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Tandoh applauds organisers of youth games

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he Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh, has applauded the Grassroots and Youth Development Department of the Sports Ministry, headed by Dr. Ademola Are, for the excellent organisation of the 5th National Youth Games in Ilorin, Kwara State. 

Dr. Tandoh, said in Ilorin, that, the Youth Games is the only solution to speedy disappearance of world class athletes from Team Nigeria.

 

 

He said: “This year’s National Youth Games is well organised compared to what it was in the last three editions. The most striking improvements are the facilities, the screening exercise was also near perfect. What these tell us is that, the organizers of the Youth Games have listening ears on further development of the Games.”

 

 

He added: “The other improvement was on the performances of Team Lagos at the 2019 Games. For us, it has been nothing but excellent, considering the fact that, we presented Under-15 athletes as stipulated by the rules of the Games’ organizers.

“Last year was our first participation in the National Youth Games and we finished second place despite not taking part in all the sports. At the end of the Games, we went back and decided to re-strategize and some of those strategies have worked for us, as we strongly gave consideration to some of the sports we have comparative advantage.

 

“We are beginning to see the results, so far, the Team Lagos has done very well, with the even spread of medals covering various sports, and it gives us good advantage. We believe so much that at the end of the Games we would have put up our best performance so far in the history of the National Youth Games.”

 

He stressed that: “We take delight in the overwhelming improvement and top performance of Team Lagos in the swimming event. This was a sport that we won only silver and a bronze at the last edition of the festival. This year, we won five gold medals, nine silver and two bronze medals in swimming.

“In this year’s Youth Games, out of the two hundred and forty eight athletes presented by Team Lagos for the Games, only two were screened out by the facial analysis screening methodology approach by the NYG screening team.

 

 

This improvement was made possible by a carefully selected training and developmental regime put in place by the Lagos Sports Commission, with the support of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who himself is a passionate follower of sports.

“It was also a one hundred percent performance in the football event, where Team Lagos won all the available gold medals in the event, in the male and female categories.”

 

 

Tandoh noted that: “Aside from all the medals so far won by Team Lagos athletes, the performances of the athletes have been wonderful in all the sports. We expect that such heartwarming performances will continue.”

The Lagos Sports Commission chairman stated that, for Lagos State our focus as a commission is sports development, in form of school sports and Community base development. Infact, the national Youth Games for us is more important that the National Sports Festival, because we believe this is where we begin to produce those talents that we will present to represent the state and indeed Nigeria.                         

 

 

“We take it very seriously, in each of the sports we have restrategized after the last National Youth Games. We constituted the boards of the state sports associations December last year and they are all in place. I must say that, I am very happy with what many of the boards have done since they resumed activities. We are beginning to see the production of new athletes. I must say that, out of the athletes representing Team Lagos at Ilorin 2019, only about 30 percent are returnee athletes from the last Games. That production line has started and that is what gives us great joy. And ofcourse, we could not have done these without the support of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who gave us everything that we required to prepare for this Games. We are looking long term.

 

“We believe in Lagos that sports development should be the focus of all states Sports Commissions. Let us begin to bring up all these talents from the youth and that is why I strongly support the decision of the Director of Grassroots, Youth Development in the Sports Ministry, Dr. Ademola Are, who reduced age-grade of participants in the Youth Games from 17 years to 15 years. Whem it come to youth development, the younger the better. With Under 17, the focus was always on winning competitions and not developmental. The Under 15 category for the National Youth Games is good because what that tells you, is that, you have to start preparing your athletes from age 10 and that is the best time to prepare them, and that will provide the opportunity in four to five years time for these youngsters to reach their target marks.

 

 

“For us in Lagos, the Youth Games is actually the test of the work the Sports Commissions and the Sports Agencies across the country are doing.”

Tandoh also appealed to sports administrators from all the states of the federation to stop using over-aged athletes for age-grade events. 

 

 

“We want to appeal to some of the Sports Agencies from across the country, that it is not a do or die thing. We have seen some athletes at Ilorin 2019 that are far above the regulated 15 years old. I am a medical Doctor I have a bit of insights into knowing athletes that are overaged. By using over-aged athletes, the administrators, will forced to falsify athletes ages. It’s not a do or die thing, if your athletes are 15 years or more, then you begin to prepare such athletes for National Championships of the sports or the National Sports Festival. Let the Under 15s only compete at the SYG, lets know those who are the true Under-15s because that is what Nigeria will benefit from. We don’t want over-aged atheletes at 19 years old or 20 years, to come here to win nine gold medals and after one year he or she is nowhere to be found. That doesn’t augur well for sports development. So I want to appeal to all of us administrators to stick to what the rules say. For example in Lagos, before this edition of the National Youth Games, we had our own screening and took out athletes that we felt were overaged, or looked over aged. 

