The Minister of Sports, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, has stated that the on-going work at the two stadia, the Sani Abacha Stadium and Kano Pilars Stadium has recorded tremendous progress, saying that the only set back is the lack of electronic score board which is yet to be installed.
Ndanusa made this observation in Kano on Sunday while on inspection tour of facilities at the two stadia expected to host the forthcoming Under-17 World Youth Championship to assess the level of preparedness so far recorded pending the visit of the FIFA delegation.
Expected in the country on July 26th this year the minister, who embarked on a critical inspection noted that despite the tremendous effort put up by the Kano State government and the enormous resources committed to ensure that Kano secured the hosting rights, the greatest setback is the absence of a score board, which is one of cardinal requirements to secure the hosting as a centre.
He explained that with the guarantee by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for a hundred per cent preparedness, the eight centres have also been mandated to give guarantee of readiness in meeting FIFA requirement for hosting the tournament.
He commended the state government for the progress of work achieved so far at the two stadia over the lying of the synthetic turf; despite its late arrival.
It was also observed that in the course of his inspection, the pillars supporting the popular side of the Sani Abacha Stadium was collapsing, where the sports minister was assured by contractor that within two weeks from now, the 20 columns will be re-enforced and encased for proper fabrication to make it solid.
Ndanusa also charged the Kano State government to provide another backup of power generation which we order them to as a matter of urgency provide another 1000 mega watt generating plant to add to the one thousand mega watt already installed to power the electronic score board.
He was also surprised on why the installations of equipment have not commenced at the press gallery after its completion, where he was assured that with one week a fast-track measure will be put in place for the final installation of power-back internet and inter facilities.
However, the visit seems to have been characterised by mixed feelings on the part of the contractors handling the projects, as they complained of non release of funds amounting to N90 million which should have been paid in the past six weeks by the ministry of information and sports.
One of the contractors who confided in newsmen said the refusal to release the fund has seriously hampered the progress of work at the two stadia.
Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.
D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket
Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.
Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45
Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.
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