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Sunshine Stars FC 2-1 Remo Stars.

Written By sportsweight.blogspot.com on Monday, February 4, 2019 | 12:30 AM



Sunshine Stars FC edged out Remo Stars FC 2-1 in Matchday six result in the ongoing Group A Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the Ondo State Sports Complex in Akure, Ondo State.

Technical Adviser, Kennedy Boboye made five changes to his side that lost 1-0 to Rivers United FC in Port Harcourt in midweek.

The battle of the stars started brilliantly but the early brilliance favoured the host, Sunshine Stars in the second minute when Fuad Ekeleojuoti nod on to give them the lead from Seun Sogbesan's freekick.

The Sky Blue Stars responded brilliantly through debutant, Akpojuvwevwo Bright after he converted and leveled up from Awoyemi Abiodun corner kick just three minutes after the host went ahead.

The Visitors edged closer to increase the tally through Victor Mbaoma but his attempt went off play, just seconds later, Ishaq Rafiu came close again, he tried from a distance and it went out for a goalkick.

The Akure Gunners had another opportunity to go ahead again, Adeyemi Kehinde found his way after getting pass his marker, he sent in a cross, it went pass Fabiyi Emmanuel who rushed to save but Edoka Owochio calmly nod off the line to maintain the scoreline.

The second forty five minutes started with high intensity as Amah Chibundu tried to give the host the lead after he went one on one with Fabiyi Emmanuel but his shot went over the bar.

Alaba Adeniyi later restored the lead for the host from a goalmouth scramble after the visitors couldn't deny his first kick inside the six yards box.

Sunshine Stars had a chance to increase their tally through Ibe Peter but his good chance hit the woodwork.

The Sky Blue Stars through Victor Mbaoma should have restored parity for the visitors but his touch was weak to go pass Ariyo David inside his box.

Nice combination from Aloma Idris and Michael Bolaji towards Awazie Ekene, his close range chance was denied by Sunshine Stars Goalkeeper, Ariyo David.

In the closing minutes of the game, Ogwuche Mathias came close to level up after receiving a delightful pass from Michael Bolaji, he losed balance and his attempt rolled directly towards Ariyo David.

With another defeat to Sunshine Stars, the Sky Blue Stars now drop to eighth on the Group A table in the Nigeria Professional Football League and they have a chance to return to midtable when they host another fellow southwestern team at the Oshogbo Township Stadium on Wednesday.

Dalung Applauds GOV Ambode For Sustaining Lagos City Marathon.



The Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung has congratulated Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for a 4th consecutive successful Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.

He made the remark on Saturday in an interview with journalists at Eko Atlantic where the race took place.

Barrister Dalung said that Gov Ambode has set a precedence in sports development by adding not only to the economic value of the state and country but also empowering a large number of Nigerian youths through sports.

"Governor Ambode has set up a very viable sports event that has strengthened the tourism potentials of Lagos state. Over 100,000 athletes from 58 countries participated in this edition of the Marathon which means that the world is beginning to accept the Lagos City Marathon.

"Personally, I am overwhelmed that it happened during my tenure as a minister and I pray for the sustainability of this marathon. If you assess the Lagos City Marathon, they have done well becacause you have to look at the history of where they're coming from.

"From a background of an abandoned situation, Nigerian athletes are now coming up. Those who made it last year also took the first position at the Ibadan City Marathon, meaning that they are progressing. I want to challenge states like Taraba and Plateau where potentials of Marathon reside. They should go back to the drawing board and save Marathon race in Nigeria by investing in it. As a Ministry we are also going to direct our policies towards deliberate support and encouragement of Marathon races in Nigeria .

Earlier, the Executive Governor of Lagos state Mr Akinwunmi Ambode thanked Lagosians especially the runners who trooped out to participate in this year's edition.
He assured that the Lagos City Marathon will be sustained in the next administration.

"The future of Lagos state belongs to the young people. I say a big thank you to all Lagosians for tolerating us in the last four years. This is the fourth time we are doing this Access Bank Lagos City Marathon and its been improving year in, year out.
This year we had 58 participating countries, and over 100,000 runners.

