UNITY TORCH COMPLETES ZONAL TOUR, AS NIGERIAN POLICE GAMES KICKS-OFF ON SUNDAY IN PORT-HARCOURT

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The Unity torch for this year’s biennial Nigeria Police games on Wednesday, February 27, completed its six selected geopolitical zones tour at the Anambra state Police Command Headquarters, Awka for zone 9. Mr Bala M. Nasarawa (FDC), the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Anambra State Police Command during the reception ceremony highlighted the importance of the Unity flame stating that it symbolizes unity among the competing athletes from the 12 police zonal Commands.

CP Nasarawa also recounted how the Nigerian Police over the years have contributed immensely to the development of Nigerian sports producing such great athletes like Chioma Ajunwa, Late Sunday Bada, Julius Aghahowa, Kikelomo Ajayi and a host of others who have gone to make Nigeria proud in various sporting events. He then thanked the inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Dikko Abubakar for his efforts in using sports to develop the psyche and human relations among the officers from all commands. He however urged the athletes to use the games to develop their skills and spirit, hoping that more athletes will emerge in Port Harcourt that can in future continue the Police trend of doing Nigeria proud. CP Nasarawa a fellow of the Defence College (FDC) did perform the normal ritual of granting the permission for the onward transport of the unity flame to Port Harcourt where the games is expected to be declared open officially on Sunday, March 3 by the I.G himself.

The Unity flame transporter, ASP Afeez in a brief chat with Imo Trumpeta revealed that the torch commenced the movement from zone 2, Onikan, Lagos to the Force Headquarters in Abuja (Area II, Louis Edet House) before moving to zone 7, (FCT Niger and Kaduna). It then continued the tour of six selected geopolitical zones when it arrived at zone 1 (Kano, Katsina and Jigawa) then to zone 3 (Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba). It also went to zone 4 (Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau) before arriving zone 9 (Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Abia). In his own speech, the Police officer in charge of sports in zone 9, Superintendent of Police (SP) Kefas Goa’r expressed satisfaction over the level of preparations in his zone, stating that his athletes are rearing to go in this 10th edition of the Biennial Nigeria Police games. SP Kefas who is also a member of the Central Local Organising Committee stated that about 5,000 police men from all the 12 police zonal Commands nationwide will participate in the games designed to help the Force to forge better relations among its formations as well as help in unlocking the sporting potentials of the men of the Force.

I SKIPPED EAGLES SUPERSTARS DUE TO PERSONALITY PROBLEMS- Keshi

Fresh reasons why Eagles Superstars like Osaze Odemwengie were omitted from the 2013 AFCON team has now been released. Coach Stephen Keshi opened up on WestBrom and Nigerian International, Osaze, saying he skipped the player’s name from his squad selection because he (Osaze) had personality problems which he felt cannot be permitted in the squad. A lot of uproar was generated between the Coach and the WestBrom player before the AFCON 2013 tournament due to the Nations Cup in South Africa. To a lot of football-loving Nigerians, it appeared as if Keshi didn’t have an idea of what he was doing. This perception continued into the tournament especially in the face of abysmal performance by the Super Eagles in the group games, giving rise to many questioning why players like Osaze and others were dropped from Keshi’s provisional squad. “We decided not to take some of these superstars to the Nations Cup because it is a long period of time and for the long period you need characters that go together”. Keshi revealed. In the national team where I was captain for 14 years, you are nothing but an individual in the team as you are not bigger than Nigeria. If you are not ready to give the green and white shirt the due respect, you are walking out of my team.” We talked on the phone, I told him what I wanted from him, but he had his own notion and I said for now, I will skip you”. The Eagles gaffer stated. Keshi also revealed that Obafemi Martins was not ready for the Nations Cup but he has not shut the door against the Levante striker. He also admitted that he missed Newcastle striker, Shola Ameobi at the Nations Cup whose presence in the dressing room would have improved his team but his contract kept him from coming.

 

Will name change improve Nigerian League?

As we eagerly await the commencement of the newly renamed Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the question on lips of every football enthusiast has been to what extent will it improve our league.

 

The league management committee, LMC decided to change the name of the Nigerian League, from NPL to NPFL. Stakeholders are however divided in their reactions to the change of name.

 

Some of the stakeholders are of the view that the name change of name does not mean, it would not be business as usual, where the “win at home syndrome would not come to fore.

 

After series of postponement, the league is expected to Kick-off on March a, yet the problems that have bedeviled the League are still left unattended to.

 

Should the league suffer another postponement, it would automatically enter into history books as the oldest break that league has. The league has been off for six months.

 

Apart from the ‘win at home’ syndrome, the LMC failed to address other teething issues like the security of match officials and that of visiting teams to avoid replay of incidences that had characterized the league were some match officials were assaulted by home teams and away teams vehicles vandalized by home fans among many other ugly incidents.

 

While some are of the opinion that the new name will bring new direction, it is also expected that change in name should also make provisions for payment of match officials’ indemnities of referees which put the officials the mercy of home teams.

Some people however argue that the LMC should be more concerned about the welfare of the players than changing the name while most clubs owe the players and coaches sign on fees and backlog of salaries.

 

Meanwhile, information has it that decision for the name change might not be unconnected with the upcoming court case involving the former NPL Chairman, Victor Baribote.

 

The previous board of the NPL led by Baribote was dissolved on 11 December, 2012 following allegations of misappropriation of funds, lack of transparency, accountability and bad management.

WEEKEND GAMES

Obulimba Cup 2013 fixtures

2/3/13 Saturday.

Avu- Umudibia @ Orogwe

Ohii- Okolochi @ Avu

Umuahim- Ndegwu @?

3/3/13 Sunday

Irete- Oforola @ Police training field

Okuku- Umuguma @ Orogwe field

Results 27/2/13

Umuokpo 0-2 Amakohia Ubi

Umuguma 3-3 Eziobodo

Ndegwu 0-0 Orogwe

EPL games week 28 (2/3/13)

Chelsea- WestBrom

Everton- Reading

Man Utd- Norwich

Stoke City- WestHam

Sunderland- Fulham

Swansea- Newcastle

Wigan- Liverpool

3/3/13 Sunday

Tottenham- Arsenal

4/3/13 Monday

Aston Villa- Man City

SPANISH LA LIGA 1/3/13 Friday

Getafe- Zaragoza

2/3/13 Saturday

Real Madrid- Barcelona

Deportivo- Vallecano

Osasuna- A/Bilbao

Valencia- Levante

3/3/13 Sunday

Granada- Marlloca

Espanyol- Vallodolid

Malaga- A/Madrid

Sociedad- R/Betis

4/3/13 Monday

Sevilla- Celta Vigo

CAF BEST ELEVEN of AFCON 2013

Goalkeeper: Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)

Defenders: Efe Ambrose (Nigeria),

Neves (Cape Verde),

Kone (B/Faso)

Midfielders: Victor Moses (Nigeria),

Mikel Obi (Nigeria),

Jonathan Pitroipa (B/Faso),

Tiene (Ivory Coast),

Seidou Keita (Mali).

Strikers:  Emmanuel Emenike (Nigeria)

Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)

With the formation of 3:5:2 and Stephen Keshi as the gaffer.