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CAF Confederation Cup: We’ll make Nigeria proud – Maikaba

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CAF Confederation Cup: We’ll make Nigeria proud-Maikaba

Mfon Patrick

Head Coach of Nigeria Cup winners Abdu Maikaba has assured football fans in the country that his team Akwa United will make the nation proud in their CAF Confederation Cup playoffs against El Hilal of Sudan this weekend.

The Promise Keepers are in Sudan for the first leg of their tie against the Sudanese team slated for Sunday at El Hilal stadium by 8:00pm.

Coach Maikaba in a chat with the media department of the club said he has a fair knowledge of El Hilal team from his time as an assistant coach of Enyimba International.

” We have prepared very well for this match, our opponents are a good team and we know it’s not going to be an easy game. I know this team because when Enyimba beat them here in Sudan some years ago I was the assistant coach.

“We have committed professional players that can deliver at any time. We all know the importance of this game to us as a football club and to our country. That is the reason we want to ensure we get a positive result here in Sudan on Sunday.

“Although the playoff is a two legged affair, we want to gain all the advantages we can get that will help put us in pole position for the next round.

” There is no doubt that El Hilal will have massive fans support but they can’t intimidate us with that. Football is a game of eleven players against eleven players and we are here to make our country proud”.

On their way to the playoffs, Akwa United knocked out Hawks of Gambia 3-2 on aggregate and defeated Al-Ittihad of Libya 3-2 on penalties after 1-1 aggregate score over two legs.

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It will be the Promise Keepers first appearance in the playoff round of CAF Confederation Cup and also their first continental meeting with a Sudanese club.

The two time Nigeria FA Cup winners have an impressive away record in the CAF Confederation Cup having won two of their three previous away games in the competition.

In 2016, they beat Vita Club Mokanda of Congo 0-1, before defeating Hawks of Gambia 0-2 in February this year. Their only away defeat in the competition was 1-0 loss to Al-Ittihad of Libya last month.

Coach Maikaba will rely on the experience of some key players like Etim Mathew, Kodjovi Dadzie, Ariwachukwu Emmanuel, Denis Nya, Kelly Kester, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Ubong Friday, Aniekeme Asuquo, Gabriel Okechukwu, Michael Ibe, Victor Mbaoma amongst others for the needed result.

The winners of the two legged tie will advance to the lucrative group stage of the competition.

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Akwa United to play Rovers, Nnewi Utd in friendly

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Akwa United to play Rovers, Nnewi Utd in friendly

Mfon Patrick

Nigeria Professional Football League high flyers Akwa United FC will play two friendly games this week as part of their preparations for the resumption of the second stanza of the league.

The Promise Keepers will engage Nigeria National League side Unicem Rovers of Calabar on Tuesday at the U. J. Esuene Stadium at Two O’clock in the afternoon.

They will also battle another NNL team Nnewi United on Sunday at the training pitch of the Godswill Akpabio international stadium in Uyo at Four O’clock in the afternoon.

Coach Abdu Maikaba boys played two friendly games last week and defeated Ajagun Academy of Port Harcourt 6-0 and also thrashed Kingdom Academy of Uyo 7-1 at the Godswill Akpabio international stadium.

The 2017 Aiteo Cup Champions who are chasing their maiden NPFL title are second on the log with 41points from 24 matches just two points behind leaders Lobi Stars.

NPFL clubs are still on break embarked upon by the league body due to the just concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia.

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Breaking News: LMC suspends Nigeria league

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Breaking News: LMC suspends Nigeria league

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has been suspended by the League Management Company, following the upheaval at the Nigeria Football Federation. Nigeria football was thrown into crisis after the world cup when the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung directed that Chris Giwa takes over the leadership mantle at the NFF based on Supreme Court judgment.

However, world soccer governing body FIFA insisted that it only recognises Amaju Pinnick as president. “The decision is based on the current adverse circumstances in the administration of football in the country, as a result of which sponsors, partners and service providers have expressed strong concerns and are reviewing their involvement in the league,” the LMC said in a statement.

