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NFA Considers Change Of Name For Amateur League

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The Nigeria Football Association (NFA) has said it was considering changing the National Amateur League’s name to reflect its grassroots and national outlook.
Musa Amadu, NFA Acting Secretary-General, said the association believed a change of name would assist in attracting more sponsors and glamour to the competition.
“We may have to change the league’s name to something that reflects its grassroots nature.
“ The name ‘Amateur League’ makes it sound as if players there are inexperienced and less relevant.
“Already, our Marketing Department is looking into it and we will come up with something as soon as all approvals are received,” he said.
Amadu said the move was imperative because the league, which has 128 clubs in its three divisions, was the most national of all its competitions and would give sponsors more mileage.
He said that the National Amateur League was a very important segment of Nigerian football as most of the players in the country had at one stage or the other played in it.
“From some of the matches I have witnessed in the league, it has the raw talents and you can see the players’ dedication,’’ he said.
Amadu urged clubs in the league to play fair and the referees to make sure their officiating was free and fair so that everyone involved would be satisfied.
“Clubs should abide by the rules and regulations guiding the league and ensure that their fans do not take laws into their hands by encroaching on the pitch or being violent,” he said.
The NFA official also called on clubs to ensure comprehensive medical coverage for their personnel, saying the increasing rate of players suffering sudden deaths was alarming.
“When matches are being played, you must have medical personnel on board and on ground in case of any casualty.
“It is also necessary that clubs conduct periodic check-up on their players and officials to make sure they are medically fit,” he said.
Amadu said the provision of an insurance package for players would also serve as an incentive to the players.
He said the league would become better organised with the election of a National Amateur League board which would oversee its affairs.
Amadu said the fact that the league board chairman would automatically become a member of the NFA Executive Committee was an indication that the league’s interest would be protected.

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Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020

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Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.

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LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,”  he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in 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 pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.

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S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions

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The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

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