The Nigeria University Games Association began under a cloud of controversy on Saturday with the organisers, athletes and technical official complaining about the standard of the facilities provided by hosts Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
The accreditation and accommodation of teams for the Games was said be a shambles while the process of determining the eligibility of athletes for the competition was marred by confusion, forcing the organisers to call off the match between UAM and the Kaduna State University.
The match was aimed at declaring the Games open, but the clash was shifted to Sunday due to the myriad of problems facing the competition. With the hosts battling to fix the persisting problems, the organisers decided to postpone the match until today.
However, the body decided to suspend the competition over it called “technical hitches”.
NUGA Secretary-General, Bola Orodele, who announced the suspension on Sunday in Makurdi, said the action became necessary because “both athletes and contingent officials have not been accredited as required by the guidelines of the Games”.
“The temporary suspension will enable both the officials of NUGA and the host university to sort the technical hitches out,” Orodele was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria as saying.
NUGA President Prof. Stephen Hanafyelto blamed the confusion on the ICT Unit of the association, which “defied my instructions over accreditation”.
He alleged that the ICT Unit refused to heed to his instructions on the procedure for accreditation, preferring to deal with the Secretary-General.
“If the problems are not resolved before Monday, we will have no option but to cancel the Games,” Hanafyelto was quoted by NAN as saying.
But one of our correspondents learnt that the temporary suspension might snowballed into the cancellation of the Games if the hosts fail to complete the facilities in the four centres earmarked for the competition.
UAM Vice-Chancellor Prof. Emmanuel Kucha said the university should not be punished “for the sins of others”.
He said, “The problem is between the Secretary-General and the President of NUGA, and not the host institution; we have done all they asked us to do. We provided facilities and venues.
“How can they take such an arbitrary decision after we have spent so much money? Do they know where we got the money from?
“As far as UAM is concerned, we are ready. We have done our part. We should not be victims of any disagreement between two NUGA officials.”
The Information Officer of the university Dzekar Fanafa, who admitted there were problems with the hosting of the competition, said the Games would not be cancelled.
“Forget all the rumours milling around that the game has been suspended, there is no reason for suspension,” he told one of our correspondents on Sunday.
Austin Eguavoen reveals he was a master tactician before AFCON (Video)
Newly trending video posted on ATHLST’s YouTube channel shows Super Eagles coach Austin Eguavoen breakdown Nigeria’s football philosophy and his preferred playing style while looking back at some of Nigeria’s most historic teams.
It’s a much watch.
AFCON: Super Eagles to face Tunisia in next round
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will square off with Tunisia in the round of 16 stage of the African Cup of Nations following the North African nation finishing one of four best losers at the group stage.
The Carthage Eagles lost 1-0 to Gambia on Thursday night to finish third in Group E on three points, but this was good enough for Tunisia to scramble into the knockout rounds.
Both Eagles met at the bronze medal match at AFCON 2019 in Egypt with Nigeria getting the better of Tunisia 1-0 thanks to Odion Ighalo’s goal.
The teams will face off in Garoua on Sunday at 8 pm.
NFF to allow Eguavoen remain Super Eagles’ coach
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said Augustine Eguavoen can keep the national team job on a permanent basis if he wants.
The 56-year-old stepped in on an interim basis after Gernot Rohr was sacked in December.
Eguavoen has so far impressed at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with the Super Eagles winning all their Group D fixtures.
However, he was supposed to hand over to Jose Peseiro after the tournament.
But ESPN reports that the NFF is having second thoughts about that.
“We will have to leave him there, unless he doesn’t want the job,” an NFF source said.
Eguavoen is currently the NFF Technical Director, but the football house would allow him handle both roles.
“What we are even thinking of right now is to give Eguavoen the two jobs. The national team plays about 10 matches a year, so during those times when they are not playing, he can carry on with his other responsibilities.
“Coaching is very touch and go. Right now, he has a stable job being Technical Director where he gets paid by FIFA. To leave that for being a coach where things can change any moment and he can get fired would be very risky.
“That is why we want him to keep the two positions. So, whatever happens, he has shown that he can excel in both and if anything happens with the coaching, he can go back to just being technical director,” the official added.
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