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SWAN Wants NFF Technical Committee Re-Organised, Siasia Retained

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), has called for the immediate re-organisation of the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA).

The body also called for the retention of Super Eagles’ Coach, Samson Siasia.

The demands formed part of an 11-point communique which the association released in Abuja after an emergency congress to deliberate on the declining state of Nigerian football.

The body had discussed the Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

“After exhaustive deliberations during which we shared in the agony of Nigerians over the dismal performances, the congress resolved, among others, that far-reaching actions needed to be taken.

“The NFA Technical Committee should be totally re-organised and should consist of technically-competent football persons.

“The committee as presently constituted lacks the technical savvy to provide the needed support to the coaching crew of the various national teams,” the communique said.

It urged the NFA to expedite action on the process of employing a qualified technical director as well as set up a sound technical department.

The communique also said the Super Eagles’ failure should be seen as a collective one in which all concerned should share in the blame.

“Everybody, including the government, the football association, the technical committee, coaching crew, players and the media, et cetera, should share in the blame.

“This is why we endorse the retention of coach Siasia, as sacking him will be retrogressive in view of the fact that the Eagles is a team undergoing a re-building process at present.”

It added that the NFA should be wary of the invasion of the national teams by so-called ‘men of God’ as this affects the psyche of the players and their performances.

The communique also urged the NFA to de-emphasise the issue of monetary incentives to Super Eagles’ players to reflect the general economic realities in the country.

“The national team players need proper orientation, commitment and dedication to national assignment,” the communiqué stated.

It urged the NFA to introduce a well-thought-out disciplinary code for the national teams.

“This will forestall extreme disciplinary measures that could be detrimental to the overall interest of the nation,” it said.

The communique further urged the NFA to focus more on developmental programmes and re-engineer the various domestic leagues to generate players for clubs and national teams.

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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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