Super Falcons beat Cameroun 4-2 on penalties, qualify for AWCON final, World Cup

Super Falcons beat resilient Lionesses, pick World Cup ticket

By Gowon Akpodonor

True to their pre match boast, the Super Falcons yesterday proved to their Cameroonian counterparts, Indomitable Lionesses, that Nigeria remains the commander-in-chief in African women’s football. The Falcons won their semifinal tie at the Accra Sports Stadium 4-2 on penalties to reach AWCON 2018 final. The victory also guaranteed the Super Falcons a place at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Lithe and sharp forward, Onguene came close in the 4th minute with a rasping shot, apparently from nowhere, which Falcons goalie, Tochukwu Oluehi diverted, and three minutes later, the Lionesses were on the prowl again with a firm header, but Oluehi again was alert. In the 10th minute, Gaelle Enganamouit tested the Nigeria goal with a snap shot, but could not penetrate.

In the closing stages of the first period, Nigeria pushed forward a bit, but an attempt by Francisca Ordega to steal the ball from two defenders was fruitless, and Asisat Oshoala’s crisp shot was well saved.

Nigeria had finished second in group B after two wins and a defeat, while Cameroun were top of group A with two wins and a draw. Super Falcons head coach Thomas Dennerby made no changes to the starting line up for their previous two games that ended on victory against Zambia and Equatorial Guinea.

Incidentally, it was at the same Accra Sports Stadium the Super Falcons made history in 2004, beating the host, Ghana Black Queens 3-2 on penalties with former goalkeeper, Precious Dede, saving three kicks after conceding two in the qualifier to Athens Olympic Games.

Yesterday, the Super Falcons created very few chances in the first half, as the Indomitable Lionesses controlled possession and set the tone of the game. After a goalless halftime, both teams followed in the same pattern in the second stanza, as they were unable to get the breakthrough.

Thomas Dennerby introduced Falconets stars, Rasheedat Ajibade and Anam Imo, but the game ended goalless at 90 minutes. The extra time also ended goalless, taking the game into penalty shootout.

Falcons captain Onome Ebi, Ajibade, Asisat Oshoala and Ngozi Ebere all converted their spot kicks to give Nigeria a 4-2 victory. Goalkeeper Oluehi made one save in the penalty shootout.

The victory yesterday was the third time since 2014 the Super Falcons forced a bitter nut down the throat of the Lionesses in the African Women’s Nations Cup competition.

Cameroun star, Ajara Nchout, was voted Woman of the Match as she played a crucial role for the Indomitable Lioness, who pressed the Super Falcons.

The Super Falcons will face either the Banyana Banyana of South Africa or Mali in the final of the AWCON 2018. Cameroun on the other hand still have the chance of qualifying for France 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, if they win the third place match on Friday.

Credit: The Guardian

Nigeria qualify for AFCON 2019

Nigeria qualify for AFCON 2019

Posted By Adeyinka Akintunde

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will participate in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

They booked their place in the continent’s biggest football competition after securing a 1-1 draw against South Africa at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg.

Nigeria had missed out of the last two editions, after winning the title in 2013, in the FNB Stadium.

The Nigerians had highest goal scorer, Odion Ighalo and first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho missing on the trip to the Soccer City due to injury.

The Super Eagles started the stronger side with a nice combination on the dge of the South Africa box and Ahmed Musa forced goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune into a good save with a low shot.

Two minutes later, Buhle Mkhwanazi scored an own goal for the Super Eagles, converting a cross from Samuel Kalu into his own net

Lebo Mothiba responded with a goal for the Bafana Bafana in the 26th minute, after a good pass for Percy Tau that beat two Nigerian defenders

In the 71st minute Percy Tau, who won the man of the match afterwards, troubled the Nigerian defence, dribbling past two defenders, but Jamilu Collins intercepted his attempt to score a second for South Africa.

Isaac Success later on scored a goal for Nigeria, but the bulky forward was ruled offside after the hosts’ defence was exposed.