"I believe strongly that what we have started will be continued by the APC candidate Jide Sanwo-Olu when he comes in and I believe strongly also that this will take the GDP of Lagos to greater heights"

Ethiopia's Suntayahu Legese and Dinke Meseret came tops in the men and women's category while Ilya Pam of Plateau state was the first Nigerian runner to breast the tape.

SPORTS MINISTRY AND EDO STATE TO SIGN MOU ON 20th NSF


The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Edo State government on Monday January 04, 2019 on the 20th National Sports Festival to be hosted by the state.

The event is slated for the Media Centre of the Abuja National Stadium at 12pm prompt.

Following the award of the hosting rights to Edo State in December 2018, it is required of the  state and the Ministry to sign an agreement which will spell out the duties and obligations of both parties and advise on the composition of the Main and Local Organizing Committees.

The ministry will be led by the Youth and Sports Minister Barrister Solomon Dalung while Edo State will be represented by its Governor Mr Godwin Obaseki.

In another development, a meeting of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and officials of the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA holds  at  Treasures Suites and Conferences, Shehu Shagari way Abuja on Monday February 4, 2019 at 10am.

Goyet Dethrones lliya Pam To Claims 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

Written By sportsweight.blogspot.com on Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 7:39 AM


A Nigerian long distance runner, Gideon Goyet, has expressed his happiness for defeating IIiya Pam Mwanta, the defending champion of Lagos City Marathon.

Goyet, a member of the Nigeria Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, who cliched eight position at last year's edition, said he had to re-double his training programes to achieve the feat, adding that the defeat to top Nigeria's runners in 2018 spurred him to win the race.

As part of effort to sustain the title, The runner, said would not relent in his training since other athletes would be aiming to outwit him in subsequent long distance races.

The athlete rated fourteenth overall, appealed to the federal government and corporate bodies to give him necessary support to forge ahead to train for international races.

Legese, Meseret Win 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon






Ethiopian long distance runners have dominated the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City marathon as
Sintayehu Legese and Dinke Meseret won the forty- two kilometer road race in the male and female categories.

The race, which was flagged off this morning by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the National Stadium, attracted over twenty thousand runners across the globe with the view of wining the star prize money and also to earn marathon points.

Speaking through an interpreter, Legese, who did not feature in last year's edition due to sickness, said adequate training and running at his pace were the two major factors responsible for his victory as he returned with a time of two hours, eleven second and twenty- eight seconds.

The long distance runner, who came fifth at twenty- sixteen edition, said it was unfortunate that the race's defending champion, Kiprotich Abraham, did not feature in the race, stressing that he had very hard to dethrone Abraham who won 2018 race with a time of  two hours, fifteen seconds and four seconds.

Legese, won the star prize money of fifty thousand dollars while Dinke Meseret also got fifty thousand dollars.

US-Based Nigerian Artiste Vows To Thrill Fans

Written By sportsweight.blogspot.com on Thursday, January 31, 2019 | 7:16 AM


Since its inception, the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has not just been about running but the very best of entertainment has also been a regular feature.
The 2019 edition will not be any different.
While many are already aware that the duo of D’Banj and Teni will be performing at the finish point of Saturday’s race, another energetic performer based in the United States, Brite Benson a.k.a Local Boy has been added to the list of artists that would thrill the fans.
Benson who is returning to Nigeria after almost 17 years in America said he is in town majorly for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon and he is eager to unleash what he has for the Lagos fans.
“Yes, I am in Nigeria just for this, I paid my way here to support the Lagos Marathon and to also showcase by talent to Nigerians.” He said.
An Afro-pop artist, the ‘Local Boy’ as he is fondly called revealed that he has done a couple of songs with both American and African artistes; including the likes of CDQ, Davido and D’Banj.
Lagos fans will have the honour of being the first set of audience in the world to listen to the new single 'Sokoyokoto' just released by Local Boy.

