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Posted by on May 9th, 2013 and filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

orjiLate Prof. Onwuliri Was A True Sports

Administrator_ Chinemere Onwuliri

n the arena of sports, the contributions of Prof. C.O.E. Onwuliri were both instructive and transformational. Being an ardent sports fan from an early age, Prof. as he was fondly called always participated in sports and encouraged others by creating platforms and avenues for them to enjoy sports.

At the University of Jos, he was amongst the early members of the staff club and enjoyed playing Tennis, badminton and squash. He also had a short stint with outdoor hockey. Prof would through various avenues, like the Rotary club, the University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Knights of St. John amongst others, bring people together to engage in one form of sports or the other.

As his career progressed, it is noteworthy that he found himself in even better positions to impact on sports development in our country. Most notable of all was his time as Commissioner of Information, Culture, Youths and Sports in Imo State, where he organized the National Sports Festival in 1998, tagged “IMO 98”. During the build up to the games in Imo, the first in the history of the state, Prof had to revamp the entire sports terrain in the state. It is of note, that he helped revamp the sports council in the State, the sports writers association and most importantly impacted on the overall sports infrastructure in Imo State. In terms of infrastructure, it was during his time that Dan Anyiam Stadium Owerri was given an overall facelift. Basketball courts were renovated, the Lawn tennis courts were rebuilt, an internationally standard track was laid for athletes and the other sports like handball, weightlifting, Basketball etc – were all carried along with the transformation. It could be described as the period of bliss for Imo State Sports, her athletes and personnel all included.

Accordingly, as the games lasted the citizens of the state can still testify to the fact that it was indeed a huge success. A memorable event that remains unparalleled up till today in annals of Imo State’s Sports history was that the then Military Administrator of Imo State, Colonel Tanko Zubairu had the pleasure of hosting the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, General Abdusalami Abubakar during the closing ceremony of the games.

Furthermore, following Prof’s return to the University system after his tenure in sports ministry elapsed, he continued to lend support to sports men and women both at home and all over the country. His love for football was always identifiable about him irrespective of where he went to. It is notable that he was an ardent fan and admirer of the Nigerian football icon and humanitarian, Nwankwo Kanu, whose humble disposition and professional prowess, resonated with Prof at every instant. It was because of Kanu that Prof supported none of the big teams but would support whatever team Kanu Nwankwo would play for. He at one time adorned a Portsmouth Jersey which surprised many, but why not? That was the team of the Kanu, the Nigerian maestro.

Also, Prof did not stop at these; it is a fact that when he assumed the role of Vice chancellor in FUTO Owerrri, sports development was one of the cardinal areas he transformed.

There was an increased funding for training, preparation and participation of student in Sporting events and the performance of FUTO students at the NUGA games (National University Games) improved and he received commendations from the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) for the fatherly role he played in ensuring that students received all round development both academically and in sports.

At home in Mhaise, Prof was not absent from the sports arena as it is remarkable that he mentored and sponsored athletes, some who are alive today have gone on to become professionals or have taken up other roles in the community. His legacy of supporting, organizing, funding and developing athletes, football events, infrastructure etc remains indelible in our hearts and he would always be remembered for the role he played while he was alive. The challenge he places at the feet of each and every one of us today is that we must continually work hard to sustain the good work that he started in order to ensure the overall development of our community, the Mbaise nation, our dear State and our country, Nigeria as a whole.

FIFA Ranking: Nigeria Moves Up

Nigeria has moved up three places in the new FIFA ranking released early yesterday at the football governing body headquarter in Zurich, Switzerland.

In the latest ranking, the Super Eagles, who were ranked 31st in April, now occupying the 28th spot in the world, moving three places ahead of Norway, Japan and the USA.

The leap meant the three-time African champions are now back among the top five African football playing nations as the coach Stephen Keshi-led Eagles are now placed fourth in Africa behind Mali, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Ivoirians are ranked 12th in the latest FIFA ranking to maintain their position as the highest ranked African nation in the world.

Former African Cup of Nations, AFCON, champions, Zambia moved one spot down to occupy 47th and 7th in the world and Africa respectively.

However, there are no changes in the top 10 ranked teams in the world as Spain remains the best footballing nation in the world followed by Germany, Argentina, Croatia and Portugal in the top five. Switzerland slipped into the14th position ahead of Mexico who moved down into the 16th position.

Traders/artisans Cup Will Involve Imo People

Into Rescue Mission Programe_Emelu

The Hon. Commissioner for Youth and Sport, Comm. Kenneth Emelu has thrown more light on the significance of the Rescue Mission Traders/Artisans football competition which is expected to kick-start on Sunday May 12.

Speaking at a press briefing organized by the Ministry as part of the programs lined up to celebrate the two years in office of his Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha , hon. Emelu stated that the football competition was designed to get all Imo traders and artisans involved in the  programs of the Rescue Mission Agenda.

He also noted that his Excellency is mindful of the role played by the traders and artisans during the freedom fight for democracy in Imo State adding that the competition will enhance togetherness among the people as well as promote peace in the state.

Emelu continued that the Ministry will use the opportunity to also celebrate its achievements since two year’s.

He then informed that the first prize will be a brand new bus adding that prizes for second and third  will be made known soon while the official opening ceremony will take place on Saturday at the Dan Anyiam Stadium where all the participating teams will take part in a match past.

In a related development, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC), chairman, Ndubuisi Opara, explained that a total of 43 teams will participate in the two week event.

He further stated that 21 teams are from Owerri zone, 5 from Orlu zone and 13 from Okigwe zone.


NPFL WEEK 11 GAMES 12/5/13

Sunshine   —   ABS fc

Sharks   —   3SC

Heartland   —   Akwa United

Rangers   —     Bayelsa Utd

Nasarawa   —   Wikki Tourist

Enyimba    —   Kano Pillars

Nembe City   —   Lobi Stars

Warri Wolves   —   Dolphins

Kaduna Utd  —   Gombe Utd

Kwara Utd   —   El Kanemi



Amuzi   —   Ahiazu


Oru   —   Ezinihitte


(12/5/13 IHO STADIUM)

Okada fc Umuohiagu   —   Nekede Mech. Fc


Bobanic Wood fc   —   Amakohia Mech. Fc



Okada fc Egbu   —   Nworie Lane Mkt fc

13/5/13 (IHO)

Chief Tony fc   —   Amakohia Keke fc


Relief Mkt fc   —   Indegenous Traders fc


Mami Mkt fc   —   Lovers Association fc


3SC   1  0   Sunshine

Bayelsa Utd   1  0   Heartland

Kano Pillars 2  0  Nasarawa Utd

Lobi Star   0  0   Enyimba

Dolphins 2  0  Nembe City

Gombe Utd   1  0   Wolves

Kwara Utd   2  0 Kaduna

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