Football Development

Grassroots Football Development in Sapele From 1950-1980

Expert Author Clement Sadjere
Sapele is a city in southwestern Nigeria, located in Delta State. Sapele is situated at the headwaters of the Benin River, which flows out to the Niger Delta.
Football development in Sapele started in the 1950's, when football was just at its infancy in Nigeria, and Sapele a town noted for excellence was at the fore front in football then. The then Sapele township stadium was among the first constructed stadium in Nigeria The desire to fully develop football at the grassroots level gave birth to the Sapele Amateur Football Association in 1987.
This was quickly followed by the staging of the inaugural Sapele Cup of Nations Competition in 1988. It was a competition that featured 16 teams from Sapele and environs. Some of the teams that participated at the inaugural Cup of Nations competition include: K.B Stars, Athletico De Marin, Ghana Black Stars and Loaders F.C.
The competition was put together by Mr. Gabriel Igarri and Mr. Dan Evumena. It is interesting to note that the inaugural Sapele Cup of Nations trophy was donated by Chief P.D.O Akpeki the Ugo of Okpe Kingdom. Going back to football development in Sapele, it is worthy of note to recall that in 1968, Nova Luna Football Club was formed. It was the first Youth club in Sapele. It was founded by Late Mr. Tony Okonedo who was then a Graded football referee. He also founded Ladies Football club that same year. After the formation of Nova Luna, came Niger Pools Football club in 1969. It was formed by the Niger Pools company.
It later metamorphosed into Strangers Football Club in 1969 which was formed by former players of Niger Pools F.C. Strangers Football club was then captained by Olayinka John( Ayogi) who died on the 7th of January 2010 after a protracted illness. The club existed for two and a half years.
In 1971, Ethiope F.C Sapele was formed and it gained prominence due to the caliber of players in its fold then. When it was rumored that the club will be leaving Sapele for a new base, the then Governor of Bendel State- Osaigbovo Ogbemudia took over the affairs of the club and re-named it New Nigeria Bank F.C, with its base in Sapele.
There were four State club in the then Bendel State
Ethiope Football Club (Later re-named New Nigeria Bank F.C Sapele)
Viper F.C Benin (Later re-named Bendel Insurance of Benin)
Ika Rangers F.C Agbor (Later re-named Midwest Line F.C)
Warri Wolves F.C Warri (Later re-named Midwest Line F.C\z)
These four clubs were later handed over to various companies by the then Bendel State Government.
In 1971/72, there was the eleven brothers F.C and Eleven Strikers F.C both based in Sapele.
Late Olayinka John (Ayogi) was the then coach of eleven brothers. The club produced the likes of German Odjegbe who was the then captain of Bendel U-17 football team that won Gold medal at the 1973 National Sports Festival. The club also produced Prince Afejukwu, Oshoff Shogbene, goalkeeper Nasiru Momoh, Samuel Afejukwu and Ighoraye Ogayone. Eleven Strikers F.C were then captained by Monday Daibo and the team had the likes of Andrew Boyo.
In 1973, Ethiope F.C later re-named New Nigeria Bank F.C left Sapele and in 1974, the team was then known as Custom and Exercise F.C. A bulk of players from Strangers F.C Sapele formed the Custom F.C which was then under the Custom and Exercise Department.
The team was then captained by inspirational defender Gabriel Igarri from 1975 to 1983. Within this period under review, there were other teams that sprang up in the Sapele metropolis. These include: Government Coastal Agency F.C - Founded in 1976, Seaboard F.C (Comprising Delta Packaging company, Life Flour Mills and Top feeds)- founded in 1977 and Palm Line Agency F.C- Founded in 1977. From these three teams, a joint team to represent Sapele was formed. It was then called Urhiapele F.C. Urhiapele F.C was founded in the 1985/1986 season. The club did not however last long due to administrative problems. They only played one friendly match against the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Football Club Warri.
There was also the Rainbow Football club which came into existence in 1980. The club which was then playing in the State League/ State Challenge Cup was sponsored by Chief Michael Ibru. One notable player that came out of the ranks of Rainbow F.C was Goalkeeper Andrew Aikhomogbe who later rose to prominence and represented the U-17 National team the Golden Eaglets at the FIFA U-17 Championship tagged Scotland 89.
Clement Sadjere is an Author, a motivational speaker and an information product sales/ marketing expert. He can be reached via telephone on +2348052790262
He is the owner of a free article directory website

