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Elite Referees Course Opens In Abuja

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The 2012 FIFA MA Course for elite referees, referee
assessors and physical fitness instructors was officially declared open in
Abuja on Wednesday by Nigeria Football Federation, NFF President, Alhaji Aminu
Maigari.

A total of 30 elite referees, among them Peter Edibe (the
only Nigerian referee involved in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying race), 36
referee assessors and 20 physical fitness instructors are taking part in the
one-week programme, which maiden edition took place last year.

World football-governing body, FIFA has sent three leading
referee instructors to oversee the programme. They are retired FIFA referees
Sidi Bekaye Magassa (Mali), Felix Tangawarima (Zimbabwe) and Madembe Mbacke
(Senegal).

In his address declaring open the course, at the FIFA
Technical Centre, NFF President Aminu Maigari, who was represented by Member of
NFF Executive Committee and Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee, Alhaji
Muazu Suleyman, thanked FIFA for continuous support of all programmes geared
towards the development of the Nigerian referee.

“Let me start by expressing heartfelt appreciation to the
world football-governing body, FIFA for the keen interest it has continued to
show, unpretentiously, about the development of Nigeria referees and their
profiles internationally.

“It is this very special interest that informed the move by
the world body to not only sanction the maiden edition of this Course, last
year, but also to send three of its best hands in referees instruction business
to fly down to Nigeria and impart uncommon knowledge to our leading men of the
whistle. This same interest has manifested again with the FIFA’s decision to
send to Nigeria again three of the very best in the business, who has seen it
all in the vocation of refereeing and have so much to teach our own people.”

Maigari also applauded the efforts of the Nigeria Referees
Association and the NFF Referees Committee, pledging that the NFF will continue
to support its activities.

“Let me also give assurance that the Nigeria Football
Federation will continue to support maximally all programmes, efforts and moves
to improve the Nigerian referee, based on our belief that the Nigerian referee
is indeed capable of doing much better and having a better profile than he/she
currently does in world football.”

Supporting Messrs Magassa, Tangawarima and Mbacke are
Nigeria’s respected retired FIFA referees Linus Mba, Emmanuel Dada Obafemi and
Edikin Imiere.

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Reps Summon Dare Over Doping Crisis At Tokyo

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The House of Representatives has begun investigation of the disqualification of Nigerian athletes at the 2020 Olympics over alleged doping, asking the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, to come and explain the preparedness of the Nigerian contingent for the sports festival.
Tidesports source gathered that the resolutions followed the unanimous adoption of a motion at the plenary on Wednesday titled, ‘Need to Investigate Activities of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development on Failed Doping Test by Nigeria Athletes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.’
Consequently, the House resolved to “invite the Minister of Sports and Youth Development (sic) to brief the Committee on Sports on the level of Nigeria’s compliance with extant regulations set by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the independent anti-doping arm, Athletics Integrity Unit.”
The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to put necessary measures in place to ensure compliance with extant regulations at both local and international competitions, while mandating the Committee on Sports to “investigate the immediate and remote cause of the failed doping test to forestall future occurrence.”
Moving the motion, Mr Babatunde Ayeni said the Nigerian delegation to the Olympic Games fared well in terms of performance, thereby raising the country’s rating in the comity of nations.
Ayeni recalled the outstanding performance of the Nigerian Football Team which bagged the historic first soccer gold medal at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, United States of America.
The lawmaker lamented the incident of July 20, 2021, where the Athletics Integrity Unit of the International Association of Athletics Federations barred 10 Nigerian athletes, including the highly-rated Blessing Okagbare, from the Tokyo Olympics for failing to meet requirements for out-of-competition drug testing.
He recalled that the Athletics Integrity Unit alleged that Okagbare, who won the opening heat of the Women’s 100 meters, had tested positive for human growth hormone.
 “The House is also aware that the allegation further affirmed that the affected athletes failed to comply with the rules requiring those from countries deemed to be at high risk of doping to undergo three no-notice out-of-competition tests in a 10 months’ period leading up to a major event.
“The House is concerned that despite the huge funds being made available yearly for the regulatory agencies in the sports sector, adequate efforts have not been made to get Nigeria into the category where they would be deemed to have made significant improvements in anti-doping tests,” Ayeni added.

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NYG: Rivers B’Ball Team Intensifies Preparations

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Coach of the Rivers State Male Basket-ball Team, Dagogo Okumgba, has said that preparation, are in top gear for the forthcoming 2021 edition of the National Youth Games (NYG)scheduled to hold in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Coach Okumgba disclosed this yesterday during an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the team is doing everything necessary to get a better outing in Ilorin when the chips are down, saying that the players are in high spirits and are poised to compete favourably when the competition gets underway.
The coach said his players are committed to their preparations for the task ahead and determined to do the state proud at the games come November this year.
“We are doing our part to prepare as a team and wait for a go ahead from the Sports Ministry for camping so as to further prepare and fortify on the earlier made preparation,” Okumgba added.
The team qualified from their zone at the recently concluded zonal elimi-nation for team sports ahead of “National Youth Games” coming up next month.
It would be recalled that the zonal elimination for team events which comprised Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Edo states took place in Asaba, Delta State, fortnight ago.
The date for the competition was earlier fixed for September 7 to 17 this year.

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10 Athletes To Represent Nigeria At Winter Olympics

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Following the successful completion of its inaugural Olympics Trials in Lagos last Saturday,  the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria has stated that 10 athletes would represent Nigeria at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games.
Technical Director, BSFN, Dr. Seun Adigun disclosed this in Lagos.
“Ten athletes will be named for the Winter Olympics.
“We will have two athletes for Bobsled, two in the Monobob women’s team, two athletes for the Bobsled men’s team, two male Skeleton and two female Skeleton athletes for the national team,” Adigun, who played a key role in Nigeria’s debut at the last Winter Olympics Games in Pyeongchang, Sourh Korea, said.
President, BSFN, Solomon Ogba stated that the team would train on ice in Europe, ahead of the Winter Games.
“This is the first stage of the preparation for the Olympics before the athletes train on ice,” Ogba said.
History was made earlier in the year when six athletes, who were selected from the first-ever trials in Lagos, trained and participated on ice for the first time in Pyeongchang.
Tidesports source reports that after a few days of training on ice, Perpetua Nwanna and Alawode Sekinat won bronze medal in their debut competition, after finishing third in the women’s double Bobsleigh IBSFSliding Korea Cup.

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