2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Top Stars Arrive, Set For Showdown


Top runners from across the world expected to add sparkle to the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon are now in town and raring to go.
While some are making a return to compete in the IAAF Bronze Label race, others will be making their debuts, but nonetheless looking forward to snapping up the 50,000 USD 1st prize up for grabs at Saturday’s race.
Though the elite athletes are predictably and mostly from Kenya, there are also other top runners from Ethiopia, Morocco, Uganda, Australia, USA and Poland among many other countries that would be running on Saturday.
In a statement issued by Olukayode Thomas Head of Communications and Media for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, the strong cast of runners for this year’s marathon is a big plus.
“The elites athletes started arriving yesterday while others came in today, it is a big plus that the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon is commanding this number of quality athletes, it should help in our quest to improve to a silver label.” Thomas noted.
Among those that have arrived and would be taking a shot at the top prize in Saturday’s race is Patrick Kipyegon Terer.
Terer has won races across the world from Prague to Turin in Italy and has equally fared well in other international races in Israel, France, China and Canada among many other places.
Also in town is Moses Kigen Kipkosgei who finished in third place at the 2010 New York Marathon.
Agnes Jeruto Kiptocich, the runner-up at the 2017 Paris Marathon has also arrived with the mission to dethrone Herpa Almenesh Guta who won the women’s race at the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
The Nigerian elite athletes have also arrived in Lagos as they look to at least break into the overall top 10 this year.

2019 Nigeria Taekwondo Open: We can’t afford to miss Nigeria Open, says Ghanaian taekwondist


Aware of the quality of Nigerian athletes, Ghana’s Augustus Agbozo believes competing at the forthcoming Nigeria Taekwondo Open would afford them the opportunity to size up African stars ahead of the 2019 African Games.

The Ghanaian star described Nigeria Open as another platform for African athletes to garner points for their qualification to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“There is no doubt that Nigeria Open promises to be exciting because Nigeria is a force when it comes to taekwondo having produced one of Africa’s Olympic medalists – Chika Chukwumerije and for us coming of the championship is not an option,” Agbozo said.

He added: “If you are an athlete you must be ready to take a risk to compete outside your country in order to succeed. You must also have at the back of your mind that even if you don’t win, you make it a challenge for you to stand firm and keep training hard until you succeed. 

So Nigeria Open is another risk and challenge, which we are ready to face and compete fairly against some of the best.”
He however lamented that most of their athletes could not make the trip to Abuja due to academics commitment. “Getting the athletes to train is a major challenge because they are in school, and most of our athletes are students. So when school resumes, they do not have that luxury time to train all the time. This is even why I could not register much more competitors for the Nigeria Open. I registered only four competitors. The rest could not come because of school.”

He expressed optimism that his lads would excel at the Nigeria Open. “Well our preparation for this competition is very good to a large extent. In fact, I think we have very strong preparations, and this is why I have a lot of confidence in the team. 

We had competed in previous competition in Nigeria where we picked three bronze medals. We are going to improve on this at the Nigeria Open, which has World Taekwondo ranking, and we are going to come back home with at least a gold medal.” 


Dalung, Pinnick, Dikko in UK for meetings with NIKE



Chieftains of the Nigeria Football Federation, led by Nigeria’s Minister of Sports have arrived in London, United Kingdom for a series of meetings with sportswear behemoth, NIKE that have to do with optimizing the performance of the new, robust contract signed by NFF and NIKE in November 2018.

The meetings would also dwell on merchandizing, as well as previewing and authorization of a new kit design for the National Teams to be launched in the summer of Year 2020.

Barr. Solomon Dalung, with President of the Nigeria Football Federation and 1st Vice President of CAF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick and NFF 2nd Vice President/LMC Chairman and Member of FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee Shehu Dikko will attend the first of the meetings on Thursday evening at the NIKE UK office in London.

NIKE officials confirmed that Super Eagles’ stars Alex Iwobi, of Arsenal FC of England, and Leicester City FC’s Wilfred Ndidi, have also been invited to attend the previewing of the design to give player options and suggestions. They added that they are delighted to have Nigeria’s Minister of Sports attend the meetings.

NIKE and the Nigeria delegation will also firm up strategy to set up outlets (and online platforms) across Nigeria to ensure NIKE kits and other merchandise are more available to fans across the country and the world.