Football Development in Sapele, Delta State From 1980 Till Date

Expert Author Clement Sadjere
Football development in Sapele, continued in the late 1980's when some notable youth clubs were formed.
One of such club was the K.B Stars, which was formed in 1988 and solely financed by Chief K.B Omatseye. Some notable players that came from K.B Stars included: Andrew Aikomogbe, Destiny Iyonu (late), Oke Mariere, Femi Coker and Jerome Ezeoba. Another Youth club that gained prominence then, was the Pedro stars Football club.
It came into existence in 1988 and produced the likes of: Daniel Odedede, Jerome, Ike Ibe and Elvis Eruje. It was under the tutelage of Coach Daniel Evumena former Falconet and Falcons of Nigeria Head coach.
Golden Stars football club was another youth club which gained prominence in 1988. One notable player that came from their rank was Erivona Idahosa.
Finally, Athletico De Miren football club became a household name in the beautiful city of Sapele during the peak of grassroots football (1986-1995), and they won some domestic laurels.
They had some talented football player like Godwin Ovieghara, Emmanuel Ovieghara, Martins Ewerebo and Paul Akpokere in their ranks.
The club remained in existence till 1995 when Mr. Larry Kubeinje came to Sapele to bring football to limelight and thus began the birth of Urhiapele F.C.
In 1996, Urhiapele F.C won the Delta State League to become the first club from Sapele to win the trophy since its inception.
The club was able to achieve this remarkable feat as a result of a sound technical bench which was then piloted by Coach Solomon Ovieghara and the effort of enterprising player's like- Faith Igbayo, Elvis Eruje, Ike Ibe, Godwin Ovieghara, Erivona Idahosa, Cyril Emujuagbe and a host of others.
Immediately after the club won the State league, more than 18 of its players secured professional contract with some Pro League teams in Nigeria.
In 2008 after the relegation of Delta United of Warri from Pro to Amateur division, a slot was given to Sapele to play in the Amateur division, and this slot was taken over by Okpe United F.C of Sapele which till date remains the only amateur football club in Sapele.
Mention must be made of some other youth teams which emanated in the 80's/early 90's, but never gained much prominence. Top on the list was Emeka United which was then based in Amukpe sapele and were under the tutelage of Coach Chikodi Onuoha and John Okokoyo. The team brought out enterprising striker- Freeborn Itejeri to limelight who later joined KB Stars and eventually became a key member of the Aba Millionaire club (Enyimba F.C) in the 2004-2006 seasons.
It is however sad to note, that all the youths Clubs in Sapele have faded into oblivion, due to lack of sponsorship from both the public and private sectors and gross administrative flaws.
On a bright note, Sapele has the enviable reputation of producing the only FIFA badge referee in the then Bendel State in the person of FIFA Daniel Aghante (Black Arrow).
A 5,000 sitter ultra modern stadium is still presently under construction, and when completed, will further boost football development not only in Sapele, but in the entire State.
Clement Sadjere is an Author, a motivational speaker and an information product sales/ marketing expert. He can be reached via telephone on +2348052790262
He is the owner of a free article directory website

