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NPL Plans Close Monitoring Of League Matches

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The management of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) in Abuja said that the 2009/2010 Premier League competition would be  closely monitored in its last 10 weeks.

Malam Alhassan Yakmut, NPL Executive Secretary, told newsmen that the monitoring was essential as the competition would have entered a very crucial stage.

“By the beginning of the last 10 weeks of the league, we are going to commence full and more intense monitoring of the league because the competition is going to be tougher then.

“And, whoever is found wanting or engaging in untoward acts, will not be spared, whether he is a player or match official,’’ he said.

Sources close to The Tide On Sunday reports that the last 10 weeks of the 38-week league will begin from the week 29 matches scheduled to hold on April 17 and April 18.

Yakmut said there would be counter-intelligence efforts to check unwholesome practice by any club official “who wants to gain undue advantage, and any sharp practices by match official.”

“It is evident by now that the league competition this season is going to end in a photo-finish, going by what we had at the end of week 24.

“Therefore, we need to be on our toes to prevent a situation where undue and undeserved teams are crowned kings at the end of the day,’’ he said.

Speaking on efforts to get more sponsorship fund for the league, Yakmut said the NPL management had worked out modalities to expand its sponsorship and marketing outlets.

“We are aware that we run a very fragile business which deals with passion, and which can ultimately affect all efforts at making more money from sponsors and spectators.

“That is why we are not happy with all matters of  litigation now, as well as sharp practices that can give people the impression that all is not well in our family.

“We are therefore exploring other frontiers of business and reaching out to the corporate world in areas we had hitherto not explored.

“ We are sure positive changes are going to emerge very soon,’’ he said.

The Tide On Sunday gathers that the league began on Sept. 20, 2009 and scheduled to end on June 6.

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RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports

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The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports. 
 He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered. 
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents. 
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said. 
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development. 
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.

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24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
 The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including;  the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.

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Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials

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Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran  10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday. 
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record.   The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster.        The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.

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