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Sports

Aribo has great Eagles’ future, says Aghahowa

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Aribo has great Eagles’ future, says Aghahowa

Former Nigeria international, Julius Aghahowa, has made glowing remarks about Glasgow Rangers midfielder, Joe Aribo, saying he is a promising player that needs all the support and backing to excel for the Super Eagles.

Aribo scored a fantastic goal in the first half of the friendly against Brazil on Sunday and Aghahowa believes the former Charlton Athletic central midfielder has a bright future with the Super Eagles only if he gets the required support to excel and shine.

“Aribo did very well against Brazil from his central midfield position. I believe he has what it takes to wear the number 10 jersey and do well. He scored a brilliant goal which was his second in as many games for Nigeria. He has the heart to go very far representing Nigeria,” Aghahowa said.

Aghahowa also gave kudos to the likes of Samuel Chukwueze, Victor Osimhen and Alex Iwobi who didn’t disappoint in the game, pointing out that the future is very bright for Nigeria with this array of wonderful talents.

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Tokyo 2020: Team Nigeria kick-starts preparation today

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Tokyo 2020: Team Nigeria kick-starts preparation today

…to camp for five months across various centres

 

  • Minister meets with federation bosses

 

Team Nigeria will kick-starts their preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games today according to the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare.

The Minister, who was in Lagos on another working visit where he visited the training of a private track and field club, the Making of Champions, said his ministry was ready administrative wise to begin preparations.

“The journey from the administrative aspects starts on Tuesday (today), when we bring all the key stakeholders together,” he said.

“The preparation for the Olympics actually starts immediately after the completion of one, so beyond what we see in Morocco and Doha, these athletes have been going for different tournaments and competitions.

“Individually, they have been training so hard, that’s the preparation, they only come to championships as a group to compete and from what we saw in Morocco, which is a benchmark, same thing as what happened in Doha.

“It took us seven years to get another medal at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, but there were lessons learnt from the competition. This time around, we are not starting too late and not so early, we have about nine months to go, and we will be ready.”

The minister also revealed that there would be at least five months of camping as the country looks forward to winning medals.

Dare said he was optimistic of the athletes competing for gold, silver and bronze medals in various sports at the Olympics.

He added: “We are going to start that process;we are going to have camping in three or four different locations depending on the sports.

“We are going to be focusing on sports that we can really compete and then we go there and do well.

“Basically, if we have the funds, we are going to have six months of camping, in the past we usually have three months, but this time around we are looking at five.”

Meanwhile, the minister said he would be meeting with all the federation presidents so as to be on the same page ahead of the Tokyo 2020 preparations.

“I have a meeting with the NOC (National Olympic Committee) and all the federation presidents and the secretaries in Abuja on Tuesday so that we all will be on the same page.

“We are going to be professional about this, so Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Nigeria will not be going there to try, but we are going there to compete for the gold, bronze and silver.”

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Stage friendlies with African teams, Lawal tells NFF

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Stage friendlies with African teams, Lawal tells NFF

Ex-Super Eagles midfielder Dimeji Lawal has advised the Nigerian Football Federation to organise friendly matches with African teams for the Super Eagles.

The former international however prefers the team to play more African opposition than teams from other continents.

He was speaking after Nigeria was forced to a 1-1 draw by Brazil in an interesting friendly encounter decided in Singapore on Sunday.

Lawal , 48 is of the opinion that the Eagles will benefit from playing with neighbouring countries as they still have a lot to learn from confronting such opposition.

“Now that we have learnt something from Brazil, we should go to another continent and see what their football is like and maybe we should come back to Africa and see what we can benefit from playing against our counterparts,” he told New Telegraph.

“it’s not about the names alone sometimes you play against a team that you think is low in category but they give you things to learn. For people to think that after playing against Brazil they should fix a friendly match with another big team like Germany is wrong  , football  doesn’t work that way; a team should learn from every cadre.”

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Sports

GOtv Boxing Night Mini debuts

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GOtv Boxing Night Mini debuts

mini version of the hugely successful GOtv Boxing Night, tagged GOtv Boxing Night Mini, is set to start. The inaugural edition will hold on November 16 at the Rowe Park, Yaba, Lagos. This was announced yesterday by the organisers, Flykite Productions, at a media sit-in in Lagos.

Jenkins Alumona, CEO Flykite, explained that GOtv Boxing Night Mini was conceived to provide more frequent opportunities for boxers as a means of ensuring that they get requisite number of fights to make them eligible for sub-regional, continental and international title bouts.

“Our boxers have, despite the best efforts of GOtv Boxing Night, inadequate opportunities to fight and build their fight records, which they need to become eligible for international titles. GOtv Boxing Night Mini, which will be staged with more frequency than the main event, will address this challenge,” he said.

