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Pele: We have lost world role model in history of football — SWAN

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Pele: We have lost world role model in history of football — SWAN

Pele: We have lost world role model in history of football — SWAN

The Ebonyi chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has mourned the football legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pele, who died on Thursday at 82.

Pelé, the Brazilian king of soccer, who won a record three World Cups and became one of the most commanding sports figures of the last century, died after long battle with cancer.

Mr Emmanuel Nnaji, SWAN’s Chairman in the state in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki on Friday, said the world had lost its soccer role model.

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“Pele’s death is a huge loss in world football. With his passing, the world has lost a great sporting icon.

“We express our sincere condolences to the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF), to Brazil and to all football fans who loved him as well as his family,” Nnaji added.

Mr Sunday Nwali, a football enthusiast, described Pele as a football superstar and urged young generation to emulate him.

“This is a man that had used football to unite the whole world. He cannot be forgotten and I pray God to accept his soul,” Nwali said.

Another soccer fan, Chidi Otu said: “He was a great footballer, though, I knew about him through history.

“He will be greatly missed by all his fans around the world.”

Pele: We have lost world role model in history of football — SWAN

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Bethany Int’l College thrash Baptist Academy 2-0 to win maiden Gombe football tournament

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Bethany Int'l College thrash Baptist Academy 2-0 to win maiden Gombe football tournament

Bethany Int’l College thrash Baptist Academy 2-0 to win maiden Gombe football tournament

Bethany International College football team has defeated their counterpart from Baptist Academy 2-0 to win the maiden football tournament organised for private secondary schools in Gombe metropolis.

The two-week tournament, which started with eight teams from eight different secondary schools in Gombe metropolis, climaxed with a scintillating and pulsating match played at the Bethany football pitch on Friday.

The final match was greeted with cheers from supporters and dignitaries who graced the event as players from both teams showed great skills and talents to the admiration of everyone.

The deciding moments came when Andrew Raphael broke the deadlock with a super strike that rendered the opponent’s goal-keeper helpless.

Baptist Academy boys showed resilience and fought hard towards equalising but their effort yielded no result and their hard work was punctured when the captain of Bethany Int’l College team, Japhet Nehemiah who is also the tournament’s highest goal-scorer with five goals, netted the second goal in the match to cement victory for his team.

Reacting in a post-match conference, the octogenarian, Mr Ayo expressed happiness for such a competition to be organised in his honour, describing the tournament as a good avenue to harness football talents and promoting sporting activities in schools.

“I observed strict orderliness and good discipline at the final stage. The overall winner emerged- The Bethany International College, Gombe.

“The salient motive for the tournament was to generate the good spirit of healthy competition and to encourage the essential and good spirit of hard work (diligence).

“I have observed the good beginning of the Spirit of Sportsmanship reaching out to the students of the participating institutions.

“I pray and hope that this will continue and will further enhance the production of great sports students. Amen.

“I congratulate all participants-schools/colleges, games officials, and all the organisers. I congratulate this year’s champions-The Bethany International College Gombe.

“ I am personally grateful for all the honour and respect done to me. May the blessings of God reward you. Amen!,” he said.

Mrs Benedicta A. Olaniyan, the school manager, Bethany International College, commended her school for emerging winner of the maiden football championship for private schools in Gombe metropolis.

Olaniyan said she was amazed that her students won the competition, “ I saw how they dedicated their time to practice for the competition. It’s was an exciting experience for the students. I pray that this tournament will be a continuation from now,” the excited manager said.

The competition was organised to honour Mr S. A. Ayo, one of Gombe’s football soccer legends, who donned the jersey of Gombe Town between 1957 and 1972, as he marks his 80th birthday in distinctive style.

The competition was sponsored by the Ayo Family as a way of appreciating their father’s deep positive contributions to the entire family, Gombe State, and the nation at large.

For winning the competition, Bethany male football players were adorned with gold medals and the team smiled home with N50, 000 cash prize while Baptist Academy team grabbed N20, 000 alongside their silver medals for being the runner-up team of the competition.

Our correspondent reports that the teams that participated in the competition include Bethany Int’l College Gombe; Zenith International, and integrated College Gombe; Onward group of schools and Savannah International School.

Others are Baptist Academy Gombe; Alheri model School Gombe; All Saints College Gombe, and Numba Royal Academy Gombe.

Bethany Int’l College thrash Baptist Academy 2-0 to win maiden Gombe football tournament

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Defeating Lobi Stars was for pride, says Gombe United coach

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Defeating Lobi Stars was for pride, says Gombe United coach

Haruna Abdullahi, coach of Gombe United, says his team played for pride against Lobi Stars of Makurdi, defeating the visitors 3-2.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gombe United staged a comeback after conceding a goal in the first minute of play.

The Match Day 32 fixture of the 2023/2024 of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) was played on Sunday at the Pantami Township Stadium in Gombe.

Reacting to the match in an interview with NAN, Abdullahi said teams visiting Gombe United often underrated his team because of their position on the NPFL log, hence the need to prove them wrong.

He said his team would continue to stun any team visiting Gombe in spite of the fact that they are currently in relegation zone.

“We won to protect our integrity whether we will be relegated or not.

“The last match we played, some were of the opinion that we sold the match.

“Today, we played for the pride of the club.

“Notwithstanding being in relegation zone or not, we are team Gombe and we will continue to play for the pride of the club,” he said.

Abdullahi said although his team had some challenges, but noted that the team was good and always battle-ready to take on any team in the NPFL.

On how they defeated their visitors, he said: “It is all about determination; our players were determined to win the game for the pride of the team and they did.”

Abdullahi urged fans of the club to continue to support Gombe United, and in no distant time, the team would return to NPFL.

NAN reports that Emmanuel Michael equalised for Gombe United in the 23rd minute of play while a brace from Anayor Ogbonna in the 74th and 82nd minute respectively completed the three goals for the hosts.

Lobi Stars’ goals were scored by Christian Aniche in the first minute and Stanley Oganbor in the 90th minute.

Defeating Lobi Stars was for pride, says Gombe United coach

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Asaba to host Wheelchair Basketball Atlantic Conference League

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Asaba to host Wheelchair Basketball Atlantic Conference League

Asaba to host Wheelchair Basketball Atlantic Conference League

Seyi Johnson, President, Nigeria Wheelchair Basketball Federation, has said that its forthcoming “Betking” Athletic Conference League Finals, scheduled to hold in Asaba, Delta, would be an opportunity for exceptional athletes with disabilities to shine.

Johnson who said this in Lagos on Friday, noted that teams from Delta, Oyo, Imo, Lagos and Ogun that formed the Atlantic Conference were all set to slug it out at the championship.

He said the championship would take place at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta, between April 30 and May 4.

“The wheelchair basketball enthusiasts across Nigeria are gearing up for an action-packed tournament.

“With months of preparation and rigorous training, the athletes are ready to showcase their skills, determination and sportsmanship in what promises to be an exciting and competitive event,” he said.

Johnson highlighted the significance of promoting wheelchair basketball in the country, noting that it would create a platform for athletes with disabilities to participate in high-level sporting competitions

He said, “The Atlantic Conference is going to be one of the toughest wheelchair basketball leagues because the best teams in the country will be storming Asaba for the encounter.

“Wheelchair Basketball is becoming one of the fastest growing sports in Nigeria and every special athlete wants to play the game.

“The target of the federation is to play at the highest level which is the World Championship, and I believe it is going to become a reality.

“I am appealing to sports philanthropists in the various states to support their teams in participating in the league in order to have a successful Atlantic Conference,” Johnson said.

Asaba to host Wheelchair Basketball Atlantic Conference League

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