Former Nigerian U-20 international, Abubakar Lawal, has joined Rwandan first division outfit, A.S Kigali, following a successful trial.
The Club based in Kigali, the capital city announced the signing of Lawal on a two-year deal with an option for extension.
The deadly attacker who is now nickenamed “the Sniper” by Coach of his new East African club, Eric Nshimiyimana, after netting three goals in two friendlies, left Nigerian Professional Football League side, Nasarawa United, after joining the team in 2019 where he featured in eighteen league games, scoring seven goals and providing three assists before the 2019/2020 Nigerian elite league season was abruptly ended on match day 25 following the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Overwhelmed by the move to Rwanda, the fast-footed striker says he will utilize the opportunity given to him to play for “A.S.K”, as the team is nicknamed, and that he can not wait to bring his wealth of experience to bear towards the success of the club.
“My joy knows no bounds to have put pen on paper with A.S Kigali, and I feel even more delighted that the club have given me this opportunity”, Lawal said.
The former Wikki Tourists of Bauchi and Kano Pillars’ attacking sensation ranked A.S. Kigali high and described the 16-team Rwandan Premier League as competitive, but was upbeat that he would weather the storm.
“A.S. Kigali are a big club, not only in Rwanda, but on the African Continent as they also play in the CAF competitions like the Confederations Cup.
“They have some reasonable number of players in the Rwandan senior national team, and a historic home stadium, the Amahoro National Stadium.
“And the hospitality here is second to none.
“They have a tradition, and I hope I can bring some Midas touch into the team, while my singular goal here is to help them win laurels, both in the domestic and continental club competitions.
“I am going to work extra-hard, and get the support of the team to achieve success”, the 24-year-old assured.
The Sokoto State-born Nigerian player, however, thanked his former Club, Nasarawa United, for supporting his football career.
“It was not easy taking this decision, but in life, you need to make progress.
“I respect the team, the management, coaches, teammates and the ever-vociferous fans. Their love is amazing.
“I wish to, most sincerely, thank everyone in Nasarawa United for giving me the platform to improve on my career. Hopefully, I won’t disappoint them in my new club.”
Coach Eric described Lawal as a good player who needed more games to blend with his club mates
“The striker we have been working with for days, he is a player who has a lot of tricks; he is a player who knows how to stand on the pitch.
“He knows how to play with others; he is a player who meets all requirements for a striker.
“The rest is to give him a lot of games”, Eric said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of A.S. Kigali, Mr. Shema Ngoga, has expressed his side’s delight to secure the services of the Nigerian.
“We wanted a good striker who can give us more input because we will be representing Rwanda in the CAF Confederation Cup for next year – in fact, for the second time in a row.
“We want to go far in the league, so we try to bring more experienced players to the team so that we can have winning expectations in the seasons ahead.
‘We want to be one of the top-qualifiers next year. Our aim is to win as a Kigali team. So, that is why we are building a strong team.
“And Lawal is a top-class player with all the qualities of a world-class striker”, the Club’s Chairman remarked.
AS Kigali were on 6th position before the 2019/2020 Rwandan Azam Premier League was also abruptly ended due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Kwara Football Academy Rewards Brilliance, Launch Football Magazine.
By Yemi Sodeeq, Kwara.
It was all glitz and glamour on Sunday 30th of November when one of the leading football academies in Nigeria, Kwara football academy held her annual awards and prize giving ceremony.
The event had players from all the academy’s cadre and staffs being honoured for their outstanding performances after a painstaking evaluation and standard system of the college under the year in review.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Commissioner of Youth and Sports development, Kwara State, Mrs.Joana Nnazua Kolo who was represented by her husband, Mr Moses Kolo assured the academy of government continued support and commended all the staffs and players for their dedication and committment towards making the college great.
The Administrator of the academy, Kehinde Jimoh in his remarks revealed the 2020 edition of the award giving ceremony is significant adding that even with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic,none of his staffs,players and students fell victim- hence the need to appreciate God.
Kehinde added that the academy under his watch decided to give scholarship to 25 players with 16 of them from all the local government areas of the state.
According to the helmsman,the initiative which was meritoriously carried out by the technical department of the institution is to further strengthen it’s creed in establishing and showcasing talented players with a view to help them make career out of their potentials.
Barrister Iyabo Banire, the permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports development in Kwara State in her own speech urged the institution to continue their stride in making the state proud as she also admonished the players to remain disciplined in order to make the best of the opportunity the college has to offer.
In the player’s award category, Abdulakeem Umar had won the best player of the red team while Ohue winner led the Sky blue section. Joe Akpan was voted the best player in the Blue team cadre.
Samuel Sunday, who has been scouted by the head coach of kauno zalgris of Lithuania club tipped other players to become the best in Yellow team, with the goal of the year award going to Godwin Oshagbemi , the son of the former Nigerian International and current goalkeeper of Kwara United,Daniel Aiyenugba won the
goalkeeper of the year.
Garba Abubakar stole the show by emerging as the overall best player of the academy in the year 2020 after beating Samuel Sunday and last year winner,Godwin Oshagbemi to the most revered award of the day.
The staff’s award category produced Oladele funke as the best teacher of the year and with Hammed Fatai Olabamiji topping the administrative level, the olympique de marsielle trained coach, Muritala Agboola won the best coach of the year.
The academy which won 3 trophies this year also seized the opportunity of the event to launch it’s official newsletter; ‘Knights of football action’-A magazine which contains all the latest information about the institution.