FIFA Suspends Nigeria From All Competitions

Expert Author Joseph Ezie Efoghor
The world football governing body FIFA has descended its disciplinary hammer on Nigeria for what it termed 'Government interference in football matters.' This action has long been awaited by a lot of soccer followers, following the protracted tussles between government authorities and The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).
This step taken by FIFA would have been long averted if football had been administered by men of reputation in the country. The country has carved a niche for herself in the sphere of soccer by being Africa's most respected country in that area. Unfortunately, those in charge of football have only been interested in how much they could make for themselves and not how to move the country forward soccer wise.
This unfortunate twist has affected the country's football fortunes negatively in recent times. The performances of the various age grade teams have nosedived; most recently Nigeria was eliminated from the Africa U-17 championship qualifiers by Congo. Needless to talk about the lackluster performance of the Super Eagles at the 2010 world cup in South Africa. The fortunes of The Super Falcons also dwindled as they lost the last Africa Women Championship title to little known Equatorial Guinea.
In most countries of the world, soccer is administered by people who know about the game, especially ex-footballers and those who are passionate about the game. The reverse has been the case in Nigeria where football is administered by those who know little or nothing about sports.
The abolition of the unpopular decree 101 was supposed to bring succour to soccer administration in the country; but the Mafias and insatiable politicians in sports have refused to let go. They have denied the people with the wherewithal the chance to run football.
The government has invested much in football with little or nothing to show for it. Each time there's a major competition, there has always been the issue of poor preparation due to unavailability of funds. In recent times funds meant for the national teams were either reported stolen, misappropriated or mismanaged by the authorities.
Elections were to be conducted recently to bring in credible people to run football: unfortunately the process was hijacked by the 'pot bellies' who believed their placentas have been planted in the 'glass house' and that no other person should be allowed to come in and change the way things are being done there.
In as much as FIFA does not condone government interference, there should be a mechanism put in place to ensure that only people are accountable to the masses are allowed to manage the game of soccer. Corrupt people should not be allowed to perpetuate themselves in office.
FIFA should think of working with government to evolve a system that would help get the best hands to take care of football rather than being antagonistic to moves made by the latter to sanitize the system. They should work as partners and work together for the good of the game. By so doing, the game would develop faster and more money would be made by the countries and by FIFA.
When there is less corruption, enough money would be made available for players' welfare and for organizing trainings, friendlies, and for executing developmental projects. When the right things are done, there would be less friction between players and the officials regarding payment of bonuses, return tickets and treatment of injured players.
FIFA should once again take a look at the good side of what government is trying to do with the Nigerian football, and co-operate with the government to move the game of soccer forward as banning Nigeria at this crucial time would be counter-productive.
Joseph Ezie Efoghor is a sports analyst with special interest in football, wrestling, golf, boxing, athletics and long jump. For more of his articles visit

Nigeria Pulls Out of Football Competitions Till 2012

Expert Author Joseph Ezie Efoghor
The Nigerian president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan directed on Tuesday that the country should pull out of all football competitions till 2012. This is as a result of the country's poor performance in the ongoing world cup in South Africa.
The president's directive did not come as a surprise to me, considering the lackluster performances of our teams in recent time. The last time they gave Nigerians something to cheer about was in South Korea 2007, when the U-16 team conquered the world and came back with the trophy.
Our performance in Egypt 2009 (FIFA U-20 World Cup) was less than satisfactory as we could not advance beyond the second round in a competition that was eventually won by the Black Starlets of Ghana. We eventually hosted the U-16 world cup (Oct/Nov 2009) and lost to first-timers, Switzerland in the final; we should also not forget that we did not qualify for the competition because we were knocked out by little known Benin Republic, and only got there as the host nation.
Why The Dwindling Fortunes?
A lot of things have contributed to this downward spiral of our national teams; I will only mention few of them for the sake of time:
Corruption: This has remained the bane of our football as players get imposed on the coaches by certain people who are highly placed in government. This issue of God-fatherism has contributed to a large extent to the lackluster performance of our players, as those who are backed by these cabals believe no one could ever remove them from the team so long as their God fathers are still alive. So they do not give their best because they never got there by merit but through the back door.
Quota system: The use of quota system in almost all spheres of life has also affected our football as certain areas/zones must also contribute players whether they are fit or not. Players used to be selected to play for the national teams based on merit, skills and fitness and not by geographical affiliation; but today the reverse is the case.
Lack of continuity: Ghana is waxing strong today because they were able to graduate their young talents to replace the aging ones. But in our own case, the old players have held tenaciously to the national team's jerseys, preventing the young ones from graduating. How do we explain a situation where Kanu Nwankwo, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, John Utaka, Joseph Yobo, Rabiu Afolabi, etc still maintain a regular shirt in the team? Only Haruna Lukman is now playing for the Super Eagles when all his team mates to South Korea - Rabiu Ibrahim, Yakubu Alfa, Oseni, etc. have all been left out. What also happened to Coach Sampson Siasia's Olympic squad?
What Should We Do?
Administration: The old hands in NFF should be flushed out and ex-footballers should administer our football. They would bring in passion and commitment, unlike the present people who are after money.
Continuity: Our young players who have done well at various levels should be graduated to take over from the aging players who are struggling for fitness: we should borrow a leaf from Ghana.
Stop quota system: Players should be invited to the national teams based purely on merit and not on quota system that is bringing mediocrity into the teams.
Discipline: Our players should be subject to discipline; nobody should be guaranteed a permanent shirt anymore. Anyone who does not do well should be shown the way out, and more committed ones be brought in.
Good developmental plans: The foreign coaches have not done too well for us (except Clemence Westerhof and Otto Gloria). We should therefore begin to develop our local coaches who would show more commitment if appointed to handle our teams. Our football academies should also be improved to produce quality players.
Joseph Ezie Efoghor is a sports analyst with special interest in football, wrestling, golf, boxing, athletics and long jump. For more of his articles visit

