George Anazoba, Chief Coach of Mgbo Ambassadors FC of Ohaukwu, Ebonyi, one of the state’s representatives in the Federation Cup, has decried the lack of support from the government.
Anazoba said that as a result of this, the club had not been able to raise the statutory N100,000 processing fee to file a petition before the Nigeria Football Association (NFA).
He told newsmen in Abakaliki that the club could not pay the fee for the petition against Ekabokom FC of Cross River over the inconclusive match played in Makurdi on May 23.
The coach said that the team, owned by a school teacher, tried their best to raise the money but could not as none of those approached came to their rescue.
“We approached several private individuals and the state government, but we could not get any form of assistance and the match was eventually awarded to Ekabokom, who were better prepared.
“The most painful aspect of the issue was that the state government could not assist us and could not even redeem its pledge of N50,000 to the team when we emerged runners-up at the state’s Federation Cup competition,” he said.
Anazoba stated that the players were devastated on hearing that the match had been awarded to Ekabokom, considering the amount of sacrifice they put into the deadlocked match.
“The referee incurred the wrath of spectators when he disallowed two of our goals and awarded a dubious penalty to our opponents with two minutes left in regulation time.
“Our first choice keeper nearly lost his life as a result of a collision with an opposing attacker and had to be rushed to the hospital unconscious, though he was later revived,” he said.
Godwin Eze, the proprietor of the club, lamented that the poor attention given to football had affected the fortunes of amateur clubs in the state.
“We embarked on our trip to Makurdi to prosecute the match with my salary and contributions from members of the team,” he said.
Reacting to the development, Desmond Ome, the Secretary, Ebonyi Football Association, described the situation as regrettable.
“We do not receive any form of subvention from the state government unlike what is obtainable in other states, so no FA member went to Makurdi for the match because of lack of funds,” he said.
Chief Nicodemus Omenka, the immediate past Ebonyi Commissioner for Youths and Sports, said that he did not receive any request for assistance from the club while in office.
Reps Summon Dare Over Doping Crisis At Tokyo
The House of Representatives has begun investigation of the disqualification of Nigerian athletes at the 2020 Olympics over alleged doping, asking the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, to come and explain the preparedness of the Nigerian contingent for the sports festival.
Tidesports source gathered that the resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion at the plenary on Wednesday titled, ‘Need to Investigate Activities of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development on Failed Doping Test by Nigeria Athletes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.’
Consequently, the House resolved to “invite the Minister of Sports and Youth Development (sic) to brief the Committee on Sports on the level of Nigeria’s compliance with extant regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the independent anti-doping arm, Athletics Integrity Unit.”
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to put necessary measures in place to ensure compliance with extant regulations at both local and international competitions, while mandating the Committee on Sports to “investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test to forestall future occurrence.”
Moving the motion, Mr Babatunde Ayeni said the Nigerian delegation to the Olympic Games fared well in terms of performance, thereby raising the country’s rating in the comity of nations.
Ayeni recalled the outstanding performance of the Nigerian Football Team which bagged the historic first soccer gold medal at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, United States of America.
The lawmaker lamented the incident of July 20, 2021, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations barred 10 Nigerian athletes, including the highly-rated Blessing Okagbare, from the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing.
He recalled that the Athletics Integrity Unit alleged that Okagbare, who won the opening heat of the Women’s 100 meters, had tested positive for human growth hormone.
“The House is also aware that the allegation further affirmed that the affected athletes failed to comply with the rules requiring those from countries deemed to be at high risk of doping to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10 months’ period leading up to a major event.
“The House is concerned that despite the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests,” Ayeni added.
NYG: Rivers B’Ball Team Intensifies Preparations
Coach of the Rivers State Male Basket-ball Team, Dagogo Okumgba, has said that preparation, are in top gear for the forthcoming 2021 edition of the National Youth Games (NYG)scheduled to hold in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Coach Okumgba disclosed this yesterday during an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the team is doing everything necessary to get a better outing in Ilorin when the chips are down, saying that the players are in high spirits and are poised to compete favourably when the competition gets underway.
The coach said his players are committed to their preparations for the task ahead and determined to do the state proud at the games come November this year.
“We are doing our part to prepare as a team and wait for a go ahead from the Sports Ministry for camping so as to further prepare and fortify on the earlier made preparation,” Okumgba added.
The team qualified from their zone at the recently concluded zonal elimi-nation for team sports ahead of “National Youth Games” coming up next month.
It would be recalled that the zonal elimination for team events which comprised Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Edo states took place in Asaba, Delta State, fortnight ago.
The date for the competition was earlier fixed for September 7 to 17 this year.
10 Athletes To Represent Nigeria At Winter Olympics
Following the successful completion of its inaugural Olympics Trials in Lagos last Saturday, the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria has stated that 10 athletes would represent Nigeria at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games.
Technical Director, BSFN, Dr. Seun Adigun disclosed this in Lagos.
“Ten athletes will be named for the Winter Olympics.
“We will have two athletes for Bobsled, two in the Monobob women’s team, two athletes for the Bobsled men’s team, two male Skeleton and two female Skeleton athletes for the national team,” Adigun, who played a key role in Nigeria’s debut at the last Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang, Sourh Korea, said.
President, BSFN, Solomon Ogba stated that the team would train on ice in Europe, ahead of the Winter Games.
“This is the first stage of the preparation for the Olympics before the athletes train on ice,” Ogba said.
History was made earlier in the year when six athletes, who were selected from the first-ever trials in Lagos, trained and participated on ice for the first time in Pyeongchang.
Tidesports source reports that after a few days of training on ice, Perpetua Nwanna and Alawode Sekinat won bronze medal in their debut competition, after finishing third in the women’s double Bobsleigh IBSFSliding Korea Cup.
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