the Godswill Akpabio international stadium in Uyo still remains the venue.

The fixture adjustment means that Akwa United will not be in action on two Match days, but will only return to action on 11th June 2017 against Champions, Enugu Rangers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu on Match day 24.

AITEO, Nigeria’s foremost energy solution company, on Wednesday acquired the ‘Naming Right’ of the NFF Federation Cup, as an extension/addendum to the company’s sponsorship agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation. It is also part of the rights AITEO has under the original agreement.

Those rights will enable the acquisition of additional commercial assets from the NFF that are available and not encumbered, on a mutually –negotiated basis. To this end, the NFF Federation Cup, the oldest football competition in Nigeria, is henceforth to be known and addressed as "AITEO Cup"

The duration of this aspect of the sponsorship is 5 years, similar to the main agreement (signed on 26th April 2017) on a Cost Value Arrangement and commencing from the 2017 season.  This arrangement will see AITEO underwriting the costs of the organisation of the competition which encompasses the costs of organising the competition from the Round of 64 to the men and women’s finals, solidarity support to Football Associations of the 36 States and the FCT, expenses and indemnities of match officials, support to participating Clubs, Media, Branding/Activation and Prize Money to winners.

Accordingly, for the 2017 season, the prize monies for the AITEO Cup will be N25million for the winner of the men’s competition and N10million for the winner of the women’s competition. The runner –up for the men’s competition will pocket N10million, with the runner –up for the women’s event going home with N5million. The NFF and AITEO will, in due course, unveil further details of all the benefits of the extended agreement at a press conference.

 

The Cost Value Arrangement of the transaction is for NFF and AITEO to, annually, decide the nature and value proposition of the AITEO Cup under the framework of the relationship, and AITEO would thus underwrite the cost as the competition’s ‘Naming Right Holder.’

The NFF team at the contract signing inside AITEO Group’s Lagos office said it was “extremely delighted” by the extended agreement, while AITEO chieftains stated “we are happy to do this for Nigeria.”

At Wednesday’s simple but colourful ceremony were NFF President Amaju Pinnick, Deputy Managing Director of AITEO, Mr. Francis Peters, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi (NFF 1st Vice President/Chairman, Organizing Committee), Mr. Shehu Dikko (NFF 2nd VP/LMC Chairman/Chairman, Marketing, Sponsorship and Television Advisory Committee), Mr. Andrew Onyearu (Group Executive Director/Chief Legal Counsel, AITEO), Barrister A. U. Mustapha (SAN, Vice Chairman of NFF Committee on Ethics and Fairplay), Mr. Victor Okoronkwo (Senior Vice President, Commercial and Gas, AITEO), Ms Aisha Falode (Member, NFF Executive Committee/Chairman, Nigeria Women Football League), Mr. Ademola Olajire (Director, Media and Communication of NFF) and Mr. Ndiana-Abasi Matthew (Senior Manager, Corporate Communications of AITEO). 

The National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers opened their new office in the Ikeja area of Lagos with the aim of uniting all the factions in the footballer's union. It's located at 19 Oremeta Street, by Opebi bridge.

 The August occasion was witnessed by NFF President, Melvin Amaju Pinnick, Supporters Club President General, Dr. Rauf Laf Ladipo and was presided over by the new president of the United Nigerian football body, Dahiru Sadi, represented by Larry Kubeinje his vice. Austin Popo, the Secretary-General was also very active at the occasion and talked of uniting all the factions for the good of football in the country.

Ex-footballers in attendance were Elastic Friday Elaiho, Clement Temile, Godwin Okpara, Benjamin Fejokwu, Ifeanyi Udeze and several others too numerous to mention in an occasion that the organizers and the team were only craving for a united Nigerian professional football body.

Sadi said at the occasion said that he will continue to run an all-inclusive administration and urged all those who are still aggrieved to come over and join the union as it’s time for peace in Nigerian football. “We have a new body and we must thank the nff President and all those who helped to reunite not to relent because we have to go ahead and move in one spirit. We are talking of insurance for former and present players and general welfare for all of us”, he declared.

 Pinnick in his brief and succinct speech declared that there must be unity among the football unions as it is the case with the world body Fifpro. He called for a truce among those who are still aggrieved and declared that the NFF is ready to help in an all inclusive government for professional footballers home and abroad in Nigeria.