With Nigeria through to the continental showpiece next year, the winner between South Africa and Libya will join the Super Eagles for the June/July 24-Nations competition in Cameroon. A draw however will be good enough for South Africa, who were last in the Nations Cup in 2015.

Credit: The Nation

We are here to win, Musa warns South Africa

We are here to win, Musa warns South Africa

Ahmed Musa

AHMED MUSA WARNS: We’re here to pick the AFCON ticket today

By Ade Ojeikere

Stand–in Captain Ahmed Musa, who is the last Nigerian player to score against South Africa at senior level, when both teams finished a friendly match 1-1 in Nelspruit in March 2015, told thenff.com that the Super Eagles are not thinking of simply gaining a point from the encounter.

“They are a strong team and we will not underrate them. But we are here for the three points,” Musa emphasised.

“Our determination is to win and pick our ticket to the AFCON ahead of the final matchday next year. South Africa came to Nigeria to beat us and we are here to return the compliment. We will not be playing for a draw. We won in Seychelles and against Libya in Tunisia and we are here to win as well.”

Three-time African champions Nigeria flew into Johannesburg in the early hours of Friday with a commitment to picking all three points in tonight’s Group E top-of-the-table clash with South Africa at the FNB Stadium.

The chartered MAX Air plane that flew the Nigeria delegation, led by NFF 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, landed at the Oliver R. Tambo International Airport around 3.30am South Africa time, with 23 players, team officials led by Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr, members of the NFF Executive Committee, some members of NFF Management and NFF Staff and a number of media representatives.

The delegation was met on arrival by President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick, who travelled 24 hours earlier for a meeting with a prospective commercial partner, as well as top officials of the Nigeria High Commission in Pretoria and the Nigeria Consulate in Johannesburg.

Ahmed Musa and teammates trained on the turf of the FNB Stadium (nicknamed Soccercity) at 3 pm on Friday.

Musa admits that tonight’s encounter would not be for the faint-hearted. Nigeria has not beaten South Africa at senior men level in the last four encounters between both nations, though it was in South Africa that Nigeria won her third and last Africa Cup of Nations title in February 2013.

A 2015 AFCON qualifier in Cape Town in September 2014 ended scoreless before the Bafana Bafana held their ground for a 2-2 draw in Uyo two months later to deny the Super Eagles a place at the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea.

Both teams tied 1-1 in a friendly in Nelspruit in March 2015 before Bafana shocked the Eagles in Uyo 2-0 on Matchday 1 of the current qualifying series.