The Impact of Football Families in Development of Football in Nigeria

Expert Author Clement Sadjere
Football remains one of the most popular sports in the world. In Nigeria, football has a huge following and it is passionately discussed in every nooks and crannies of the country.
One common trend in football development is the input of football families to the development of football in the country. Beginning from the early 1960's till date, there has been a well documented contingent of football families plying their trade in various countries of the world, but putting all their resources together to ensure the success of the National team of the most populous country in Africa.
Football families have brought glamor to the game in Nigeria, with some even adorning the green and white color of the national flag in their hair style. Some of the other positives coming from football families in Nigeria include:
  • Increased awareness of the game
  • There has been a meteoric rise in football popularity, especially when two brothers are playing in the same national team. Sports analyst help to increase this awareness as they tend to isolate football brothers before a major game and analyze the possibility of both starting a particular game.
  • Adding value to the game
  • More value was attached to the game of football in Nigeria when blood related brothers were representing the country at major events. This helped to lift the game to a different level and increased the sales of match tickets at match venues. Television commentator had a horrid time during a World Cup qualifying match between Sierra Leone and Nigeria at the Free town stadium, when both teams had four sets of brothers all bearing the name Kanu. On parade for Nigeria at that crucial encounter were Nwankwo Kanu and Ogbonnaya Kanu.
Below is a list of Top 20 football families that have played for the National team in the past 50 years.
  • Patrick Okala, Emmanuel Okala
  • Cyril Okosieme, Ndubuisi Okosieme, Nkiru Okosieme:
  • Emmanuel Amuneke, Kevin Onyekachi Amuneke, Kingsley Amuneke
  • Sunday Oliseh, Azubuike Oliseh
  • Albert Yobo, Joseph Yobo
  • Dickson Paul Etuhu, Kelvin Etuhu
  • Kalu Uche, Ikechukwu Uche
  • Celestine Babayaro, Emmanuel Babayaro
  • Nwankwo Kanu, Christopher Ogbonnaya Kanu
  • Tijani Babangida, Ibrahim Babangida, Haruna Babangida
  • Efe Sodje, Sam Sodje, Akpo Sodje, Onome Sodje
  • Emma Okocha,Austin Okocha
  • Clement Temile, Omonigho Temile, Frank Temile
  • Willy Bazuaye, Baudwin Bazuaye, Daddy Bazuaye
  • Wilson Oruma, Dominic Oruma, Johnson Oruma
  • Tarila Okorowanta, Bernard Okorowanta
  • Emeka Onyedika, Ifeanyi Onyedika
  • Wole Odegbami, Segun Odegbami
  • Femi Olukanmi, Segun Olukanmi
  • John Utaka, Peter Utaka
The above rating is not based on any particular criteria, and the duo of Ikechukwu Uche and Kalu Uche are the only active brothers presently playing for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
Clement Sadjere is an Author, a motivational speaker and an information product sales/ marketing expert. He can be reached via telephone on +2348052790262
He is the owner of a free article directory website

