TEAM Nigeria is fighting hard to emerge overall winner of the second edition of the African Youth Games, AYG, as the Nigerian team increased its gold medals’ hauls to 12.
Nigeria is currently placed second on the overall medals table with South Africa leading having won 13 gold medals in swimming alone. But the Nigerian Team is poised to overtake South Africa with envisaged gold medal haul from boxing and most especially athletics which has just started on Tuesday. Kenya is also expected to give Nigeria a run for her money as a strong force in athletics in the continent.
From the results gathered in the recent outing, Team Nigeria won three more gold medals and more silver and bronze. The three gold medals were won by Deborah Ukeh in the Girls’ and Adesokan Ajoke in the Badminton mixed doubles while Ajoke Adesokan also won gold in the Badminton Girls’ single. The Team Nigeria also won its third gold medal of the day in the Girls’ C1 Canoe Sprint and also won bronze in the boys’ C1 Canoe sprint.
Other events where Team Nigeria won silver included Badminton Boys’ single won by Nelson Kingsley. Two Bronze medals were won in Canoeing K1 Sprint and C1 Sprint, two more bronze medals were carted home by Nigeria in Badminton mixed doubles while Ojo Muideen Oyakojo also bagged the bronze in Boys’ Boxing’s Light Flyweight 49kg category, Ajoke Ojomu won bronze in table tennis single and Esther Godwin in Girls’ 63kg taekwondo.
No Move for Aguero – Perez
REAL Madrid football club has no interest in Sergio Aguero of Manchester City football club. Florentino Perez, president of the current Champions League winner, said there was no truth in the rumours making the rounds that Real Madrid was interested in the Manchester City player.
The Argentina international had been strongly linked with the Spanish giant, who was believed to be looking for another lethal goal-scoring option to Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Aguero’s contract at the Etihad expires in 2017. “We are not thinking about making a move for Aguero at the moment,” Perez told a Spanish newspaper, adding: “Right now, there is no real urgency to sign any new players.”
Super Eagles’ Unimpressive Performance
NIGERIA and Scotland met in Fulham, London in a pre-World Cup friendly match on Wednesday 28 May. The match which ended in a 2-2 draw was basically a test match to help Stephen Keshi, coach of the Nigerian side, to decide the 23 player who will make his final squad for the world cup which opens in Brazil on June 12, 2014.
On a night when many Nigerians wanted to see real action, Keshi settled for a second rated team. Elderon Echiejile was the only player in the starting 11 who looked like a potential player for the Brazil trip.
The big boss, as Kechi is fondly called, decided to rest some key players such as Mikel Obi, Vincent Enyeama, Emmanuel Emenike and Ahmed Musa by giving others a chance to prove their mettle. In the match, Yobo won his 96th cap for the country as he marshalled the team from the back with Austin Ejide, Elderson Echejile, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kunle Odunlami, Gabriel Reuben, Joel Obi, Michael Babatunde, Michael Uchebo, Ejike Uzoenyi and Shola Ameobi.
The match began slowly with Shola Ameobi and Michael Uchebo troubling Allan McGregor in goal for Scotland. But it was the Scots that grew into the game as the match progressed with Nigerian-born Ikechi Anya bursting down the flanks to trouble the Nigerian defence. Little wonder the Scot team scored first, before it was levelled by Nigeria.
Substitute Uche Nwofor rescued Nigeria from defeat with a late goal after the Scots held on to a 2-1 lead with few minutes left in the match. Charles Mulgrew gave Scotland the lead after just 10 minutes when he deflected James Morrison’s effort beyond Ejide in goal for Nigeria. Eagles levelled in the 40th minute when Uchebo’s shot from distance was also deflected and goalkeeper McGregor was wrong footed.
Scotland regained their lead in the 52nd minute with Egwuekwe scoring an own goal, but mercifully, Nwofor snatched a late equaliser to save Nigeria the embarrassment.
Keshi made six changes in the second half as the African Champions struggled to get a hold in the match. Michael Babatunde was replaced by Nnamdi Oduamadi, goal scorer Uchebo left for Osaze Odemwingie, Nosa Igiebor also replaced Joel Obi. Shola Ameobi went out for Uche Nwofor, Ejike Uzoenyi was also replaced by Victor Moses while Efe Ambrose replaced injured Kunle Odunlami.
Gordon Strachan, Scotland coach, told BBC Radio after the match that the game was an even and fair one. “We’ve had three days hard work and we were one pass away from another three or four goals. Some of these guys haven’t played in weeks and I think you could see that in a few of the final balls. I’ve got a squad in there where every one of them wants the others to do well,” Strachan said.
Cameroon Players to Get N16.64 Million Each
CAMEROON’s Football Federation and the country’s government have agreed to pay FCFA 50m or $104,000 to each player in the final 23-man World Cup squad. The figure was arrived at after lengthy negotiations but falls short of the FCFA 80m-100m or $166,000-207,000 reportedly sought by the players.
It is, however, a raise of FCFA 5m from the amount paid at the previous World Cup in South Africa in 2010. The players had wanted to ensure money coming in was being fairly divided.
Samuel Eto’o, captain of the team, believes the players are entitled to know how the money being earned by their performances and progress in the competition is being utilised. “What is the quota for players who work for this money that goes into the coffers of the Cameroon Football Federation? “We hope the government will help us get our due and clarify the situation,” Eto’o said.
The problem of fees resurfaced during the Indomitable Lions’ training camp in Austria, where they are preparing for their World Cup matches against Mexico, Croatia and hosts Brazil in Group A. Rumours started to make the rounds that the players were demanding up to FCFA 150m from the authorities.
Volker Finke, coach of the Cameroon team, had distanced himself from the situation because he felt it was an issue for the authorities and the players. “I concentrate on football, fees are between the players and the authorities, I am not concerned by this issue,” he said, adding: “I am hopeful it will not affect the harmony in the group and the training ahead.”
It is not the first time a row over payments has erupted in the Cameroon team camp. The most recent episode was that of 2011 when players went on strike during the LG Cup over an FCFA 500,000 they were allegedly being owed.
— Jun. 9, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT