Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine


Azumah to defend world title

Azumah Nelson the Ghanaian World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight champion is expected to defend his title against Mexican Challenger Marcos Villasana in Los Angeles, US, on March 21, the Executive Secretary of the WBC, Eduardo Lamazon, has said in Mexico City.

On the same bill, Julio Cesar Chavez of Mexico will fight American challenger Ruben Castillo in the super-featherweight category.

Both fights will be promoted by the Don King promotions.

Azuma's fight will be the first defence of the title he won from Puerto Rican Wilfredo Gomez in the 11th round of their scheduled 12-round bout in San Juan on December 8.

Chavez will also be defending his championship for the first time since an exhibition bout in Mexico City on January 1.

From Accra, however, comes reports that Azuma Nelson has started full training in preparation for the defence of his latest title by the end of April against a British opponent.

Sports writers to hold fresh elections

The executive of the national body of the Sports Writer's Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has been dissolved. Fresh elections are to take place at the Conference Hall of the Kwara State Sports Council in Ilorin, on Saturday, February 9, 1985.

A release from the Lagos State branch of the association said the decision to this effect was agreed upon by all the states' branches of the SWAN.

Boxing association postpones tour

The tour of Nevada State US by the Nigerian amateur boxing team has been postponed to February 6, by the executive board of the Nigerian Amateur Boxing Association (NABA).

The chairman of NABA, Col. Whyte Ukor, said that the postponement was to enable the association to "sort out a few things like passports, visas and other travel requirements."

Deadline for registration of boxers and states affiliation has also been extended to February 15 with a warning that boxers and states which failed to meet the deadline "will not be eligible to participate in any competition organised by the association."

New incentive for referees

Outstanding referees in Nigeria can now crown their efforts with another award other than their recognition and listing by the International Football Federation (FIFA).

The Nigeria Football Association, has introduced a scheme in which NFA Badges will be awarded to "deserving referees."

The scheme will be limited to grade one referees who must have actively officiated for five years in national football competitions.

In addition, the grade one referee, "must have successfully conducted 20 matches involving division one clubs in the national league competitions including any of the following: the state finals, national preliminaries, semi-finals and finals of the Challenge Cup competition," to wear the NFA Badge.

The seven Nigerian FIFA-listed referees, however, would not need to enter the pitch to wear the NFA Badges. The FIFA-listed bunch qualify automatically for the award. According to an NFA release, the Badges, once presented, remain the property of the recipients though in return "they are expected to maintain a high degree of those qualities that earned them the Badges."

Black Stars called to camp

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) ha invited the national football team, Black Stars to camp well before the commencement of the African Cup of Nations and World Cup soccer series. The national team will begin camping at Winneba this week to prepare for the two competitions beginning next March. According to Mr Elias Teye, chairman of the Ghana Football Association the Star will be in camp for 70 days during which th national football league will go on.

To maintain the competitive spirit of the league, the Black Stars will be released to play for their respective clubs. Meanwhile, the Technical Committee of the GFA will select new players to strengthen the Black Stars. Selection will be based on the players' performances in the current league.

Ghanaian footballer excels in Switzerland

Ghanaian footballer Abedi Ayew Pele, formerly of Real Tamale United, is reported to be performing great wonders in Europe with his Swiss professional club F.C. Zurich.

Abedi has not only been helping his team-mates to score goals but he has been doing some scoring himself. His total goal haul in five matches stands at three.

Before the arrival of Abedi Pele, the main problem of F.C. Zurich was goal- scoring. The arrival of Abedi Pele has changed all that. Now F.C. Zurich is among the top-scoring teams in the Swiss league and was third on the league table at the end of the first round, an enviable position

Kotoko held to a draw

The latest sensational club on the Ghanaian soccer scene, Zebi FC, have held both fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak to goalless draws in their fifth and sixth week league matches at the Accra Sports Stadium.

By this feat the Labadi based Zebi club have proved that matches are never won by merely parading a galaxy of big names.

In the past the Kotoko-Zebi encounter would have gone down as a terrible mismatch. It could have been a ruthless massacre in favour of the porcupine warriors.

But in that match it was a different story as the Labadi boys literally dribbled their more reputable opponents, from pillar to post before a packed crowd, some of whom could hardly believe the unfolding chapters in the history of Ghana football.

Days later they forced the 'phobians' to drop a vital home point. They reduced Hearts, generally considered as the club of the moment, into a jittery side, almost to the point of ridicule and forced them to change their jerseys. Below is the league table.

     HOME    AWAY


Hearts    3 2 1 0 5 1    ... 3 2 1 0 3 1 12
Olympics    3 2 1 0 4 1    3 1 1 1 3 4 9
Zebi F/C   3 1 2 0 2 1    3 1 1 1 3 2 8
Wise    3 1 2 0 3 2 ...   3 1 1 1 5 5 8
Real Utd    3 3 0 0 6 2...    3 0 1 2 2 4 7
Corners    3 1 1 1 1 1 ...    3 1 1 1 1 2 7
Kotoko    3 2 1 0 3 0   3 0 2 10 2 7
Hasaacas    3 1 0 2 5 5    2 1 1 0 2 16
Warriors   3 0 2 1 2 3    3 0 2 1 0 2 4
B.A. Utd    2 0 1 1 0 1 ...   3 0 2 1 1 3 3
Bofoakwa    3 0 2 1 4 5    2 0 0 2 26 2
Okwahu    2 0 1 1 1 2...    3 0 1 2 0 4 2

talking drums 1985-02-04 rawlings under attack from left-wing comrades kojo tsikata shinkafi on shagari and nigeria's 2nd republic