Credit: The Nation

News Headlines Nov 2, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

News Headlines Nov 2, 2018. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

Compiled by Demola Adefajo

The Punch
Ogun, Imo govs renew attack on Oshiomhole
Kanu’s escape: Court asked to order prosecution of Fani-Kayode, Abaribe, others
Buhari’s son begins NYSC 11 months after bike injury
Controversy as Lagos DPP declines prosecuting suspected APC thugs
Trump threatens to shoot migrants who throw stones at US military
Bolt’s Australian football dream collapses
2019: Ondo APC members protest, reject senatorial candidate
Fraudsters collecting death benefits of living workers — PenCom
ADC insists on Lanlehin for Oyo gov
Alleged $5m bribery: Kano Assembly panel summons Ganduje today
MTN issues frightened foreign investors — US, UK envoys
Undergraduate cultists arrested after a successful hit
Yuletide: NNPC, BP sign petrol supply deal
Atiku will reduce fuel price, says PDP
EFInA Fintech Challenge Grant Request for Proposals: Supporting new concepts to enhance the uptake…
Certificate saga: APP chairman asks court to disqualify Buhari from 2019 poll
Lagos trader commits suicide to spite mother
NHIS council, workers meet Reps, list allegations against Yusuf
APC chiefs ask court to disqualify Masari, other candidates
Obasanjo’s son meets Buhari inside Aso Rock
Man arraigned for attempted murder
SARS arrests undergraduate for armed robbery in Imo
20-year-old remanded in prison for attempting to kill father
Sylva’s ex-aide seeks transfer of rape trial to another judge
Army discovers illegal military training camp in Taraba
Youths are not leaders of tomorrow —Stella Oduah
2019: Agbaje picks lawyer, Haleemat Busari, as running mate
Delta APC faction sues Oshiomhole, INEC for contempt
I didn’t sue the President, says NHIS boss
Ekiti Gov poll: Tribunal rejects petitioners’ plea to add a witness
Yuletide: NNPC, BP sign petrol supply deal
NSE suspends trading in Unity Bank, five others’ shares
2018 budget: FG spent N3.64tn in eight months
Union Bank grows Q3 profit to N14.7bn
CBN, NERDC introduce financial literacy to secondary schools
Don blames govt takeover for cultism, drug abuse in schools
Only 45% of girls in northern Nigeria attend school – UNICEF
Matching grant will reduce population of out-of-school children — Ezekwesili
FG to revamp basic education with skills-based curriculum — Osinbajo
I became a poet by responding to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti – Ofeimun
Mba donates books to MultiChoice library
Once again, Our Son the Minister hits the stage
Baba Ijesha becomes Booku Chicken ambassador
Don Jazzy’s dad bags Bachelor’s degree
American model, Blac Chyna, visits Abuja for private pool party
How to manage chlamydia infection
Air pollution kills 600,000 children annually – WHO
‘Pregnancy within 12 months of childbirth comes with risks’
Children with asthma have higher risk of obesity
Babies born to men older than 35 may have higher risk of health problems — Study
Nine essential WhatsApp tricks you should know
Editorial: Easing the environment, attracting FDI
Obatala visits ’Wole Soyinka at 83
Let el-Rufai prove Kaduna people are relatives
Re: On Osinbajo’s corruption shock
Nigerian youth: A generation on edge
Routes couples can re-design a hot, erotic sex life (1)

The Nation
How Ondo chief was murdered by house help
NNPC pumps up petrol price from Fuel Fund
Okorocha, Amosun accuse Oshiomhole of injustice
Memories of DSS invasion as Buhari, Daura hold talks
CBN issues guidelines for Payment Service Banks
2019: We won’t interfere in INEC’s duties, Amaechi tells EU
Boko Haram kills 13 people in fresh Borno attack
Khashoggi’s murder sparks calls for safety of journalists
Durotoye is ANN presidential candidate
Anambra South: Uba brothers battle for senate
PPN strategises for Al-Mustapha in Southwest
ADC has bright chance in Kogi, says Abejide
‘Sanwo-Olu will build on Ambode’s achievement’
Delta APC primaries: Court issues contempt notice on Oshiomhole, INEC Chairman
Munich, St. Petersburg bid to host UEFA Champions League final
‘Registration certificate not needed for clearing cargoes’
‘How Nigeria can export more farm products’
Survey: Nigeria, Kenya to lead Africa’s economies
We’ll end multiple taxation in Benue’
Wema Bank assures workers on incentives
Expert urges increased support for rice farmers
Court remands four for allegedly stealing N1.301b from Police
Rector urges workers to check health status
LASTMA Comptroller dies 44 days to daughter’s wedding
No Visionscape in environment law, says Speaker
Govt, Skool Media retool schools with laptops, security gadgets
Lecturer drags Osun Poly to court over alleged unlawful termination
Ex-MBGN, Anita Iseghohi announces separation from hubby
Okorocha to Oshiomhole: Prove your integrity
On the ladder of democracy
Segun Ayobolu
Editorial: Mr. Fix It