 

 

The Nigeria Football Federation will soon embark on a nationwide developmental project for the Football Associations of the various States, in the form of mini Secretariats, so says NFF President Amaju Pinnick.

 

Pinnick, while speaking at the Lagos State Football Association’s Ekofootball Review Public Presentation on Wednesday, said the project, to be financed by a major partner of the NFF, will see six such projects completed in Jigawa, Osun, Bayelsa, Borno, Kwara and Abia States before the end of this year.

 

“We are working real hard to see that the focus returns to the grassroots. The States are closer to the grassroots and we have a responsibility to encourage them in that area, while we also work very hard to see that we qualify for the World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations championships.

 

“Football administration is never a journey, but a destination. Each administration will do its best and the next one takes it from there. But one thing our administration is determined to achieve is to ensure the NFF attains financial independence before our tenure is over. In this regard, the recent passage of the NFF Bill is a welcome development.

 

“Lagos State is really setting the pace. We commend their initiatives and encourage other States to emulate their style and engagement.”

 

Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association/NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, declared that grassroots football is the lifeblood of the game.

 

“Our administration realized this immediately we came into office. And our achievements in this area testify to the work we have put into it. Today, we have 64,000 kids in our U15 Future Stars’ data –base and over 36,000 in the U13 team. Position is temporary; posterity will judge you based on what you are able to achieve.

 

“Our vision is to be the best football association in Africa. Ekofootball is our philosophy for re-defining the style and standard of football and of football administration in Lagos State.”

 

Players like Super Eagles’ Dele Alampasu and Wilfred Ndidi, and Super Falcons ace Asisat Oshoala passed through Ekofootball’s developmental furnace.

 

The presentation revolved around Lagos FA’s well –structured developmental programme, the new Ekofootball academy, its corporate social responsibility and great rapport with Corporate Nigeria.

 

At the occasion, leading football diarist Kunle Solaja spoke about the history of football in Lagos and Nigeria at large while foremost journalist and sports marketer Ejiro Omonode made a presentation on using football as a marketing tool.

 

Akinwunmi disclosed at the end that the much –talked about ‘game changer’ is a plan the LSFA has put in place to start a profit –based Super League in the state in a few months, with the focus on having community –based clubs, which is already drawing enthusiasm from various individuals and and groups.

 

Also at the occasion were a representative of the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission Deji Tinubu, Hon. Adedamola Kasumu, NFF Executive Committee members Otunba Sunday Dele-Ajayi and Ibrahim Gusau, NNL chairman Chidi Okenwa, NWFL chairman Aisha Falode, FA chairmen Ganiyu Majekodunmi, James Odeniran and Ayo Alabi, Lagos FA vice chairman and NRA president Tade Azeez, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo, Mutiu Adepoju, representatives of Spanish La Liga, Peter Rufai, Tilewa Adebajo, Obi Asika, Opeyemi Okunoren, Deji Okoya-Thomas, Mitchel Obi, Harry Iwuala, Dr. Isaac Ayodele, SWAN President Honour Sirawoo, Yomi Kuku, Bolaji Yusuf, Mrs Koiki of Greensprings International School, Barr. Dudu-Orumen, leading sports editors/managers and other football stakeholders.  

The second stanza is traditionally more exciting, as it is the round which will seal the fate of those battling for the Super Four, as well as those fighting to beat the drop into the Pro League.

The Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) resumes this midweek with tantalising fixtures to kick off the second round after a six-week break.

The first round which ended on May 10 saw Rivers Angels and Nasarawa Amazons occupying top spot in the two groups. At the bottom are Abia Angels and Saadatu Amazon.

There is going to be a reversal of the week seven fixtures when the second round resumes. Notable among the fixtures are Bayelsa Queens vs Rivers Angels, Delta Queens vs Nasarawa Amazons, Sunshine Queens vs FC Robo Queens and Pelican Stars vs Edo Queens.

The spotlight will be on the likes of Bayelsa Queens, Rivers Angels, Delta Queens and Nasarawa Amazons. Rivers Angels have been reveling in their hold of the top spot in Group A following their good run in the first round. Six more matches are set to test their resolve – that they know too well – which makes the South-South derby at Bayelsa Queens as important if they hope to get off to a good start.

Sunshine Queens who finished the first round in the bottom three are bent on climbing significantly following an overhaul of the playing personnel. They have FC Robo Queens to battle with at the Akure Township Stadium. Fourth-placed Ibom Angels sit only three points adrift of Rivers Angels. The Uyo side will be hoping to overcome Heartland Queens to put themselves in a good position on the standings.

Nasarawa Amazons are gradually pulling away from the chasing park in the Group B on the back of their undefeated run in their last five games. The Amazons have set their sights on victory in their away clash with rivals Delta Queens. Having disappointed their fans with a 1-1 home draw against Adamawa Queens on matchday seven, second-placed Confluence Queens should be hoping to make amends in the return encounter at the Fufore Township Stadium.

Saadatu Amazon will still wish the first round never happened. In arguably their worst ever run, the Allah Mai Ikoh Girls failed to register a win in seven matches. The team will hope to begin a revival in their away encounter with Osun Babes. Like Saadatu, Pelican Stars have been below average so far, and will similarly hope to turn fortunes around, obviously starting with their welcome of Edo Queens. Below are fixtures for matchday eight:

Group A

Heartland Queens Vs Ibom Angels 21/06/17

Sunshine Queens Vs FC Robo Queens 21/06/17

Bayelsa Queens Vs Rivers Angels 22/06/17

Group B

Delta Queens Vs Nasarawa Amazons 21/06/17

Osun Babes Vs Saadatu Amazon 21/06/17

Adamawa Queens Vs Confluence Queens 21/06/17

Pelican Stars Vs Edo Queens 21/06/17

Make your comment who do you think will top each groups?

Ikorodu United Fc of Lagos will now be playing its home matches in the 2nd stanza of the Nigeria National League at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. 

The second stanza of the 2016-17 Bet9ja Nigeria National League Resumes tomorrow, Wednesday 21st of June,2017 with matches in both the Northern and Southern Conferences as follows:

Northern Conference

Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC ) of Abuja VS Jigawa Golden Stars

FC Zamfara VS Kaduna Utd

FC Taraba VS Kogi Utd

FC Abuja VS Kwara Utd

Adamawa Utd VS Sokoto Utd

 

Southern Conference

Warri Wolves FC VS Nnewi Utd of Anambra

FirstBank FC of Lagos VS Gateway Utd of Abeokuta

Delta Force of Asaba VS Go-Round FC of Omoku

Crown FC of Ogbomosho VS Heartland FC of Owerri

Bendel Insurance of Benin VS Ikorodu Utd of Lagos

Bayelsa Utd VS My People FC of Lagos

AS Racines of Lagos VS Osun Utd ofh Oshogbo

Akwa Starlets VS Papillo FC of Owerri

Abia Comets VS UNICEM Rovers of Calabar

 

Kwara United lead in the Northern Conference with 22 points and are closely followed by Yobe Desert Stars.

In the Southern Conference it is Heartland FC of Owerri in the drivers seat with 35 points and are being chased by Go-Round FC of Omoku and Crown FC of Ogbomosho ,both teams have 32 points but Go-Round are ahead on goal difference of plus 9,while Crown have plus 8

Former Nigerian International, Jonathan Akpoborie, is certain the young and hungry Super Eagles stars will defeat the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the 2019 African Cup of Nations, AFCON qualifier scheduled for the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo on June 10 2017.

 

AFCON FAILURE

Nigeria have failed to qualify for the last two AFCON and the former Stuttgart of Germany star striker insist the current crop of super eagles player with an average age of 24 years have what it takes to banish the disappointment of the last 2 AFCON qualifiers.

Jonathan Akpoborie with Jay Jay Okocha.

"The boys are hungry enough. the last 3 or 4 years we have been calling for the invitation of Kelechi Iheanacho into the team even if he will only play 10 minutes; but now see what he is doing. he cannot come to the national team and you will see complacency in what he does"

Nigeria is yet to lose to South Africa in competitive fixture, winning seven in 11 match-ups with three draws and one loss in a downgraded friendly game to honour the Late Nelson Mandela.

 

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