Bad News for Odemwingie, Stoke


OSAZE Odemwingie, a Nigerian footballer and Super Eagles forward, could be out for the rest of season amid fears he might have seriously damaged his cruciate knee ligament, according to a media report.

It was, indeed, a bad news for Odemwingie and Stoke City football club, which he plays for in English Premier League. The Nigerian star had played a part in the revival of Stoke FC in the last season, just a few months ago.

The Nigeria forward collapsed with nobody around him at Manchester City on Saturday, August 30, and was stretchered out from the pitch.

Mark Hughes, Stoke boss, had said after the 1-0 win over Manchester City FC, that the injury was nothing serious. But he had since found out the truth.

Stoke City are now looking at possibility of having Oussama Assaidi on loan as his replacement, the Stoke Sentinel newspaper reported. Stoke had tried to buy the Liverpool winger earlier this summer following his successful loan stint at Stoke last season. But whether the club will be able to get their man eventually is yet to be seen.

FIFA Denies Nigeria’s Claim on U-17 World Cup


FIFA, world football governing body, has denied media reports that the FIFA U-17 World Cup was in the custody of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, when a fire gutted the Glass House in Abuja, on August 20. Some NFF officials had claimed that the FIFA U-17 World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations were not harmed in the fire incident as they were kept in a fire-proof lock when a section of its secretariat got burnt.

But a FIFA spokesman at the weekend told journalists that the original U-17 World Cup trophy was in FIFA’s custody in Zurich. The official insisted that the trophy in the custody of the NFF was a replica given to Nigeria for keeps after the Eaglets’ record making feat in the UAE.

“Each winning team of a FIFA tournament is awarded a winner’s trophy and the original tournament trophy always remains with FIFA. This means that Nigeria was awarded the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 Winner’s trophy for it to keep. Regarding the reported harm to the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 winner’s trophy, FIFA has not been contacted by the NFF in that regard and therefore, we trust that it (the replica trophy) remains in good condition,” the FIFA spokesman said.

Nigeria won the FIFA U-17 World Cup last year in the United Arab Emirate, UAE, after the Golden Eaglets defeated Mexico in the final. The trophy is to be presented at the next final to be staged in Chile next year.

GEJ FC Comes Alive in Abuja


A NEW club named after President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GEJ, has been registered to compete in the 2014/2015 season of the Nigeria nationwide league. Chukwuemeka Kanu, proprietor of the club, told journalists in Abuja that the registration of GEJ FC was done after some supporters and admires of President Jonathan decided to float the team to reciprocate the efforts of the present administration in the development of sports, especially, football in the country.

Kanu said going by the support of the president for sports development, many young Nigerians had been provided with job opportunities, stating that with the advent of the GEJ FC, more talented youths would have sustainable means of livelihood.

According to him, the team which is domiciled in Abuja, federal capital territory, would recruit its players from all the six geo-political zones of the country adding that it would set up academies and training camps in all the six geopolitical zones of the country to serve as its feeder teams.

“We are determined to guide the GEJ FC to the elite division as soon as we start from the nationwide league season of 2014/2015. Already the team is registered with the NFF and for a start we are going to have 25 players who will be the pioneer players and I want to assure you that this team will measure up against any other of its kind anywhere in the world,” Kanu said.

He also disclosed that while the team would be camping in a four-star hotel at the moment, efforts were in top gear to complete the construction of its permanent camp which would be at the outskirts of Abuja.

Obudu Mountain Race Gets November Date

THE Local Organising Committee for the Obudu international mountain race and the African mountain running championships would have their two-in-one race on Saturday, November 8, this year. Patrick Ugbe, commissioner for youth and sports, Cross River State, who disclosed this in Calabar, capital city, promised that this year’s race would be unique. The race had its inaugural edition in 2005.


“The race this year will be different from past editions because we are celebrating the 10th year of sponsoring Africa’s best ever mountain running event and the highest paying mountain race in the world. We have thus christened this year’s race Mountain Race of the Stars. We want to invite all area champions and the very best mountain runners in the world to come and celebrate with us,” Ugbe said.

As part of decisions reached by the local organising committee, LOC, a total of 110 athletes would feature in the world-class mountain race based on their performances around the globe.

The LOC said the competitions would feature oath-taking, match past, short speeches and local dances during the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Committee revealed that prizes and awards would be presented immediately at the end of each event to make the event one of the most ICT compliant in the history of the competition.

“The event shall feature children, youth, media and VIP races on the first day of the competition while the main race will come up on day two. His Excellency the Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has promised to take part in the VIP race personally,” Ugbe said.

Last year, Yalew Ganet, an Ethiopia and Rono Philemon, a Kenyan, won the respective women and men’s individual titles while Oltaruesh Perine and Godfrey Kusoro led Kenya and Uganda to the men and women’s team titles.

The Obudu mountain race is an associate member race of the World Mountain Running Association, WMRA, and is also endorsed by the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF.

— Sep. 15, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT


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