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Super Eagles Will Fly High Again – Siasia

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New Super Eagles’ head coach Samson Siasia has promised to bring about a new Super Eagles team that would satisfy the yearnings of all Nigerians.

Speaking after being unveiled by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as the coach to take full charge of the team, Siasia said he was going to work hard to weave a new team.

“I promise to do everything humanly possible to make sure the Super Eagles fly. This Super Eagles must fly again,’’ he said.

Siasia was officially presented as the new Eagles head coach at an unveiling ceremony held at the Abuja National Stadium.

The former Eagles’ striker, however, urged Nigerian football stakeholders against undue optimism about the team, saying the team’s success was a collective responsibility.

“It is now no longer a matter of whether we are sure Siasia is the right coach for the team, he has been appointed and he is now the coach. The issue is that we all have to work.

“We have to work for the team and Nigeria to succeed, and if we don’t succeed, it is not going to be Siasia alone, but Nigeria as a whole,’’ he said.

Siasia acknowledged the overwhelming support of Nigerians he received on the way to being appointed, and said he was grateful to all.

“I just want to thank God for all this, and many others, especially all the players along the way, because I won’t have been here without all your support.

“This has taken so long. It has been dragging for too long, but today I am grateful to God for allowing this day to come, and I thank all Nigerians for all their belief, support and prayers,’’ he said.

Speaking earlier on the occasion, Sports Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), Alhaji Isa Bio, had praised the NFF for expediting action on the issue of appointing a head coach for the Super Eagles.

“We at the NSC are very pleased with what the NFF is doing, and the way they have sped up action on appointing a coach for the Eagles, and I see Siasia enjoying a good relationship with the federation,’’ he said.

Bio, who was represented by the NSC Director-General, Dr Patrick Ekeji, remarked that Siasia’s appointment was well deserved based on his pedigree and achievements.

“He deserves it based on what we all know, having brought up good teams that culminated in our outing at the Beijing Olympics in China in 2008, and it is just logical that he should handle same players at the senior team.

“But God’s time is always the best, and it is Providence that has made it this way,’’ he said.

While presenting Siasia, NFF President Aminu Maigari had said the coach’s appointment was a way of delivering on a promise.

“We gave a promise to Nigerians on this a few months ago when we came in, and this explains the speedy manner in getting a coach for the Eagles. It is an indication of our desire to uplift our football,’’ he said.

Maigari said the NFF had found Siasia to be competent and desirous of leading the team to greater heights, and promised him a free hand to operate.

“His duties have been well captured in the contract papers he is signing today, and we won’t be disclosing the details because of the confidentiality clause in it.

“But it is a four-year contract renewable upon satisfactory performances. It is performance-based, and Siasia has the liberty of picking his immediate assistant, while the NFF will pick the other backroom staff,’’ he said.

Maigari, however, told Siasia on the need to “hit the ground running’’ because of the enormity of his assignment.

“You must hit the ground running, as both the NFF and the generality of Nigerians want immediate results. Your choice is good and beautiful, especially as it is the choice of most Nigerians.

“I, however, appeal to all Nigerians to give Siasia all the desired support for him to perform. We have confidence that he can do it, but he still needs the support of all to do that,’’ he said.

Siasia’s appointment took effect from December 1.

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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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