It is best practice for the world’s leading kit manufacturers to invite top officials of their clients to preview and authorize a new design before the said piece is produced and launched for use.

It would be recalled that NIKE’s special design for Nigeria for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which sold out on the streets of London hours after it was released onto the market on the first day of June last year, was previewed and authorized by the NFF bigwigs in Year 2016.

The current designs would remain until the 2020 Olympics when the new designs would be launched.

Production would only begin on the new design after the previewing and authorization, and would be launched in July 2020, on the margin of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It would serve the various National Teams between 2020 and the early months of 2022, before a new design would be released for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, after the Super Eagles must have qualified.

International Para Powerlifting Tourney: Foreign Athletes Hail Lagos Hospitality

Written By sportsweight.blogspot.com on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | 12:30 AM



As curtains fall on the International Para-Powerlifting Competition on Wednesday, foreign para-lifters taking part in the tournament have described the hospitality from the Lagos State Government as excellent.

The competition, which started on 24th January is being competed by para powerlifters from Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Tanzania, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire.

Some of the athletes who spoke on their experience and the exposure they are getting from the event going on at Oriental Hotel Lagos, said that they were so overwhelmed with the organisational arrangement put in place and more importantly by the conducive environment provided by the Lagos State Government.

The weeklong championship was supported by the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Sports Commission with provision of accommodation, feeding, medical, transportation, security, ceremonial, venue and facilities.

One of the participants from Ghana,  Emmanuel Tettey Okay said: "the hospitality of Lagos State officials throughout our stay in Lagos for the competition is marvelous. Our stay is memorable and I am looking forward to coming back to Lagos in the very near future."

A para-powerlifter from Cote d'lvoire ,  Ano Adou Herve said: "I am happy to be here in Lagos for this Invitational Competition.  The good hospitality of the people of Lagos and Lagos officials is commendable."

Executive Chairman of Lagos State Sport Commission, Dr.Kweku Tandoh noted that  government is very proud of supporting the Lagos 2019 International Para-powerlifting Competition. 

"We are very proud of being part of the hosting of this competition in Lagos.  Our sport loving Governor,  Mr Akinwunmi Ambode is very passionate about promoting all sports”, Tandoh said.

2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: IAAF Road Races Manager, Other Top Stars Arrive Today.

Written By sportsweight.blogspot.com on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 | 7:37 AM


The IAAF Road Races Manager, Alessio Punzi is expected to arrive in Lagos today (Wednesday) for the fourth edition of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon slated for this weekend.
Aside from Punzi, Norrie Williamson, an IAAF/AIMS Grade A measurer will also be coming in from South Africa for this year’s race.
Williamson who helped secure certification for the Lagos marathon route is a course measurer for over three decades.
He measured the course for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, 2000 Sydney Olympics, Athens 2004 Olympics and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
According to a statement from Olukayode Thomas, the Head of Communications and Media for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, other elite athletes from across the world that would be part of this year’s marathon will also be arriving from their different bases later today.
For the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, as much as 35 Gold, 13 Silver and 12 Bronze Labelled Runners have already registered to be part of the event.
Among many other big names, David Barmasai Tumo from Kenya who won the 2011 Dubai Marathon will be competing at the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Also, his compatriots, Jacob Kibet Chulyo, Moses Kigen Kipkosgei are in the mix for action as well as Samuel Gebremichael who now does his thing for Australia.
The female field also boasts of some of the top runners in the world including the likes of Agnes Jeruto Kiptocich who finished as runners up in the 2017 Paris Marathon.
Caroline Cheptanui Kilel winner of the 2011 Boston Marathon, as well as Georgina Rono and Risper Jemeli Kimayo, are all pencilled down to run at the Lagos Marathon.
Yusuf Alli, the General Manager for the Lagos Marathon, expressed delight at the interest being shown by the big names to run in Lagos and he is quite positive that a new course record will be set on Saturday.


DALUNG RUES JIDE FASHIKUN’S DEATH

Written By sportsweight.blogspot.com on Sunday, January 27, 2019 | 9:43 PM


Barrister Solomon Dalung has expressed deep shock at the death of one of Nigeria’s foremost investigative reporters Olajide Fashikun, who died on Sunday 27th January 2019 at the Federal Medical Center Jabi, Airport  Road Abuja.