Presentation of certififates and medals to the players who won the YSFON 37th edition of Ramat cup international for U-15 boys soccer tournament in Kano also made the climax of the ceremony.
Beneficiaries who received their certififate of scholarship includes
Yusuf Ismail and Abubakar Muhammed from Edu local government,Shola Adelekan from Moro, Aliyu Nafiu, Kaiama ,Suleiman Abdulkadir and Usman Yusuf from Patigi
Musa Moshood and
Tunde Adeniji of Baruten and Offa local governments.
Others are Ahmed Abdulkadir from Ilorin West, Umar M.T Yusuf , Kaiama ,Muazu Abdulrahman from Patigi, Godwin Oshagbemi,Garba Abubakar,Azeez Sodiq, Ishiak
Shamsudeen,Muhydeen Yinus,Ohue Winner,Sunday Samuel,Ibukun Olawunmi and Rabiu Sanni all making the list.
Top football stakeholders at the event includes the Chairman of Nigeria Football Coaches Association,Kwara State, Tunde Sanni, Prince Ademola Kiyesola,Kwara YSFON Chairman, ABS Ilorin FC Coach, Anthony Encho, CEO Phreestyle sports, Shogo Shodunnke, Alhaji Toyin Abdullahi, President,All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, (ANCOPSS), Kwara State ,CEO and publisher of Sportspro News,Bayour Issah among many others.
“Shooting Sports; Parents Allow Your Children/Wards To Take Part In This Sport” – Coach Ali Yusuf Adagiri
A Kogi-born Shooter/Coach of Shooting Sports, Mr. Ali Yusuf Adagiri, has called on parents in Nigeria to allow and encourage their children/wards to take part in the sports as it helps develop mental capacity.
In a telephone interview with sportswriters, Mr. Adagiri said that the unique sport has lots of advantage to shooters, urging parents to encourage the young ones partake in the game.
“shooting sports support youths in developing valuable conservation and natural resources related knowledge, instill good stewardship, enhances development of self concept, character and personal growth through safe educational and socially acceptable involvement in shooting. It promotes high standard of safety, sportsmanship, ethical behavior and also teach safe and responsible use of firearms, among others. If only parents in our dear Country can allow their children/wards take part in the games, I’m telling you there will be good returns because it also creates avenue for scholarship”
He noted that shooting sport instills confidence in children, describing it as both mental and physical sports which can be performed both indoors and outdoors.
Coach Adagiri explained that Shooting Sports as a collective group of competitive and lucrative sporting activities involving team members, relies on mental power and people of ages can compete.
“Good coaching and instruction in any sport instills confidence in those participating in it and success can be easily achieved if we catch the players young with the co-operation of the parents”
Football Legend Diego Maradona Dies At 60, Football World ICon Pays Tribute
—-One Of The Greatest Players Of Them All Is Gone.
The former Argentina attacking midfielder and manager suffered a heart attack at his Buenos Aires home.
He had successful surgery on a brain blood clot earlier in November and was to be treated for alcohol dependency.
Maradona was captain when Argentina won the 1986 World Cup, scoring the famous ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the quarter-finals.
In a statement on social media, the Argentine Football Association expressed “its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend”, adding: “You will always be in our hearts.”
Declaring three days of national mourning, Alberto Fernandez, the president of Argentina, said: “You took us to the top of the world. You made us immensely happy. You were the greatest of them all.
“Thank you for having existed, Diego. We’re going to miss you all our lives.”
Maradona played for Barcelona and Napoli during his club career, winning two Serie A titles with the Italian side.
He scored 34 goals in 91 appearances for Argentina, representing them in four World Cups.
Maradona led his country to the 1990 final in Italy, where they were beaten by West Germany, before captaining them again in the United States in 1994, but was sent home after failing a drugs test for ephedrine.
During the second half of his career, Maradona struggled with cocaine addiction and was banned for 15 months after testing positive for the drug in 1991.
He retired from professional football in 1997, on his 37th birthday, during his second stint at Argentine giants Boca Juniors.
Having briefly managed two sides in Argentina during his playing career, Maradona was appointed head coach of the national team in 2008 and left after the 2010 World Cup, where his side were beaten by Germany in the quarter-finals.
He subsequently managed teams in the United Arab Emirates and Mexico and was in charge of Gimnasia y Esgrima in Argentina’s top flight at the time of his death.
Football world pays tribute
Brazil legend Pele led tributes to Maradona, writing on Twitter: “What sad news. I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend. There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky.”
Former England striker and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker, who was part of the England team beaten by Argentina at the 1986 World Cup, said Maradona was “by some distance, the best player of my generation and arguably the greatest of all time”.
Ex-Tottenham and Argentina midfielder Ossie Ardiles said: “Thank dear Dieguito for your friendship, for your football, sublime, without comparison. Simply, the best football player in the history of football. So many enjoyable moments together. Impossible to say which one was the best. RIP my dear friend.”
Boca Juniors, where Maradona enjoyed two spells and finished his career, gave “eternal thanks” to their former player.
Paris St-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar posted a photo of him as a youngster with Maradona, calling the Argentine a “legend of football”.
England captain Harry Kane and forward Marcus Rashford also paid tribute.
Barcelona was the first club outside of Argentina that Maradona played for. He scored 22 goals in 36 appearances between 1982 and 1984.
Another of Maradona’s former clubs, Napoli, paid tribute. He played for the club between 1984 and 1991, making 188 appearances.
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