ThisDay
Again, Boko Haram Kills 15 in Borno IDP Camp, Communities
NNPC Shores up Fuel Supply with BP Oil Deal
Atiku Will Crash Petrol Price, PDP Assures Nigerians
Odukoya, Owolabi Charge Women to Activate Inner Beauty
Mwanga Africa Announces Endearing Range of Scented Candles, Diffusers
Ooni of Ife Commends Airtel for Supporting Olojo Festival
UNICEF Partners YBR as Advocates of Positive Change
Gani Adams Charges Govt., Private Sector on Support for Cultural Events
U.S. Promotes Cross-Cultural Collaboration as 13 American Writers Participate in Ake Festival
Quramo Writers’ Night of Honour
All Eyes on EDOFEST 2018
9Mobile Announces Judges for 2018 Photography Contest
The Lure of Lagos Book and Art Festival
Flytime Music Festival Holds December…
AFRIFF to Focus on Women
AFRIMA Unveils Hosts For Fifth Edition
Seun Kuti Recounts Family’s Suffering in the Hands of Soldiers over Fela
MTN Foundation to Sponsor Simply Poetry, Others
America’s Moral Burden on the Murder of Khashoggi
Understanding the Power of Gwamna as the Driving Force in Gombe
The Audacity of a Grassroots Candidate
Distinct Landmarks in Ugwuanyi’s Tenure
PDP Cautions Tinubu against Unsavoury Comments on Atiku
Lagos PDP Guber Candidate, Agbaje, Picks Female Running Mate
AFC to Finalise N36bn Investment in Nigeria’s Mining Sector
Former NDDC Boss, Top APC Chieftains Join PDP in Bayelsa
Farmers Lose 70 Hectares of Rice Farm to Flood
A’ Ibom Plans Demolition of Illegal Structures
LG Unveils Google Assistant TVs
MaxAir Expands Operation to Port Harcourt, Yola
Victor Moses’ Exit from Stamford Bridge Imminent
Egypt’s Al Ahly in Supremacy Battle with Esperance
10,000 Runners for Bet9ja Lagos Women Run 2018
Customs, Rocks, Angels Confirm Final Slots in Abuja
Thailand to Hold Special Funeral Rite for Leicester Owner
LaLiga: Tightest Title Race in Years Resumes with Barcelona in Spanish Capital
Odukoya, Owolabi Charge Women to Activate Inner Beaut
UNICEF Partners YBR as Advocates of Positive Change
U.S. Promotes Cross-Cultural Collaboration as 13 American Writers Participate in Ake Festival
EDITORIAL: THE PENALTY REGIME FOR GAS FLARING

The Sun

2019: IGP places police on red alert
Shi’ites/security clashes: US demands probe, concerned over casualties
Kalu hale, hearty – Aide
NNPC, British Petroleum sign petrol supply agreement
Boko Haram kills Islamic cleric, wife, 3 kids, 8 others
Alleged ‘bribery’ videos: Ganduje appears before Kano Assembly panel today
Imo guber: Oshiomhole on his own – Okorocha
2019: IGP places police on red alert
Our link with Iran not subversive, says El-Zakzaky group
Military discovers illegal security training camp in Taraba
Imo APC primary: My name hasn’t been dropped – Uche Nwosu
PDP, APC using stolen wealth to win elections – Abdulsalam, Labour Party chairman
2019: Why we’re mobilising Nigerian varsity students for elections
Buhari vs Atiku: North undecided yet, Arewa youths insist
How technology improved poultry farming in Nigeria – Dekoraj Farms boss
Afreximbank tasks Africa on trade transformation
Int’l Drink festival holds in Lagos November
NPA reiterates commitment to attain ISO 9001,OHSAS 18001 certificate
INEC to begin display of voters’ register Nov 6 in Edo
INEC honours 77 staff in Ebonyi, pledges commitment to credible 2019 polls
Pogba: Juve is my home
Bayern bid to host 2021 UCL final
Lokosa fails trials in China
Go, Moses Go, Sarri tells Victor Moses
Flying Eagles know WAFU Cup foes Nov 6
Djokovic back on top after Nadal withdraws in Paris
Newcastle United skipper Lascelles signs new 6-year deal
Munich, St. Petersburg bid to host 2021 UEFA Champions League final
Paris Masters: Djokovic set up Cilic quarter-finals clash
Sterling extends City deal until 2023
No FG allocation for Bash Ali’s fight -Dalung
Mbappe hunts for Golden Boy award
Cece Winans to feature in Women of Praise 2018 concert in Nigeria
2023? Non-starter for South-West
Niger Delta, riverine communities and Okowa
Why marriage is not for everyone
The Shia uprising and now we must be guided
APGA: A betrayal of historic proportion
Beyond Buhari and Atiku
Minimum wage and crushing poverty
2019 election: The risk Nigerians must take
Averting death of Igbo Language
Oyo: Ajimobi approves payment of outstanding salaries
TESTMASTER launches National Sec. Sch. Maths Quiz
Why Islamic music is dying in Nigeria – Akobi Esan, singer
Commitment, master plan’ll drive growth of Lagos tourism’
Mbappe hunts for Golden Boy award
The renewable energy option
Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi (1939-2018)
Boko Haram kills Islamic cleric, wife, 3 kids, 8 others