Beijing Olympic Games Football Event Preview

As the football event of the Beijing Olympic games approach and the teams whittle down their squads in a bid for medals rather than trophies. Below is a group by group review of the participating 16 teams of the male version.
Group A - Argentina, Serbia, Ivory Coast and Australia.
This is sure the toughest group among all the four groups. Argentina is the clear favorite of this group , they won there first Olympic gold medal in 2004. They have in their Squad Boca Juniors' midfielder Juan Riquelme, Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano and Inter Milan defender Nicolas Burdisso as the three over age Player.
They also have Barcelona's petite player Lionel Messi in their fold. Messi who already amassed 29 senior caps for Argentina is one of the most deadly strikers in the world at the moment. Barcelona is fighting to keep Messi for upcoming Champions League qualifying matches, but it's unlikely he'll be prevented from playing in the Olympics.
They also have Sergio Aguero , who was hot in the spainish La Liga last season. Sergio Aguero, 20, has made seven appearances for the senior team and should be alongside Messi at forward. Aguero led Atletico Madrid with 19 goals in Spain's La Liga last season.
Argentina is the favorite in Group A, which includes Australia, Ivory Coast and Serbia. Australia, which won the bronze in 1992, is the only other team in the group that has ever won an Olympic Football Event medal.
Argentina should expect tough competition from both Ivory coast and Serbia. Ironically both Ivory and Serbia were in Argentina's group during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Both teams should not be under rated as they also have decent players in their fold. The Ivorians will be parading the likes of Salomon Kalou and potentially Didier Drogba and Kolo Toure as the 3 over age players.
Serbia who had a successful under21 Euro cup campaign where they finished second will be parading Branislav Ivanovic who also play for Chelsea in the English Premiership and Velancia's Zigic.
Australia should expect to end the grow with no points as they parade a team which lacks experience at this level,no Tim Cahill , no Mark Viduka or Harry Kewell it would be surprising if they managed to grab anything more than a point.
Prediction : Argentina to finish top of the group while Serbia and Ivory Coast will have to battle it out for the second quarter final ticket.
Group B - Netherlands, Nigeria, Japan and USA.
Every team in Group B has earned a medal at the Olympic Games. Although Nigeria has only won in 1996, it remains a good team. Japan won bronze in 1968 and the Netherlands won three straight bronze medals in 1908, 1912 and 1920.
The Netherlands team is the clear favorite to win this group. Following a European Championship where they were heaped with praise for their attractive attacking football the spirits of the Netherlands team should be high, despite a completely new look to the squad. They will be parading veteran striker Roy Makaay, Gerald Sibon and Kew Jailens, all of whom should help to mould a well balanced and technically brilliant team. It should be noted that The Dutch are the back to back European Under21 champions, some of the under21s will be on parade in the Olympics in China.
Nigeria, Japan and the USA will have to fight it out for the second Quarter Final ticket or be ready to head back to their respective countries. The Nigerians have a slight advantage due largely to the fact that many of their National team also play in the Under23s too, adding vital experience to a squad which is devoid of many of the big names associated with Nigeria in the past. Striking sensations Ikechukwu Uche and Osase and Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama will be the three over age players in the team.
Brian McBride, Brad Guzan and Michael Parkhurst will represent The USA as their overage players. Japan might struggle to get out of the group, unless coach Yasuharu Sorimachi can ensure they are disciplined enough to take points from the two weaker teams around them. Their key match could well be against the USA, a team lacking any real superstars who have been criticised in the past for their poor development at youth level. They should be keen to prove the critics wrong, but may struggle to do so.
Prediction : Netherlands And Nigeria to go through from the Group.
Group C - China, New Zealand, Brazil and Belgium.
Though China are expected to top the medal haul for the Olympics if managing to get out of group c will be a massive surprise to everyone including themselves. China will though be expected to get a win from New Zealand who will be participating in the Olympics for the very first time but they should not expect much from Brazil and Belgium. The Belgians who are well known for their strong youth system will be parading highly rated Vincent Kompany, Anthony Vanden Borre and Tom de Mul.
