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FRIENDLIES: Eagles lament UK visa hitches

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…as NFF moves to dump London

Federation, players opt for Schengen countries

Super Eagles may not use the United Kingdom as venue for their international friendly matches again as many players complained of having difficulties securing entry visas to London where they played their last game against Senegal. The team’s second friendly match against Burkina Faso was cancelled after about seven of the Stallions players failed to secure visas to London. Many Nigerian stars also struggled to make it to the United Kingdom.

New Telegraph learnt that the players were so unhappy about the development and secured promise from the President of Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick who told them during a meeting that there wouldn’t be a recurrence of that.

Our correspondent also learnt that the NFF had taken a decision to have the team’s subsequent friendlies in Schengen states which provides flexible ways in acquiring visas for sides playing matches in their countries.

A source told our correspondent that France, Germany and Belgium are the countries under consideration and the federation had already mandated its Match Agent Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport to work in that direction. Coach Gernot Rohr also confirmed this development in an interview with a UK-based website that Eagles would avoid future friendly internationals in London.

“Yes, yes, because it’s too complicated to get the visas, you know,” Rohr, 63, told Empowersmag. com when asked after the training game if Nigeria could  stay away from friendlies in the U.K. in future. “I think it’s better to stay in Schengen, in Europe than go to London where the people have problems.

Even some players in our team couldn’t come, you know. They didn’t get the visa in time.” Rohr pointed out the positive aspects of Nigeria’s short trip to London, though, noting that the training exercise had allowed him to make a better evaluation of his squad.

“We tried to find another team but it was too late,” the German said. “We had one very good game against the Senegalese. The players were so strong, so powerful, we learned a lot. Now we look forwards to our next games. “The second game, between us, I could see everybody,” Rohr added. “Some players need to play because they don’t play all the time at their clubs. It was an opportunity for them.”

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Obaseki ready to unveil rebranded Bendel Insurance

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All is now set for the unveiling of the rebranded Bendel Insurance Football Club and the technical crew ahead of the 2018 National League football season and it will be done by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki. A statement from the Government House, Benin City and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Ebomhiana Musa, read that the technical crew was headed by Monday Odigie as the Manager, while he is to be assisted by Baldwin Bazuaye as the chief coach and Greg Ikhenobas the assistant coach. Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, is the chairman of the committee charged with the responsibility of repositioning sports in the state.

According to Shaibu,” With the calibre of players we have on board coupled with the technical crew, we have no doubt that Bendel Insurance FC are out to thrill football lovers with good play and bring back the old glory associated with the club. Ultimately they will move to the premier league where we believe they are rightfully belong to with the kind of investment we have put into it.”

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Lagos Polo: Caverton, Agad, Optima Energy triumph

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Lagos Caveron/Sao Polo began their chase for a place in the final of the Low Cup of the 2018 Lagos International Polo Tournament mainly sponsored by GTBank with an 8 – 4 ½ win over Lagos STL. Lagos Optima Energy outgalloped their city rivals, Lagos Plug to also brighten their chances of making it to Sunday’s final.

Martin Juaregi, unsurprisingly, ran the show on behalf of Caverton/ Sao Polo netting a large chunk of his side’s goals while Jamilu Umar and Rotimi Makajuola, the side’s patron, were also on target. STL parading Omololu Agoro, Mario Gomez, Khalifa Ibrahim and Seyi Tinubu, who is the patron began on ½ goal handicap but had their lead wiped off in the opening chukka with Argentine four-goaler, Juaregi scoring twice but STL stayed in touch with a goal by Ibrahim.

The third match of the day saw Lagos Plug having no answer to the intense play of Optima Energy who ran out 7-2 winners. Ibrahim Dantala and Saidu Umar starred as Optima Energy were optimally energized for what turned out to be a resounding victory.. The match between Lagos Agad and Kaduna Trappco which was called-off due to poor visibility was concluded with Agad scoring a goal to win 7- 5 1/2 having led 6 – 7 1/2 before the final two minutes was decided.

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NOGIG 2018: NAOC, DPR shine in scrabble

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Nigerian Agip Oil Company and Department of Petroleum Resources shared the gold medals in the scrabble event of the ongoing 17th Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry Games tagged NOGIG 2018. Vivien Kagbo representing NAOC won gold medal in the women’s category after amassing 10+1119 points after 12 rounds of game.

The silver medal went to Adesanwo Olusola, while Akpagher Vihimga got the bronze medal. In the men’s category, DPR’s Iyanam Nsikan came tops after withstanding stiff oppositions in 26 rounds of game, garnering 24+2809 points, the silver and bronze went to Shell’s Osikhena Ojior and Mpakaboari Jack respectively. Nsikan, who spoke after emerging as the men’s champion, attributed his gold-winning feat to hard work and determination to excel, insisting that he never doubted his ability to win.

He admitted that the only player that gave him tough time in the game was Adowei Ebikeme of Chevron, who finished fourth. “I’m excited with the victory. It didn’t come to me as a surprise though. It’s all about hard work and determination.

I must admit that the victory was not that easy. I was really tested by Chevron’s Adowei Ebikeme. He gave me a real fight but I was equal to the task. In general it was a good championship,” he said. The team events will be concluded Friday (today).

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