Alumona also explained that the 20th edition of GOtv Boxing Night, which was planned to hold last Saturday, has been fused into the mega edition of the event slated for December. The development, he said, was imposed by the injury suffered in training by Oto “Joe Boy” Joseph, African Boxing Union (ABU) lightweight champion, who was scheduled to defend his title against Rilwan “Real One” Oladosu, West African Boxing Union  champion in the much-anticipated headline bout.

He added that hopes that the injury would heal on time proved misplaced, as sports medicine experts advised that the injury-a shoulder breach-be allowed a longer recuperation period to avoid aggravation.

Some of the other boxers slated to fight at GOtv Boxing Night 20 will, however, feature at GOtv Boxing Night Mini. These include Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde, Kabiru “KB Godson” Towolawi and Cynthia “Baby Girl” Ogunsemilore. Also lined up to be in action is Waheed “Skoro” Usman, former ABU featherweight champion.

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Rohr predicts good future for Eagles

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Nigeria national team coach Gernot Rohr believes the Super Eagles have ‘good future’ after they played out a 1-1 draw against Brazil in Sunday’s international friendly in Singapore.

The 66-year-old German tactician paraded a young team against the five-time world champions, following a spate of withdrawals by some of his experienced players, including captain Ahmed Musa.

The team, however, gave a good account of themselves with Joe Aribo – making his second appearance for the Super Eagles – scoring the opening goal in the 35th minute before Casemiro’s second-half effort saved the South American champions from defeat.

Rohr is impressed with the performance of his side but admitted the three-time African champions still have to improve.

“It was tough for us as the second game because Brazil would not have wanted to leave Singapore without winning, and it feels very good to know that we can play so well against some of the biggest names in football,” Rohr said in a post-match press conference.

“We didn’t have our best team here, but our wingers gave Brazil a lot of problems on the counter-attack and I am proud of our players. They can have a good future.

“We can still improve in defending set-pieces. We have height, with players as tall as two metres, but we have to be better in the air.

“It is not enough just to have good size, they need to jump well with good timing.”

Rohr believes African football is improving after both Nigeria and Senegal avoided defeat against the world number three.

“These results are good for African football when Senegal and Nigeria did not lose to Brazil, one of the strongest teams in the world,” he added.

 

 

 

Nigeria will hope to secure good results when they take on Benin Republic and Lesotho in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games in November.

 

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Barca target Osimhen as Suarez’s replacement

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Barca target Osimhen as Suarez’s replacement

Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen’s rising profile has caught the attention of European giants Barcelona who have viewed him as a long term replacement for their talismanic forward Luis Suarez.

 According to a report by Spanish sports newspaper AS which was monitored by our correspondent, Osimhem top the list of youngsters that have been scouted as ideal replacements for the Uruguayan striker.

Osimhen has set Europe on fire after netting seven league goals for Lille in his debut season in the French Championat. The former Wolfsburg forward also scored his first UEFA Champions League goal against Chelsea last month.

The striker has also solidified his place in the Nigerian team after great showing against Ukrainse and Brazil.

Other players on the shopping list of Barcelona are Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan), Donyell Malen (PSV) and Rafael Leao (AC Milan).

Lille sports director Campos has already hinted that Osimhen is poised for “a big move” soon.

Osimhen has a contract with Lille till 2024.

He has previously been linked with a transfer to AC Milan before he finally joined Lille from Belgian club Sporting Charleroi.

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2019 ANOC Beach Games: Gumel charges Team Nigeria’s athletes

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2019 ANOC Beach Games: Gumel charges Team Nigeria’s athletes

The President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Habu Gumel, has charged Team Nigeria athletes participating at the 1st edition of 2019 ANOC Beach Games in Doha, Qatar to be worthy ambassadors.

Gumel, an IOC member, gave this charge at the weekend during the opening ceremony of the games stating that good name is better than gold.

“It is a thing of joy that Nigeria is participating at the 1st edition of this Beach Games just like we participated at the Winter Games last time out but the most important thing is for you to compete and win well because a good name is better than any silverware won unjustly. Our great nation is proud of you and solidly behind you on this great task as we wish you well here in Doha,” the ANOCA Treasurer concluded”.

The World Beach Games which is scheduled to end October 16, 2019 is an international beach multi-sport event organised by the Association of National Olympic Committees  and Nigeria is competing in Beach Volleyball and Beach Wrestling in 70 and 50kg respectively.

Meanwhile, the board and the executive members of the NOC felicitate with the President, Nigeria Judo Federation, Prince Timothy Nsirim, on his appointment as the Chairman, Rivers State Road Maintenance Agency by His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike.