The Minister of Youth and Sports lamented the death, describing the loss as colossal to Journalism and the Sports industry. 

“It is a very sad day for sports journalists and athletes in the country.
“Jide created a platform to support athletes and stimulate performance through his mobilization of training funds to assist athletes. This made us look forward to a better podium performance in the years ahead.
Today, the curtains have been drawn on that project.”

Barrister Dalung paid glowing tribute to the publisher of Gong News who excelled not only in sports reportage but also politics and investigative writing.

“Jide was a dedication journalist who went far to uphold the truth. He was a fighter, fearless, thorough and an epitome of investigative journalism while contributing immensely to grassroots sports development . His love for grassroots sports  informed his personal effort to raise funds for athletes to train with and prepare for future Olympic Games. Now, Jide is gone. I pray that God will receive him and give his wife and family the fortitude to bear this loss.”

Olajide Fashikun initiated the Nigeria Sports Development Fund to raise funds for athletes to prepare for 5 sports at the Olympics. 

He was an ex -international in handball and athletics and a stakeholder in all sports. Fashikun was a one-time Chairman of the Kwara State Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Sports Editor of the Herald newspaper, Managing Editor of Gong News, a senior Sports correspondent at ThisDay and a former lecturer at Kwara Polytechnic.
He was aged 54.

NFF mourns passing of Olajide Fashikun


The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed shock and sadness over the death on Sunday morning in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja of renowned sports journalist, Olajide Fashikun.

The NFF learnt from sources close to the late Fashikun that he died at a federal hospital in Abuja on Sunday morning.

On behalf of the entire Nigerian Football family, the NFF prays that God Almighty will grant the soul of the departed Olajide Fashikun eternal rest in His bosom, and also grant those he has left behind including his immediate family the fortitude to bear the great loss.

Super Eagles to know AFCON opponents on April 12



Three –time champions Nigeria will know their group phase opponents at the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals on 12th April – the date now approved by the Confederation of African Football for the staging of the draw.

The ceremony, which will take place in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, will see the 24 qualified teams drawn into six groups of four teams each, with the two top –placed teams in each group, alongside the best four third –placed teams, progressing to the Round of 16.

Egypt 2019 will be the first 24 –team Africa Cup of Nations in history, with matches scheduled to be played in eight venues between 21st June and 19th July.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles have already made sure of a place in the finals, ahead of the final round of the qualifying matches scheduled for late March 2019. Nigeria host Seychelles at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba on 23rd March in what is purely an academic exercise.  

GOtv Invites Subscribers to Football Feast With ‘Top Up’ Offer



A three-month invitation to the best of European football and other top-class sport programming began on 15 January when leading digital-to-home television service platform, GOtv, announced its “Top Up” offer.
The campaign, which runs till 15 April, offers active and disconnected subscribers, especially those on GOtv Plus, Value and Lite packages, the opportunity to be upgraded to GOtv MAX, which attracts a monthly subscription of N3, 200. Subscribers on the three packages will benefit from the offer when they pay a reduced fee of N2, 500, while GOtv “Tops Up” the remaining N700. GOtv Max subscribers can also take advantage of the offer and renew with N2,500.
The “Top Up” offer is an invitation to the high table of European football with its rich menu of La Liga, Serie A, Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and UEFA Champions League matches. GOtv MAX provides access to all the matches of the La Liga, the football competition with stars like Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Phillipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele; Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos; as well as Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa. It equally makes available to subscribers all the matches of the Italian Serie A, starring Cristiano Ronaldo, who is seeking to conquer Italy to add to his conquest of England and Spain.
Also, on the menu are select matches of the Premier League, the stomping ground of Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Bernado Silva, as well as two of the world’s biggest managers, Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool and Pep Guardiola of Manchester City. The Emirates FA Cup, the world’s oldest club competition; and select matches of the UEFA Champions League, the world’s most prestigious club competition, provide an icing on the sporting cake.
As action from the second leg of the 2018/2019 European football season gets more intense, some teams are hunting hard to claim the ultimate glory of being crowned champions. However, some others are struggling to ensure that they are not relegated to the lower-tier league in Spain, Italy and England come the end of the season in May.
The race to be crowned England’s Premier League champions is in progress, as Liverpool chase their first league title since 1990. Hot on their heels are Manchester City, who are aiming to defend the title they won last season.
In the La Liga, Barcelona are seeking to turn their dominance into supremacy by defending the title. They remain in pole position, having earned 46 points from 20 games played so far. They are followed by the resilient Atletico Madrid, who are just five points behind. Also, the world’s biggest and most anticipated club match, the El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, will be aired live in March.
In Italy, Juventus hope to claim their eighth straight Serie A title. Juve are eight points clear of their nearest challenger, Napoli. Ronaldo, the club’s biggest acquisition, has continued his freakish goalscoring form in Italy. He leads the goal chart with 14 goals.
The UEFA Champions League, which resumes next month, offers mouth-watering clashes among Europe elite teams, as it enters its knockout phase. The Emirates FA Cup, reputed for its giant-killing thrills, the newly minted UEFA Nations League and the last rounds of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers make for a sumptuous dish of sport content on GOtv MAX.