Brazil is the clear favorite to top the group. They have surprisingly invited to their squad AC Milan bound Ronaldinho, despite the fact he has not exactly been fully fit as of late. Robinho, Thiago Neves, Diego and Pato are also included in the team but coach Dunga's major worry will be the attack line none of whom were in great form for their respective clubs in the just concluded season. They will be banking on the midfield to deliver them the goals that will win them the ever elusive Olympic gold medal.
Prediction : Brazil to win the group while Belgium are the favorites to come second.
Group D - Italy, South Korea, Honduras and Cameroon.
Italy highlights Group D, but the four-time World Cup winners don't feature as much talent as Brazil and Argentina and haven't won the gold medal since 1936. American-born striker Giuseppe Rossi is among the players to watch after scoring 11 goals for Villarreal last season.
Cameroon, which is trying to get Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o for the Games, is hoping to repeat its gold medal success from 2000. Eto'o was part of that team, which defeated Brazil in overtime in the quarterfinals, Chile in the semifinals and Spain in the final.
Honduras, the other representative from CONCACAF along with the United States, is the other team in Group D.
The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals. The men's event starts Aug. 7 and concludes with the final on Aug. 23.
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Nigeria football is a massive brand. Impressive performances on the pitch and in the boardroom over the years has compelled more interest in the brand from corporate organizations and establishments.
Today, the Nigeria Football Federation has a number of partners, sponsors and suppliers.
These are:
Africa Independent Television
Guinness Nigeria PLC
West African Milk Company
Cadbury Nigeria PLC
Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd
Industrial and General Insurance
AIT (of the DAAR Communications group) are the Broadcast partners. AFRIBANK is the Official Bank of the NFF and the National Teams; Guinness Nigeria PLC pays the salaries of the assistant Coaches of the Super Eagles; Adidas of Germany are the kits suppliers; West African Milk Company, through its Peak milk, is the Official Milk, Cadbury Nigeria PLC, through TomTom, is the Official Candy of the National Teams, Coca-Cola is a sponsor of the national senior team; Pamodzi is the marketing consultant; IGI brokers the insurance package for the teams and; Supersport is technical partner for production of clean feed during matches.
An Official Partner to the NFF has exclusive right to the product and service on all pillars of the Nigeria Football Federation brand spectrum. The partnership right is not limited to the national teams only but extended to cover specific projects of the Federation.
An Official Sponsor/Supplier has no right to product exclusivity on a particular brand of the Nigeria Football Federation. Under this platform, the level of participation determine the sponsor upgrade to ‘Official Partner’ level. Donations, grants and other gratifications from both private and public sector enterprises fall under this category.
Windows Still Open:
  • The Federation Cup
  • The Nigeria National League
  • The Nigeria Women’s League
  • The Nigeria Amateur League
  • The Charity Shield competition
  • National U-13 Boys & Girls Championships
Partnership with Nigeria Football Federation and the National Teams will:
  • Create worldwide mileage for sponsors’ products and services
  • Create a halo effect through the transfer of the passion of soccer fans across the globe on sponsors’ products and services
  • Reduce the cost of above-the-line advertising
  • Create brand loyalty for sponsors’ products/services and build emotional connections for increased patronage
  • Give sponsors’ brand world class status
  • Foster warm relationship between sponsors and international football bodies like FIFA, CAF and WAFU
  • Enable for sponsors priority consideration in the execution of government projects in the sports sector
  • Grant to sponsors the right of exclusivity which creates monopoly for their products and services for worldwide publicity during important competitions and tournaments
  • Grant access to our world –class players for endorsement and testimonial of sponsors’ products and services
  • Grant to sponsors right of exclusivity to handle the Federation’s projects where available, et cetera