Daily Trust

2019: Concerns over scant details on INEC’s website
Alleged fraud: Reps begin probe of NHIS crisis
We’ll make Nigeria’s economy better — Buhari
Abuja teaching hospital to get isolation ward — Minister
Earth tremor hits Abuja again
NSE suspends six listed companies from trading
Shiites – military clashes: U.S. urges FG to probe fatalities
Armed banditry: Zamfara to recruit 8,500 civilian JTF members
Atiku will reduce fuel price if elected president – PDP
Parents of abducted Dapchi schoolgirls get food, livelihood package
IMN denies link to terrorism, accuses security agents of infiltration
Elumelu, Akufo-Addo, Davido, others listed for AEMA continental awards
PoliticsSee More
APC: Our candidates’ list for INEC ready
Okorocha meets Buhari, says Tinubu wrong on Oshiomhole
…He’s guilty of injustice — Amosun
IGP Queens thrash Equity Angels in Zenith Bank Women’s League
Presidential panel grills Dikko
Top 8 volleyball league compulsory for all clubs – Nimrod
FG to conduct impact assessment on privatised enterprises
CBN tightens noose on BDCs, introduces new corporate governance rules
MDAs still inflate IT projects to siphon funds – NITDA
7 suspected land grabbers remanded for attempted murder
I stole church’s megaphone after deliverance service for me there – Convict
72-yr-old herbalist begs court to end 13-yr-old marriage to wife
Islamic Movement in Nigeria: Ending the killing spree
Buhari’s ‘new affection’ for Jonathan and the 2019 Elections
Not too big to fail
Niger North: Why Sen. Sabi’s return ticket excites us
Population: Only e-certifications can ensure effective data
Buhari still the alternative to Buhari
IETHIOPIA: Ashenafi becomes first female supreme court head
PAKISTAN: Thousands protest blasphemy acquittal, ignore PM’s call
UNITED STATES: Pittsburgh shooting suspect Robert Bowers pleads not guilty
Editorial: Sign Amended Electoral Act
Doctor slumps on duty in Kogi hospital
Anchor varsity to admit 2000 students in new session
‘And the helicopter came down in Leicester, England!’
US voters poised to elect 2 Muslim women to Congress
GIES calls for adoption of new technologies to advance Islamic economy
Not in My Country unveils radio drama series
Hauwa Ojeifo nominated for MTV EMA Award
Conservation body urges FG to restore 4m hectare forest by 2030
BREAKING: Earth tremor hits Abuja’s highbrow area, Maitama
Climate change: Fund approves 20 green projects for ADfB, others
Why Lake Chad, others are shrinking – Canadian Governor-General
Biafra: Lawyer seeks prosecution of Senator Abaribe, Fani-Kayode, others