Nwora invites 15 players for World Cup qualifiers

Written By sportsweight.blogspot.com on Thursday, January 24, 2019 | 7:44 AM


D’Tigers Head Coach, Alex Nwora has invited 15 players for the last window of the 2019 FIBA Men’s World Cup qualifiers taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire starting on the 18th of February
The team is dominated by players who missed out of the last phase of the qualifiers campaign hosted in Lagos.
Jekiri Tonye will likely make his debut for D’Tigers after missing out of action in the last window due to administrative reasons while Christopher Obekpa, Obinna Emegano and Efevhera Michael will also be making a return.
Ekene Ibekwe whose last appearance was at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and 34 year old Michael Umeh (2015 Afrobasket) with Italian serie A side Virtus Bologna have both been recalled to the fold.
Team captain and Sichuan Blue Whales player, Ike Diogu alongside, Stanley Okoye, Alade Aminu, Iroegbu Ike, Ike Nwamu, Ayodeji Akindele, Mbamalu Bryant, Zana Talib and Braxton Ogbueze complete the list of players invited
Nigeria will battle host- Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic and second placed Senegal with 16 points.
Currently ranked 33 in the world and first in Africa, the D’Tigers on a 9 match unbeaten run according to Nwora will hope to finish the campaign on a high a boost the team’s rating before the World Cup draws.
Alex Nwora said the preparation for the 2019 World Cup in China has started in earnest and it was imperative to give more quality players equal opportunity to fight for shirts.
“We were the first country in the world to qualify for the World Cup and it is very important that we start our preparation early.”
“The journey to get the team ready for the World Cup is a long one, but I am happy with the progress we have made so far.”
According to the Secretary General of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Chimezie Asiegbu, players and Technical crew are expected to fly straight to Abidjan from the clubs for logistics reasons.

Invited players
Iroegbu Ike (Science City Jena, Germany)
Michael Umeh (Twarde Pieniki, Poland)
Ike Nwamu (Wisconsin Herd, USA)
Ekene Ibekwe (Levallois Metropolitan, France)
Efevhera Michael (Homemtmen Basketball Club, Lebanon)
Stanley Okoye (Tecynconta Zaragoza, Spain)
Diogu Ike (Sichuan Blue Whales, China)
Alade Aminu (Hapoel SP Tel Aviv, Israel)
Christopher Obekpa (Al Riyadh, Lebanon)
Ayodeji Akindele (Fuerza Regia Basquetbol, Lebanon)
Jekiri Tonye (Gaziantep, Turkey)
Obinna Emegano (Rouen Basket, France)
Mabamalu Bryant (CD Vildivia, Chile)
Zana Talib (Montakit Fuenlabrada, Spain)
Braxton Ogbueze (Basquet Coruna, Spain)

NFF calls on stakeholders to show interest in State FA polls



First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Barrister Seyi Akinwumi has made a clarion call on football stakeholders and enthusiasts to show greater interest in and strive to participate in the ongoing electoral processes in the local councils and Football Associations of the 36 States and the FCT.

Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, the respected legal practitioner with over 30 years in the bar said the realm is open for those who believe they possess great ideas on how to run the game to be involved in administration at local and State levels.

“Our dear country, Nigeria is blessed with multitudes who possess great ideas and ideals about how to run the game of football. These include the current FA Chairmen who I must say I am very proud of in the way they carry out the tenets of Association Football. The Councils and State Football election process is on now and the opportunity is there for everyone to get involved. It would be a dis-service to the system and to the game itself for people who have worthy and brilliant ideas to stay aloof.

“It is not rocket science. The guidelines are available at the offices of each State FA. People should go there, look at the guidelines and if they meet the requirements, vie for offices. It is from the local councils and State levels that people come to the national body, which is the Nigeria Football Federation.”

Akinwunmi, who is also the Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association and Member of the CAF Committee on Youth Competitions, said those who possess ideas on how to grow the game but refuses to be part of the electoral processes are not doing Nigerian Football any good.

“As Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association, who is also interested in contesting, I have been encouraging those who have much to offer to be part of the processes from the grassroots level, and then come to the State level and vie for positions in the Executive Committee.

“Some persons do not realize that they can actually effect changes by being part of the processes. It is not enough to stand aside and simply criticize the system. Get involved and try to get inside, and then float your ideas in a robust manner for everyone to see and take on board.”

Electoral processes are ongoing into the local football councils and Football Associations in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, with most of the States having already announced dates for their respective Elective Congresses.

Second NFF-AITEO Football Awards set for April 1



The second edition of the NFF-AITEO Football Awards, which inaugural edition held on 19th February 2018 at the Grand Ballroom of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos, has now been scheduled for 1st April 2019 at the same venue.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick confirmed  that this year’s edition would be an even bigger occasion as the NFF and award sponsors AITEO (incidentally also the sponsors of the annual CAF African Football Awards) have perfected arrangements to expand the guest-list, guarantee greater radiance and panache and honour more legends of the Nigeria game on the night.

Thenff.com learnt from other sources that CAF President Ahmad, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, members of the CAF Emergency Committee, an array of prominent political heavyweights and galvanizers in Nigeria, oaks of Corporate Nigeria, renowned administrators past and present, football legends and today’s superstars, foremost figures in the entertainment industry and media owners and chieftains would be among the invitees to the big event.

Last year’s inaugural edition wowed the football world with huge entertainment, with Governors Akinwunmi Ambode and Ifeanyi Okowa of Lagos and Delta States respectively, joining FIFA President Gianni Infantino, CAF President Ahmad, FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura, several prominent political figures, football legends and stars of today, giants of entertainment and media owners at the Eko Hotel and Suites for the occasion.

It also marked the first time that the nation’s football –governing body was organizing an Awards ceremony to reward and inspire the major actors and actresses in the Nigerian Football space.

Gongs were presented to winners in Player of the Year (men), Player of the Year (women), Coach of the Year (men), Coach of the Year (women), Young Player of the Year (men), Young Player of the Year (women), Team of the Season, Fairplay Award, Goal of the Season, Fans of the Season, NFF Development Award and Platinum Award categories. Also, there was a special recognition of a ‘Legends Eleven,’ a squad of outstanding former Nigeria international players. Recognition was also accorded the first Nigerian football team to achieve glory – the Green Eagles squad that won the football gold at the 2nd All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 1973.

AITEO’s Deputy Managing Director Francis Peters, said at the occasion: “The amazing power of football to heal wounds, enrich the gifted and entertain the majority is the reason why AITEO, Africa’s leading energy solution company, is investing in the game. We remain grateful to the Nigeria Football Federation for giving us the opportunity to begin charity at home. We also praise the leadership of the Confederation of African Football for providing us with the platform to be part of the continental terrain.

“AITEO is an organization that is committed to the vision of every African realizing his potential, whether they be in football or some other profession, and our operating business principle revolves round encouraging and empowering the teeming youth population of this country, and of this continent, to take their destiny in their own hands and aim for the very top.”

