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Benin Emerges Copa Cup Zonal Championsa

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The Benin U-16 Coca-Cola Football team has
lifted the zone C trophy – the Coco-Cola Copa Cup.

To emerge champions, the Benin team
defeated Enugu, 2-0 in the finals played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

The organisers of the tournament said they
used the FIFA Youth Football competition format of a round robin and knockout,
to select the champions of Zone C.

The zonal finals had four cities in
attendance,  Benin, Asaba, Imo and Enugu.

The Benin zonal champions would  now compete for medals and cash prizes at the
national finals to be staged at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos on May 27,
which is to coincide with the Children’s Day.

An ex-international, Waidi Akani, one of
the ambassadors of the tournament, advised the Nigeria Football Federation
(NFF) to deploy an ex-international to the region to scout for raw young
talents.

In an interview with newsmen  Akani, who was also the celebrity coach for
the Benin Zone, rated the competition high saying that the standard of the
games was impressive.

On how to groom the discovered talents, he
said: “we need to put their details on our database and follow their progress.

“Without this, we can’t achieve the aim for
which such competitions are organised.

“And this is why the NFF needs to send the
ex-internationals to regions and zones to scout for young raw talents because
everybody cannot be at the national level.

“The federation can deploy
ex-internationals to the different zones and through this method create jobs
for them to fish out talents, who will continually fill up the gaps in all the
national age group teams.

“This is what is obtainable elsewhere but
not in Nigeria,’’ he said, stressing regrettably, “it is at the federation
level that everybody wants to be. It should not be so. We should be in the
regions and zones.

“When I came here to Benin, I looked for
ex-internationals like Victor Igbinoba, Baldwin Bazuaye, Emmanuel Okocha and
Monday Eguavoen to help me out with selections.

He noted: “the worst mistake the federation
had made was in doing away with ex-internationals who had done well in the past
for the country.

“The federation needs to emphasise the need
to scout for ex-internationals and get them employed, so that they can  operate from regions and zones.

The
project manager Coca-cola Youth Soccer championship Femi Adelusi, said the
essence of the competition was to connect, engage and promote talents of teens
and young adults on a distinctive platform.

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WAFU Zone B Qualifier: Rivers Govt Throws Weight Behind Angels FC

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Rivers State Governor, NyesomWike, has placed a marching order to accord the necessary support needed to aid the Jewels of Rivers, Rivers Angels FC  qualify from  the  West African Union(WAFU) B and ultimately win the CAF Women’s Champions League Cup.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye  disclosed this, Monday, in a press statement signed by the state government’s press officer, Daniel Nwankwoala.
The commissioner commended the team for its victory over Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana in the opening match of their group qualifier, played at the weekend.
He promised to give the necessary support needed, as ordered by the State Governor, to enable the team get the desired results, playing their CAF Women’s  qualifier and win the cup as well.
“The Governor has placed an order to ensure that the team lacks nothing needed,  to help boost their morale, help them perform optimally and aid victory, as they embarked on this maiden competition,”  Iyaye said.
Earlier, head coach of the team, Edwin Okon,  has expressed optimism that his team will perform even better, having prepared adequately for the competition.
“We will fight to the end, my girls will do even better job. I can assure you that, the(players) are  in high spirit and determined to win.
“I am glad that we don’t have injuries worries, so, we are set and ready to do Nigeria proud,” he added.
It would be recalled that the Port Harcourt, Nigeria representatives started  their campaign in the WAFU Zone B qualifier  with a 2-0 win against their Ghana opponents, Hasaacas Ladies on Saturday, to get closer to qualification for the semi-finals.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Sports Minister Hails Anyanacho,Offiong

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Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has described Elizabeth Anyanacho as a future star.
Anyanacho lost 12-7 to Turkey’s Nur Tatar in the Round of 16 of the women’s 67kg taekwondo event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Monday morning.
Dare, who watched the bout, congratulated the 22-year-old despite the defeat.
“You’ve done well against a world champion. Keep your focus. The world will soon rise to salute you in the near future,” Dare told Anyanacho.
Tidesports source reports that he was also on hand to encourage Edem Offiong, who lost 4-1 in the second round of women’s table tennis to the USA’s Lily Zhang.
“You exhibited strength and talent. Nigeria thank you for making the country proud at the Olympics,” Dare told Offiong.
The pair of Godwin Olofua and Anuoluwapo Opeyori also lost their second Group B match in the men’s doubles badminton event against Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen, while Dorcas Adesokan was beaten 2-0 by Spain’s Clara Azurmendi in the opening Group B match of the women’s badminton singles.

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We Won’t Give Up On Playing For Nigeria – Ogwumike Sisters

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Nneka Ogwumike, Chiney Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams say they haven’t given up their dream of representing Nigeria in the future after they were denied the opportunity to play for the country women’s basketball team at the Tokyo Games.
The three WNBA stars, who all have American and Nigerian citizenship, would have strengthened D’Tigress squad at the Olympics, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled they were ineligible to represent Nigeria at the moment after having played for the United States.
“I still have a lot of pride and high hopes for the Nigerian team as it is composed now,” Nneka Ogwumike said.
“So, maybe this time around, I won’t be a part of it directly, but I certainly do hope that I can be in the future.”
“I think the fight has just begun,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “I cannot accept to being called a naturalised citizen, when I have full citizenship.
“People don’t know the extent to which my family, and myself in particular, ever since I was at Stanford, has been going back to Nigeria to help. So to have someone say that I am not Nigerian is not fair to my family or my heritage or myself. It just does not feel right at all.”
Williams, who plays for the Atlanta Dream said, “It’s really about the principle now. We’re still going to keep appealing and fighting because I think people need to understand there are a lot of us that have dual citizenship. Even if we grew up here, our households look very different than what people think, and that part of us is very real.

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