The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Nigerian Sports in 2016

Finally, for the first time in over 10 years NPFL was able to come close to the standing that marks the league for a significant activity. Due to the continual effort of the LMC, Nigerian league is now a strong part of the football arena in Nigeria. However, as any other activities, there were good and bad opportunities.

Over the track of 38 games by a country standard, Enugu Rangers were the finest team. They were able to score the most goals with 53 goals, had the highest points of 15 on the road, and played the greatest football by any extent of imagination. At the end of the season, they emerged as the champions in Nigeria.

With only 18 months as coach, Imama Amamakabo was able to create championship winning moves of speed, sharp movement of and on the ball, and targets to firmly attain the leadership spot of the new class of managers in the league.

Rio Olympics, 2016:
The Dream team came home with one bronze medal for Nigeria. Three Nigerian players made records which include two for table tennis courtesy of Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola, Chierika Ukogu for Rowing.
Toriola made his 7th emergence at the competitions creating him the most prized African Olympian and the foremost Nigerian female to contend for six successive games is Olufunke Oshonaike.

Aruna Quadri made another world record during the 2014 ITTF and became the primary African Olympian to reach in the men’s singles event the quarter-finals at 2016 Rio Olympics.

On the other hand, Okugu qualified for primary classification in Rio for rowing event. Placing 5th in the 3rd quarter final of the Women’s single paddles after a time of 7:55.44 seconds on the clock, Okogu is the first Nigerian rower in the Olympic to reach that mark.

Minister of Sports Unending War with the NFF:
Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Sports and Youth Development maintained the Nigeria Football Federation alert with frequent assail on the football house. He claimed he did not know about the national U-23 team’s pre-Olympic camping trip to Atlanta, USA, but readily asserted credit for the team’s effort for their winning the bronze at the Games.

Dalung blamed the NFF on everything possible flaw – from not having sufficient funds to pay players’ allowances and coaches to Super Eagle’s not qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations 2017.

His attention on football affairs made him neglect to attend to other critical sectors of his ministry. Other sports are deteriorating under the administration of Dalung and there is a very slim chance for change in the forthcoming year.

Super Eagles:
Nigeria will not be represented to the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 when it starts in January in Gabon. The Super Eagles, Nigeria’s national team failed to qualify for the second time for the tournament. The effort for qualification which started with previous coach, Sunday Oliseh concluded with Coach Samson Siasia who was assigned for the last two-legged game with Egypt. Siasia was able to get Eagles get through the first leg in Kaduna and failed the second leg in Alexandria.

However, the team was able to put behind the AFCON disappointment under Gernot Rohr, their Franco-German coach; and is now top of the qualifying Group for the 2018 World Cup together with Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria.

Flying Eagles:
The team did not qualify for the Africa Youth Cup of Nations 2017 in Zambia. Flying Eagles with Coach Emmanuel Amuneke was unable to beat Sudan in Lagos and was bumped out of the competition.

Golden Eaglets:
Unluckily, the Eaglets also failed to win over Niger in the qualifiers. The former defending champions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup will not appear in the African tournament in 2017.

The Super Falcons successfully defended their title at the Africa Women Nations Cup after defeating Cameroon in the finals held in Yaounde. But, the team is in protest to claim their win bonus.

The basketball team of Nigeria experienced tremendous growth as the nation ascended to become the best basketball playing country in the world. The male national team of Nigeria represented the country to the second Olympic Games uninterrupted while the women’s team failed in the final qualifiers in France.

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