“Furthermore, organising matches of the NPFL under the current circumstances might cause irreversible damage to the league brand.”

The leadership crisis means the Nigerian Professional Football League – which was due to recommence on July 18 – has been suspended indefinitely by the League Management Company (LMC) until the dispute is resolved.

Credit – https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/07/lmc-suspends-nigeria-league/

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Ibom Youth lift Akwa Ibom Super Four Tournament

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Ibom Youth lift Akwa Ibom Super Four Tournament

Ibom Youth FC

Mfon Patrick

Nigeria Nationwide League side Ibom Youth FC shocked pre-tournament favourites Akwa United and Akwa Starlets to win the maiden edition of Akwa Ibom Super Four Football Tournament in Uyo on Friday.

Ibom Youth were crowned champions after forcing both Akwa United and Cofine FC to 1-1 draw in their opening two games before beating Akwa Starlets 1-0 on the last day of the competition to finish on 5 points from three round-robin matches.

Second placed Akwa Starlets recorded a 2-1 win over Cofine FC on the opening day, held Akwa United to a 1-1 draw before losing their last match 0-1 to winners Ibom Youth FC to finish on four points from three games.

Nigeria Professional Football League club and pre-tournament favourites Akwa United failed to live up to expectations and could only manage three draws in three games.

A 1-1 draw with Ibom Youth FC on the opening day was followed by another 1-1 draw aginst Akwa Starlets before being held to a goalless draw by bottom of the table Cofine FC. The Promise Keepers’ two goals at the tournament were scored by striker Boniface Mathew who ended as the tournament’s highest goal scorer.

Ibom Youth FC

Speaking after his team’s success Coach Itoro Akpan said he was proud of his team and promised to build on the impressive outing when the league resumes.

“We are very happy winning this tournament, it was a tough competition considering the calibre of teams that took part. We thank the Ministry of Youth and Sports for this great initiative and I hope it will be sustained.

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“We played against some of the best teams in Nigeria and finished the tournament unbeaten. We are very proud with our performances in this tournament. We have had a wonderful season in the nationwide league. This victory has underlined the fact that we are ready and capable of competing against the best in any division in this country, excited Coach Akpan concluded.

Reacting to his team’s performance at the end of the tournament, Chief Coach of Akwa United Aliyu Zubairu said he was not bothered by the results of his team and hinted that he was more interested in getting his players back to full fitness after more than three weeks of FIFA World Cup break embarked upon by his side.

“We are very grateful to the Akwa Ibom State Government for putting together this mid-season tournament for teams in the state because we have benefitted greatly from it.

“The four teams that participated know each other very well so we are not really surprised with the results we got. We went into the competition with the knowledge that any team was capable of winning it. If we had won the tournament, maybe we would have had the impression that everything was going on well but now we know that we still have a lot of work to do.

“The tournament afforded us the opportunity to test all our players and I can say that I am impressed with their fitness level and before the resumption of the second round of the league, we believe they will get back to full fitness and will be ready for the task ahead, ” said Coach Zubairu.

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Addressing the organisers at the end of the tournament, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Sir Monday Ebong Uko congratulated all the participating teams and assured that the government will continue to support sports development in the state.

“On behalf of His Excellency Deacon Udom Emmanuel, I wish to congratulate all the four teams for taking part in this competition and for competing fairly. We will continue to organise tournaments like this that will help bring out the best in our players.

“I wish to urge all the state teams in the different leagues not to relent but to ensure they finish well by winning in their various divisions.

Nsikak Paulinus of Ibom Youth FC was voted as the tournament’s most Valuable Player and was presented with an award for his efforts.

The Mid-Season tournament which was organised by the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with Akwa Ibom State Football Association was put together to help the four participating teams who are playing in different tiers of the football league in the country to prepare well for the second round of the season later this month.

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