The Guardian

‘How virtual polling units may mar 2019 elections’
U.S. demands probe into killing of Shiites
‘Sustainability, policy predictability key concerns for foreign investors’
‘APC has lost five million members under Oshiomhole’
Sanctions on Khashoggi killers weeks away – Pompeo
Terrorists kill 12 in attacks on Borno villages, IDPs’ camp
PDP promises to return fuel pump price to N87 per litre
Police declare Togolese chef wanted for Ondo chief’s murder
Government convenes conciliatory meeting over minimum wage crisis
Sarri tells Moses he is free to leave Chelsea
Sunshine Stars director against ‘washerman’ as technical adviser
Thriller in Paris as Khachanov maintains supremacy over Isner
Anxiety over Alcantara’s fitness as Bayern hosts Freiburg tomorrow
Ogunkoya unveils logo for 2019 Warri/Effurun peace marathon
Kaduna ties moved to Abuja as NCC Tennis League’s semifinalists emerge
BCX advocates connected factory technology to drive business growth
FG looks elsewhere as illegal courier operators plunder the economy
MTN launches device financing with Sterling Bank, PayJoy
NPA boss advocates enhanced cargo clearance framework
Editorial: Managing PSP and Visionscape without politics
Why children should engage in exercises
Dieting in pregnancy
Incompatibility has no medicine
Integration as imperative for electing quality leaders – Part 2
Will there be revolt vote in 2019?
Party primaries and matters arising in Nigeria
Genesys IGNITE explores latest technology trends in building economy
Signal Alliance, Cisco engage firms on maximisation of existing technology investments
Payette encourages Nigeria on communications satellite
Operators say funding, others hamper ICT development in Nigeria
How air pollution is destroying our health, by WHO
Tall people are at greater risk of cancer
New test measures men’s fertility
Drug kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria

New Telegraph

Nigeria’s economy looking good, says Buhari
Conduct public finance on Islamic teachings, don tasks Buhari, Atiku, others
PDP warns Tinubu not join smear campaign against Atiku
PDP will win landslide next year –IBB
Eight feared killed in Lagos clash
Not having sex regularly can make you lose your job- Sex Therapist
BREAKING: Agbaje picks First Bank director, Haleemat Busari, as running mate
APC Primaries: Govs attack Oshiomhole NNPC: N145 fuel pump price unrealistic Suspended NHIS boss sues ministers, NHIS
Customs seizes 67 cartons of Tramadol, 538 bags of cannabis
Study links cellphone radiation to brain cancer
Kaduna: el-Rufai’s hurdle for Ashiru
Strengthening women’s role in nation building
IG’s men storm church, arrest suspect while praying
Oke, supporters unveil plans to dump APC for PDP
APC Primaries: Govs attack Oshiomhole Strengthening women’s role in nation building
Kalu not in coma, not flown to Germany – Aide
PDP ‘ll retire Tinubu in 2019 –Okupe
Customs seizes 67 cartons of Tramadol, 538 bags of cannabis
Agbowa: Enforcing law with brute force, machetes
Boko Haram kills 14, sacks four villages, IDP camp
Army discovers ‘secret’ training camp in Taraba
Abia monarch praises peaceful co-existence in Lagos
Ambode, Kalejaiye headline Ilaje Day in Lagos
N1.3bn theft: Lack of interpreter stalls four police officers’ arraignment
Doctor slumps in Kogi-owned specialist hospital
Jazz, Fuji, my favourite music – Sotimirin
Smiles on faces of flood victims
Leading political parties lack internal democracy – Isong
Women after Buhari’s job
Floods: Need for Nigeria farmers to embrace insurance
Minimum wage, impending strike, realities
NCAA: 60% accidents in Africa occur on runway
Wheat: Market instability raises import quota
Zenith Women’s B’Ball League: Customs, Rocks, Angels confirm Final Six slots in Abuja
Musa insists on full points against B’Bafana
Oshoala, Oparanozie to arrive Falcons ’ c amp late
Eagles ‘ll miss Mikel against South Africa –Okpara
Success nominated for Watford’s goal of the month
Kalu doubtful for Bafana Bafana tie
AMAA’s night of glitz, glamour
Drama as Our Son the Minister goes on stage
Sola Sobowale: How I discovered my acting talent
EDITORIAL: Buhari: Coming clean on this certificate embarrassment