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Ikoyi Club thanks sponsors after tennis meet

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Team Lekki have emerged the winners of the EKODC Team Tennis Championship which was rounded off at the weekend at the Ikoyi Club 1938 following a 10-7 win over Team Anifowoshe.

Both teams who are from the  Blue Group set up a final meeting having triumphed over Team Ikate and Team Ademola in the semifinals  and it was Team Anifowoshe that seemed to be coasting home to victory following the 6-2, 6-2 doubles win by Ishmael Nwokocha and Sesan Dada over Labisi Abayomi and Chizoba Onuoha.

With the scores tied at 7-7, it was left for Kayode Awokoya and Tochukwu Adino to decide whose side the pendulum of victory swings and it was Adino, who trailed for most part of the decisive tie break, that carried the day 10-8 to clinch the priceless three points at stake for team Lekki who also have Sule Mustapha, Kola Alawaiye, Kunle Ajayi, Steve Ezeagu and Toyin Leo Olagbegi.

EKODC MD, Engr Adeoye Fadeyibi, expressed delight at the successful completion of the tournament stressing it’s a great privilege to be the spo0sor of one of the biggest tournament at the elite Ikoyi Club.

Fadeyibi, who was represented by Joseph Esenwa,, the Chief Financial Officer of EKODC, noted that Ikoyi club is part of the EKODC network promising better services in the coming years.

Ikoyi Club Chairman, Yomi Orenuga ,pointed that the Tennis Section continue to be the major light in the Club stating it is never a dull moment  at the tennis section while section chairman, Bimbo Okubena, thanked the sponsor for enhancing the camaraderie and togetherness of members.

Ijora Causeway, Badagry Expressway, Fowler and Igbo-Efon are the other teams that featured in the 64- player nine-day tournament.

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Pillars raise the alarm over unpaid prize monies

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Several months after winning this year’s Aiteo Cup and runners up of the last Nigeria Professional Football League Kano Pillars Football Club are disturbed that the prize monies are still being withheld by the Nigeria Football Federation.

Pillars spokesman Rilwanu Malikawa said that several months after Pillars beat Niger Tornadoes to win a first-ever Aiteo Cup, the club are yet to receive N25m prize money.

“We have not received the prize money and we have no information on when the NFF will pay this money,” Malikawa disclosed.

“We hope we can get this money soon.”

The Pillars spokesman said the same is the case with the prize money due to the club for emerging runners-up in the NPFL behind champions Enyimba last season.

Three years ago the League Management Company  paid the NPFL champions 40 million Naira.

“We hope we can get this money before the new NPFL season kicks off,” he said.

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Sports

Zenith Bank /Delta Principals ‘Cup hits zonal stage

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…25 teams qualify from LGs

 

The Zenith Bank /Delta Principals Cup Football Competition is getting tougher as the event enters the zonal stage on Wednesday in eight different centres.

At the weekend, a total of 25 teams emerged as champions in all the Local Government Areas of Delta State and the teams were divided into eight groups for the zonal eliminations.

The teams that qualified from the LG preliminaries are Azagba Mixed Sec Sch, Issele-Azagba from Aniocha North, Comprehensive Sec Sch, Ogwashi-Uku from Anocha South, Okoloba Sec. Sch, Okoloba from Bomadi,  Ogulagha Sec Sch, Ogulagha from Burutu, Okpara Boys Sec Sch, Okpara Inland from Ethipie East, Ihwighwu Sec Sch, Ijomi-Oghara from Ethiope West, Mixed Sec Sch, Abavo, Ika South, Ezomo Sec Sch, Boji Boji Owa from Ika North East, Alaka Gram Sch, Ozoro from Isoko North and Emore Gram Sch, Oleh from Isoko South.

Other LG winners include Igbuku Sec Sch from Igbuku Ndokwa East, Utagba-Ogbe Gram Sch, Kwale from Ndokwa West, Orerokpe Sec Sch, Orerokpe from Okpe, Okpanam High Sch, Okpanam from Oshimili North and Zappa Mixed Sec Sch, Asaba from Oshimili South.

Head of the organizing team,Tony Pemu, told journalists on Monday that the LG preliminaries was the most dramatic and dicey.

Pemu said: “It involves so many logistics here and there especially monitoring of these matches. Now, we are down to eight centres and only 25 teams and we will still continue the screening process as we move on because we want true champions to emerge.

“The competition end this year unlike the previous ones that spills to the next year. For example, all the quarterfinal games are billed for October 30 in four different centres while the semis will take place in early November.”

The state’s Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Chief Patrick Ukah, expressed delight at the progress of the competition.

“I am very happy that things are going according to our plans and we expect that the standard will continue to increase as we move on,” Ukah said.

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