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Ex-NRA Scribe Tasks NPL On Referees’ Remuneration

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The immediate past Secretary of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Sunday Audu, has urged the Nigeria Premier League (NPL)   to improve on referees remuneration for better performance.

Audu told newsmen  in Lagos that such a step would reduce the incidence of match fixing allegations being made against referees in the league.

He admonished that, for the absence of issues bordering on bribe and match fixing allegations, referees should be paid their indemnities as and when due.

“If they pay the referees well, their eyes will not turn to  the bribe they are being offered.

“Their remuneration is still very poor, imagine a referee being paid N15, 000 to officiate a match in Jigawa and he is based in Kastina, it’s unheard of,’’ the former secretary said.

Speaking on the quality of football played so far in the first stanza of the 2011/2012 NPL season, Audu applauded the standard being exhibited by clubs, through away victories, which he said implied fairness.

“The norm is that if clubs perform well, good officiating should complement their efforts, but if the club performed well and officiating was poor, it will not speak well of the league.

“The two have to work together, if one is lacking, the other one won’t achieve its aim,’’ Audu said.

Audu also commended the effort of the NPL in the provision of adequate security for referees at match venues.

“As it is now, the security of referees is commendable, but it can be improved upon,’’ the former secretary of the NRA said.

He, however, complained about the high handed manner with which the Dispute and Disciplinary Resolution Committee was going about its assignment.

He said, “that the committee usually makes pronouncement without following due process.

“I don’t agree with the decisions they take at times, I don’t agree with them, they go beyond their bounds, whenever they take their decisions.

“My anger again is that they make pronouncements without consulting others involved in the process of arriving at the decision they took to resolve the issue at stake.

“They should follow procedures, the way and manner disciplinary issues are handled are  not healthy for the league’’.

On his assessment of the NPL in comparison to what obtained in Europe, South America and South Africa, Audu said  that there was no basis for comparison.

“Even though the league is faring well, we cannot compare it to the European and South American football leagues.

“We can’t compare our league with developed countries, but in Africa, Nigeria is number one, followed by maybe South Africa,’’ he said.

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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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