Vanguard

3.0MIS Tremor Hits Abuja
EFInA REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ROUND 9
Oby’s Double Charge On Buhari, Atiku
We Left APC Because Of Unkept Promises – Alaibe
NNPC, BP Sign 6-Month Crude-For-Product Swap
I Neither Demolished Mosques Nor Sent Hausa Out Of Anambra — Obi
Photos: Obasanjo’s Son To Buhari: Don’t Mind My Dad
Is Magu Still Nigeria’s Most Dangerous Man?
UNIDO, Edo Govt. To Construct 2MW Micro Dam In Benin City
Succession Game In APC States: Okorocha, Amosun Attack Oshiomhole Afresh
Tremor Hits Maitama Again In Abuja Measuring 3.0
Banks Refund N6.8bn Excess Charges To Customers
Boko Haram Terrorists Raid 4 Borno Villages, IDPs Camp, Kill 13
Shi’ites: US, CDHR Condemn Use Of ‘Maximum Force’
Kwam 1, Onyeka Onwenu, Sir Shina Peters, Others Ready For Showdown
We’re Doing Our Best To Ensure Leah Sharibu Is Released —FG
Alaghodaro: Obaseki, Mixta Nigeria Woo Diaspora Community With Emotan Gardens
3 banks fail CBN’s liquidity ratio requirement
Police declares Togolese cook wanted over Credit Switch boss murder
I regret returning to APC — Olusola Oke
Return one illegal AK 47 rifle, collect N1m, Gov. Yari assures
Buhari to NCWS: I’ll continue to be fair to women in appointments
IPOB: Hold Abaribe, Fani-Kayode culpable for Kanu’s escape – Ayogu
Barcelona heads to Spanish capital as LaLiga resumes
Serena can still grab Slams record, says Keys
Much ado about American super model, Blac Chyna’s planned visit to Abuja
Don Jazzy’s father bags Bachelors degree
I will divorce my wife if she goes for body massage — Tunde Ednut
NNPC, BP sign 6-month crude-for-product swap
We will not allow Shi’ites trample on rights, privileges of law abiding citizens – Army
96-year-old woman tops literacy exam in India, scores 98%
We have no plan to ban tricycle operation after 2019 general election – Enugu govt
Google workers walk out to protest office harassment, inequality
Danger! Don’t consume puffer fish, contains deadly poison – NAFDAC warns
Batth: Ordering steps with knowledge

Remembering Rashidi Yekini

Remembering Rashidi Yekini
By Segun Odegbami

On October 23, this year, he would have been 55 years old.

Some six years ago, ‘Gangling’ was ‘murdered’ by careless family members.

The circumstances of the untimely death, on 5th of May 2012, of legendary Nigerian football star, Rashidi Yekini, remain a mystery leaving a lingering sour taste in the mouth.

The story of that day, still shrouded in uncertainty, does not make any sense: a group of persons led by a member of his family, accosted him at the gate of his house as he returned from his regular morning football training; in broad day light, and with some neighbours watching the drama from their homes across the street, he was forced into a waiting car and driven away to an unknown destination. Some two weeks later he was brought back, and deposited in a private hospital, dead.

No one was arrested, and no one was prosecuted by the Police.

That’s how the life of one of the most celebrated football heroes in Nigeria’s history was wasted and nothing happened. The earth did not tremble and the people did not protest. Although the people mourned for a while, life eventually just went on normally as if Rashidi Yekini was a nobody, and how he died did not matter.

I hate to admit it (yet it is true) that it is only in Nigeria that a national figure of Rashidi Yekini’s stature would lose his life in such a ‘cheap’ and mysterious way and no proper investigation was ever conducted to find out ‘who did it’.

The elements were left to take their revenge.

To date, it is only the effort of a few friends that has continued to keep alive the memory of one of the greatest footballers in the history of the game in Nigeria.

Rashidi’s story is replicated in the stories of most others that also shone and their lights were extinguished by neglect and forgetfulness by successive custodians of sports administration in Nigeria.

The attitude of successive governments to sports is that of a minor irritant that occasionally unites the people during international championships, but consumes resources and injects nothing back into the economy.

That’s why, the present government can list 51 priority areas at the inception of the government and sport was not one of them.

This week, Rashidi Yekini’s beautiful goals have lit up several social media platforms, and the great Nigerian hero is being remembered and celebrated by his fans in a token effort to keep his memory alive.

It is a reality check for all athletes in Nigeria who spend the better part of their youthful life in pursuit of honour and glory not only for self but, most importantly, for country, and the life after.

The argument about whose responsibility it is to honour and remember them, and to cater for their welfare has been on for decades with no end in sight of a resolution.

