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Minister Finds Solution To Football Crisis

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Sports Minister Yusuf Suleiman has called for pragmatic solutions that would help to curb the incessant recurrence of crisis in Nigeria’s football.

While inaugurating the Ministerial Committee of Experts on the Reform of Nigerian Football,  in Abuja, Monday, Suleiman said  it was sad that efforts and time have been consumed by crisis in the sport.

“It was clear to me immediately on assumption of office that my first assignment should be to bring peace to the football family because a lot of efforts, time and resources have been consumed by the crisis,’’ he said.

The committee headed by a former chairman of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), retired Brig.-Gen. Dominic Oneya, has nine members and four resource persons.

The minister, who is also the chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), said there was  need for peace in the football family in order to promote sustainable development.

“There is the need for peace in order to promote football, especially as we have all realised that those good resources and time could have been better utilised and we all know there is need for reforms too,’’ he said

Suleiman pointed out that sports administration in Nigeria had now reached a crucial point where it had to face the necessary challenges in a better way.

“We are at a crucial moment in our sports administration when we must face our challenges adequately, knowing that we have the capacity to deal with such challenges in view of our talents and resources.

“This is why this committee must complete this assignment very expeditiously and come out with pragmatic and achievable solutions that will help us end this crisis once and for all,’’ he said.

Responding on behalf of the committee, Oneya assured that the members would do a good job in order not to disappoint the nation.

“We know there is  need for a peaceful atmosphere to prevail for our football to grow, and we will, in this line, not disappoint. We will deliver as expected and hope that there will not be any regrets thereafter,’’ he said.

Oneya commended the minister for his efforts in getting the warring parties to a roundtable, saying “we are grateful to the minister for hitting the ground running, just days after coming into office.

“This gives us an assurance that you are a Sports Minister we can count on for a sustainable development of sports in Nigeria,’’ he said.

The committee is expected to work between now and October 31, with six terms of reference, which include the revision of the NFA statutes.

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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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