WINNERS AT 1ST NFF-AITEO FOOTBALL AWARDS

Player of the Year (Men): Victor Moses
Player of the Year (Women): Asisat Oshoala
Young Player of the Year (Women): Rasheedat Ajibade
Young Player of the Year (Men): Ikouwem Udoh
Fair Play Award: Remo Stars FC
Fans of the Season: El-Kanemi Warriors FC Fans
Coach of the Year (Women): Ann Chiejine
Coach of the Year (Men): Kennedy Boboye
Goal of the Year: Sikiru Olatubosun (MFM FC)
Team of the Season: Plateau United FC
NFF Development Award: Channels Television (Channels Kids’ Cup)
Legends Eleven: Ann Chiejine, Austin Eguavoen, Felix Owolabi, Nwankwo Kanu, Christian Chukwu, Uche Okechukwu, Segun Odegbami, Mercy Akide-Udoh, Thompson Usiyen, Augustine ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha, Adokiye Amiesimaka
Special Recognition: Nigeria’s 1973 All-Africa Games Gold Medallists
Platinum Award: Gianni Infantino

Paschal Replaces Injured Victor Okoh




Sweden –based forward Onyekachi Durugbor Paschal has been drafted in to replace injured Victor Boniface Okoh in Nigeria’s squad for next month’s Africa U20 Cup of Nations finals in Niger Republic.

Team Administrator Aliyu Ibrahim Lawal, said medical examination on Real Sapphire FC striker Okoh revealed he had knee injury that would keep him out for between four and six weeks and meant he could not be part of the U20 AFCON finals.

Paschal plays for Vaxjo United FC in Sweden, and would now shoulder the responsibility, alongside Adamu Alhassan, Yahaya Nazifi, Ibrahim Aliyu, Adeshina Gata, Ibrahim Abubakar and Effiom Maxwell to provide the goals for the seven –time African champions in Niger Republic.

The Flying Eagles go up against host nation Niger Republic, South Africa and Burundi in Group A of the 15 –day championship, with matches to take place in Niamey and Maradi. Paul Aigbogun’s wards play their first match against Burundi on 2nd February, before further group phase contests against South Africa and Niger Republic on 5th February and 8th February respectively.

Nigeria have been triumphant at Africa U20 level in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2005, 2011 and 2015, and finished as runners –up at the global stage in 1989 and 2005, while winning bronze medals in 1985.

2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon: Sowore, Others To Speak At Media Seminar


The Presidential Candidate for the African Action Congress (AAC) as well as a serial marathon runner, Omoyele Sowore has been confirmed as one of the speakers at the 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Media Seminar.
The Media Seminar is billed to take place on Monday, January 28th at the Sports Bar at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos.
In a statement issued by Olukayode Thomas, Head of Communications and Media for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Sowore who has participated in several marathons across the world including the Lagos race will be sharing his experience in road races.
Aside from Sowore, other carefully selected resource persons will also be speaking at the Media seminar.
According to Thomas, some of the other speakers for Monday’s Media Seminar include Dr Kweku Tandoh, Executive Chairman Lagos State Sports Commission who will be speaking on Lagos State Government and Future of Marathons and Road Races.
Also, Hon. Bukola Olopade, Race Consultant Access Bank Lagos City Marathon will shed more light on how the Marathon Became a Global Brand within Three Years
On his part, Mr Solomon Alao Chairman Lagos Athletics Association Chairman will reel out plans by the Association to boost tourism and trade with Marathons and Road Races in Lagos.
Roseline Eyenike; a Marathoner will speak on Expectations of Runners from Journalists after completing the gruelling 42 km race.
Some of the other speakers also expected at Monday’s seminar is Mr Steve Osuji: Member Editorial Board The Nation Newspapers and Author Not too Old to Run who will talk on the Pros and Cons of running at 50+.
Debo Osundun; Chairman Lagos SWAN will also be in attendance alongside Yussuf  Alli General Manager Access Bank Lagos City Marathon who will intimate journalist on the Dos and Don’ts of 2019 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
Aside from the short lectures at the media seminar, the first set of award winners who will be rewarded for their reportage of the Lagos Marathon will also be unveiled and honoured.

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