So, successive governments have done nothing, and the athletes have been left to live with a situation that is obviously a very bad advertisement for Nigerian sport, a situation where heroes end up poor, neglected, forgotten, and dead, when they can very easily have become economic contributors, motivators and role models for younger generations.

Sport continues to suffer from a lack of enough understanding of what it can offer society and contribute to a country beyond the momentary moments of unity and celebrations.

Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, provides an insight into the possibilities, contributing about seven billion Dollars annually to the Nigerian economy despite surviving outside of government. Yet, that industry is still at its embryo and its impact pales in comparison to what sports (and football in particular) can offer when fully and properly managed.

Unlike Nollywood, sport cannot survive for now without government’s intervention and provision of the enabling conducive-for-business environment.

In combination with sport, the general entertainment industry, drawing on the power and passion of the young generation of Nigerians, can become one of Nigeria’s highest economic contributors outside of oil and gas within a few years.

The shock is that governments still do not see it. They do not understand how sports to can maximally impact society and make a difference in the lives of young people.

Many of us in the sports industry live in the despair of seeing how opportunities are frittering away in this ocean of endless possibilities.

Yekini is so big a football personality at the level of his achievements that his birth place and resting place could easily become ‘shrines’ for visitors to come and pay homage. Such a place exists in Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal where he played the best part of his professional football and remains the greatest African football ambassador in the club’s history.

On the eve of the 1994 World Cup, Rashidi was the most talked about African football player, with expectations reaching to the skies.

He did not disappoint.

Who would ever forget the effusive celebration of his first World Cup goal for Nigeria during the World Cup, how he screamed his own name after netting Nigeria’s first ever goal at the World Cup?

The pictures of that goal and of his celebration are etched in the minds of a global audience of football fans till this day.

On this day and in this column, I am using Rashidi Yekini as a point of contact with the Nigerian government for all the sports heroes that served this country through the decades, many of them now buried and forgotten in the archives of history, and many others too, although still alive, languishing in poverty and obscurity, waiting in line for their turn to join the army of forgotten heroes.

The treatment meted to sports heroes should be a candle to light up a dark country wasting in the midst of plenty.

Nigeria will be great one day if political leaders will do in governance what sports heroes have been doing in sports for the country.

What Nigeria needs now are political leadership and leaders with the knowledge and vision of how to go about tapping into this abundant natural human resource that does not require re-inventing the wheel, to impact society for good, forever.

There is a ‘hungry’ army of youths waiting to soak up the opportunities.

On a larger scale, Nigeria can use sport, in conjunction with the other arts, to birth a new Black Consciousness and Civilisation in the World.

I join in the celebration of the life and times of Rashidi Yekini in African football.

I am using him to also recall and draw attention to all the other heroes in all sectors of sports in Nigeria that have departed this world after diligently serving sports and the country, and are now forgotten. They remain evergreen and everlasting in our hearts.

They are too numerous to list here:
Mudashiru Lawal, Dan Anyiam, ‘Papingo’ Hudson Jaguar, Fabian Duru, Inuwa Lawal Rigogo, Layiwola Olagbemiro, Olakunle Awesu, Dele Udoh, Musa Dogonyaro, Ken Ilodigwe, Samuel Okwaraji, ‘Thunder’ Tesilimi Balogun, Jide Johnson, Patrick Okala, Yomi Bamiro, ‘Diamond Toe’ Baby Anieke, Peter Anieke, Cyril Asoluka, Ishola Folorunsho, Jumoke Bodunrin, Babayo Shehu, Ronke Akindele, Maman Jay, Yinka Craig, Esbee Oguntolu, Isaac Akioye, Felix Agbonifo, Raheem Adejumo, Lord Rumens, Jerry Ikpeazu, Babatunde Abeki, Patrick Okpomo, Olalekan Salami, J.K. Tandoh, Grema Mohammed, Sunday Dankaro, Isaac Akioye, Batande Na Allah, Alloysius Atuegbu, Tunde Bamidele, Mike Enahoro, and so on…!

Rest peacefully.
Happy 55th birthday, Rashidi Yekini.

Credit: The Guardian