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Morocco 2022: Super Falcons commence camping for Ghana in Lagos on Sunday

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Joel Ajayi

Nine-time African champions, Super Falcons will intensify preparations for their 2022 Women AFCON qualifying fixture against the Black Queens of Ghana when they arrive at camp in Lagos on Sunday.

Nigeria and Ghana clashed in the final match of the inaugural edition of the Women Africa Cup of Nations in 1998, in which the Falcons won 2-0. However, both strong stallions in the African women football race-course have been drawn to play each other for one slot at the next edition to be held in the summer of 2022 in the Kingdom of Morocco.

As part of their preparations for this potentially –explosive qualifying fixture, the Super Falcons featured in the USWNT Summer Series in the United States of America in June, testing their might against Portugal, Jamaica and USA senior women teams, and then featured at the six-nation Aisha Buhari Invitational Tournament hosted by the City of Lagos in September. They had earlier taken part in and won all three matches at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya in February.

For the clash with the Black Queens, which the first leg holds at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Wednesday, 20th October, Head Coach Randy Waldrum has invited goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, defenders Onome Ebi and Osinachi Ohale, midfielders Rasheedat Ajibade and Regina Otu, forwards Asisat Oshoala (captain), Gift Monday and Vivian Ikechukwu, and 15 others.

There are also defenders Glory Ogbonna, midfielders Rita Chikwelu and Toni Payne and forwards Desire Oparanozie, Uchenna Kanu and Francisca Ordega.

The return leg is scheduled for Sunday, 24th October in Accra. The winner over two legs will join hosts Morocco and 10 other countries for the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations next year summer.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (Maccabi Kishronot Hadera, Israel); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Yewande Balogun (California Storm, USA)

Defenders: Onome Ebi (Minsk FC, Belarus); Glory Ogbonna (Umea FC, Sweden); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Ayomide Ojo (Edo Queens); Rafiat Imuran (Rivers Angels); Opeyemi Sunday (Edo Queens); Oluwatosin Demehin (Rivers Angels); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens)

Midfielders: Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Toni Oyedupe Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (Minsk FC, Belarus); Goodness Onyebuchi (Edo Queens); Joy Bokiri (AIK FC, Sweden)

Forwards: Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain); Francisca Ordega (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Gift Monday (FC Robo Queens); Uchenna Kanu (Linkopings FC, Sweden); Desire Oparanozie (Dijon FC, France); Vivian Ikechukwu (Rivers Angels)

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THE NIGERIA BASKETBALL FEDERATION: FACTS AND CLARIFICATIONS BY THE FMYSD

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1.On 20 August, 2018, the former Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, wrote Mr. President asking for Intervention Funding for Nigeria’s Male Basketball Team (D’Tigers) for the hosting of the FIBA African Group F World Cup qualifiers in Lagos in 2019, as well as to enable the National Men’s Basketball Team (D’Tigers) participate in four (4) programmes as qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the sum of N1,091,996,190 (One billion, Ninety-One million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Six thousand, One Hundred and Ninety naira only).

  1. In May, 2019, the FMYSD wrote the Honourable Minister of Finance a reminder on the payment of the outstanding N1,091,996,190 to the Male Basketball Team.
  2. In August, 2019, the Federal Ministry of Finance approved the release of N1billion only to FMYSD; but charged it to the 2019 Appropriation to the Servicewide Vote for International Sporting Competitions of the FMYSD, which meant that the N1b intervention was to be taken from the Ministry’s 2019 budget (no longer intervention).
  3. The release of only N1billion greatly challenged expenditure on other sub-heads in the Votehead in the 2019 fiscal year as it was going to cut deep into Ministry’s other projects and programmes.
  4. As a result of this, a meeting was held between FMYSD and NBBF, at the instance of the Honourable Minister. Following the meeting held with the President of the NBBF, it was resolved that N850million of the N1billion be released to the NBBF, so as not to impact negatively on the other programmes of the Ministry, while the balance was expended on other sub-head items of the Votehead of the Ministry from which budget the money was taken.
  5. Following the decisions reached at the above referenced meeting, FMYSD released the sum of N850million to NBBF in August, 2019. By this development, there was still some outstanding to the Federation.
  6. Having sorted out the outstanding debts to the Male Team to a large extent, on 3rd September, 2019, the Honourable Minister wrote Mr. President requesting for the outstanding allowances of the Female Basketball Team (D’ Tigress). These included the 2017 and 2019 Afro Basketball Championships as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers. In the letter, FMYSD acknowledged the earlier release of N1billion for the Men’s Team and also requested for the approval of the sum of N1,626,985,496, to offset the above-stated liabilities to the Women’s Team and their Olympic qualifications. This request was informed by the 19 August, 2019 letter from NBBF detailing the liabilities due to the D’Tigress, which was to the tune of N1,675,402,600 for the Women Basketball Team’s for preparation and participation in the 2017 and 2019 Afro Basketball Championships, 2018 FIBA Women World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  7. Recall that on 14 October, 2019, The Presidency requested the Minister of Finance to review submission made by the Ministry. This necessitated a meeting between both Ministries on 16 December, 2019 over the requested N1,626,985,496 for the Female Basketball Team. In May 2021, the Ministry of Finance released the sum of 744 millon directly to NBBF as intervention fund from the N1,626,985,496 requested for the female basket team.

NOTES:
i.The release of N850million to NBBF for the Male Basketball Team was based on the initial request by the former Minister of Youth and Sports Development Solomon Dalung on 20 August, 2018. The release of N1billion was for the Male Team and not the Female Team, as being alleged. There is no N1billion that is missing or escrowed in any account as is being peddled. A full account of the N1billion released is well documented.
ii.The release of N744million by the Federal Government directly to NBBF as part of the outstanding N1,626,985,496 for the Female Basketball Team sometime in May 2021.This release is also well documented.
iii.The release of funds and support for Youth and Sports Development
initiatives are often prioritized as funds become available by the Federal Government.

FEAD. FMYSD

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