Saturday, October 16, 2021

FIFA names Kebbi beach soccer player among top 100 global best

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Emeka Hego-Ogbonna, a beach soccer player with the Kebbi state Beach Soccer Club, has been named amongst the top 100 top players in the world by FIFA, the world football governing body, an official has disclosed.

Mahmud-Hadejia, President, African Beach Soccer Union, ABSU, confirmed this on the sideline of the ongoing second season of the Kebbi State Beach Soccer League, KBSL, 2021/2022 edition, holding in Birnin Kebbi, with 10 clubs vying for the trophy.

Hego-Ogbonna, also a Nigerian beach soccer international with the Super Sand Eagles, was the highest goal scorer at the 2019 Nigeria Copa Lagos International Tournament, and had won the MVP at the CAF beach soccer African Cup of nations with Nigeria in 2016.

Mahmud-Hadejia said: “Just like regular football, there are professional beach soccer players across the world.

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“My friend from Portugal who just came, has worked with one of the Portuguese beach soccer professional players, a legend in Rabah Madjer, who was a top beach soccer player in the world. We want to have a lot of Madjers here in Kebbi too.

“In Nigeria, beach soccer worldwide, under FIFA, recently announced the top 100 beach soccer players in the world and a player from Kebbi Beach Soccer Club (KBSC), who played and won the National Beach Soccer League (NBSL), was named among the top 100 Beach Soccer Players in the World.”

He described this as a big achievement for Kebbi, advising that sustainable efforts be made by all stakeholders, from the state government to private firms like WACOT Rice, BAM Projects and Cosgrove Investments, who had shown interest and commitment to develop the game, to produce more of such players.

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“From here, the Kebbi Fishers are going to compete in the World Winners Championships in Europe to compete with some of the best in the world.

”At the continental level, we have all come together to promote the culture of beach soccer in African countries through the African Beach Soccer Union (ABSU),” he assured.

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Earlier, the national deputy president of ALGON, Shehu Marshal-Jega, disclosed that the association, across the 774 Local Government areas in Nigeria, would upgrade the infrastructure used for beach soccer sport across the country.

“This is because we are very close to the grassroots and we are partnering with the Kebbi Beach Soccer Association to uplift the standard of the game in the state and in Nigeria at large.

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“Here in Kebbi, we are going to do it and all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria will fully participate in uplifting the standard of the game in Nigeria,”  he pledged.

He appealed to private investors to partner with beach soccer, just as the Kebbi State Government was doing, to fully catch the youth in their tender ages and empower them through sports.

Marshal-Jega, also the Chairman, Jega LGA, as well as Kebbi Chairman of ALGON, commended the state governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, for investing in youth and women in the state, observing that by empowering them, the future of the nation was certainly bright.

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