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Court Declares NFF, NPL Illegal

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Nigerian football has been thrown into turmoil after a Federal High Court in Abuja dissolved the football federation (NFF) and Premier League (NPL).

Sam Sam Jaja, a former Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) president, went to court to challenge his disqualification to run in NPL elections two years ago.

In his motion, Jaja wanted the court to determine the NFF and NPL’s legality in line with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution.

Judge Okorowo declared neither the NFF nor NPL had any statutory recognition.

He also declared the electoral body had inflicted an injury on the plaintiff, Jaja, by unlawfully disqualifying him.

Having gone through the submissions, Okorowo also contended that it is only the Nigeria Football League Limited (NFL) and the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) that have the legal authority to operate in the country.

“As recognised by the National Assembly act of 1999, the NFA is the legal body that is saddled with the responsibility of handling football matters in the country with other affiliate bodies recognised by it,” said the ruling.

“It is very obvious that the NFA domiciled in Nigeria can only operate under the Nigerian law. FIFA is a corporate body registered under the Swiss law, which has no powers over the laws of Nigeria.

“Therefore the names NPL and NFF are illegal before the law, since there is no statutes recognising their existence in the country.

“The court therefore submits that if any of these bodies continue to transact business under a name that is not recognised by law, they are doing such at its own risk.”

Lawyer to the plaintiff, Phil Oguchukwu, was directed to file contempt proceedings against the NFF and the NPL if both bodies continue to operate after Okorowo’s ruling on Friday.

Reacting to the ruling, the Nigeria Football Federation said in a press statement that they have yet to receive a copy of the judgement.

“We have not seen a copy of the judgement apart from the chat we had with our lawyer,” stated NFF secretary-general Musa Amadu.

“By the time we get a copy of the judgement on Monday, we will be able to react fully. As for now, the business of running Nigeria football is unaffected, as we have 90 days to appeal any judgement, during which the status quo, legally, remains.”

Nigeria’s Super Eagles are trying to revive their flagging fortunes after their failure to qualify for this month’s African Cup of Nations.

But court cases, infighting and government interference in the administration of the NFF have overshadowed plans to revitalise football in the country.

FIFA had initially imposed a ban for what it called “government interference” in the running of Nigerian football in the wake of the national side’s early exit from the World Cup.

But it lifted the ban provisionally after some steps were taken, notably allowing the country to play a 2012 Nations Cup qualifier in Guinea.

FIFA rules prohibit any government intervention with its members.

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Tokyo 2020: Nigerian Wrestlers Are Medal Hopefuls -Coach

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National wrestling coach Akuh Purity, has stated that Nigerian wrestlers going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have real medal chances this time, compared to the 2016 Olympics with less than a month to the games in Tokyo.
Purity, speaking in a chat with Tidesports source stressed that better exposure and competition experience already put the Nigerian wrestlers as medal prospects.
He added that the wrestlers had actually competed against the very best in the world in the run-in to the Tokyo Olympics and have an idea of almost whatever anyone of the top guns will offer.

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Ex-D’Tigers Player Becomes NBA Head Coach

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Former D’tigers player Ime Udoka has been appointed the new coach for Boston Celtics in the NBA.
Udoka had been considered a front-runner for the job, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last Friday that Udoka was among the candidates who received second interviews.
Udoka, 43, spent seven years on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio, including the 2013-14 season, when the Spurs won the NBA title.
He joined the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 and was with the Nets last year.
Udoka was a member of the Nigerian national team, for whom he played at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

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B/Volleyball: Nigeria Defeats Kenya In Olympic Qualifiers

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Nigeria beat Kenya 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-13) in the golden match to record their first win in the men’s category of the Tokyo Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualifiers in Morocco.
Nigeria Team A (Obayemi Ogunshina and Hilary Simon) lost to Kenya Team B 0-2 (15-21, 13-21) in the first encounter before Nigeria Team B consisting of Emenike Ezike and Emmanuel Chidebere defeated Kenya Team A (21-16, 21-16) in the second encounter.
The head coach of Nigeria beach volleyball team, Francis Imoudu commended the players for putting all their effort against Kenya.
Imoudu stated that Kenya gave Nigeria a good fight but the better side won the game.
He said, “This win is an indication that the men’s team is ready for their remaining opponents. I must commend the fighting spirit of the team because bookmakers had given the game to the Kenyans but we shocked Africa.
“Kenya is a good side but Nigeria did not show them any respect on the court. We will take each game as they come and all we need is the support of Nigerians home and abroad for these boys to succeed”.
Reacting to the victory, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod lauded the players for recording their first win of the beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers.
He said the Federation will continue to support the team adding that the players should show no respect to their remaining opponents in the qualifiers.

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